You have won your Local Brain Bee competition!  Congratulations!

Now, how do you prepare to compete at the national level?  Here is what you need to do:

  • The 11th Annual Canadian National Brain Bee will be held at McMaster University on May 25 – 26, 2018.
    • Last year’s CCNBB 2017 schedule has information about travel, accommodation, meals, and structure of last year’s competition, and this year will be very similar.  We are still working on some details and will update the schedule as we continue to prepare for the competition.  Whenever we make a change, we will highlight the change in yellow and provide the date of the change here:  CCNBB.schedule.2017  (last edit was May 11, 2017).  THE 2018 DETAILS WILL REPLACE THESE SOON.
  • Register by following this link (COMING SOON).
    • We need to know about your travel plans, accommodation requirements, and other very important details. Even if you don’t have answers to all the questions yet, fill out as much as you can (you can return and edit your answers on the survey by saving the link that is provided at the end of the survey).
  • Complete the permission form and the photo release form (LINKS COMING SOON).
    • You can bring the completed forms with you to the competition.
  • Check out maps and links to directions to McMaster.
  • Check out the study materials and tips below and have fun studying!


Study Resources:

There will be several kinds of tests at the National Brain Bee, including multiple-choice questions, oral questions requiring one word or one phrase answers, a human neuroanatomy test, and a patient diagnosis test.  The recommended study resources for these tests are as follows (check back later in case we have been able to add some additional resource suggestions):

Questions and answers:

On Saturday afternoon, the competition will consist of several phases of questions.  You can find a more detailed description of the question/answer phases in the schedule (see above) which will be published soon.

All the questions during the oral part of the competition will be drawn from:
Neuroscience: Science of the Brain, published by the European Dana Alliance for the Brain in many different languages, and Chapters 2, 7, 7a, 15, and 22 from Neuroscience: Exploring the Brain (Bear, Connors & Paradiso, 3rd Edition). Download these documents here:


Human neuroanatomy:

The neuroanatomy bell-ringer competition consists of approximately 20 or 25 stations where brains, brain slices, or pictures of brains will be presented.  Check out the video highlights from last year to get an idea (front page of this web site).  The brains will have pins stuck in a particular part of the anatomy, and there will be questions at each station that ask for the name of the structure and/or the function of that structure indicated by the pin.  Students will have approximately 2 minutes at each station to write down their answers.  When time is up, a bell will ring, and each student will move to the next station.  To prepare for this part of the competition, look for a human brain atlas and a textbook covering basic neuroanatomy.

Here are a few web sites that might be useful as you study neuroanatomy: (for kids, but a good start!)
Sylvius software from Sinauer ( (but this costs about $55 and is not necessary – you can find excellent study materials elsewhere)

Patient Diagnosis:

There will be 8 to 10 Standardized Patients who are professionally trained to portray neurological disorders. Students will be required to diagnose the neurological disorders by interviewing the patients.  Students will spend about 5 minutes with each patient in a patient diagnosis room.  NEW:  In previous years, the questions could only be of the type that could be answered by “yes”, “no”, or “I don’t know”. This year, the questions can be open-ended.  You can ask the patients anything you like.  At the end of the 5 minutes, the student will record the diagnosis for that patient, and move on to the next patient.  There will be 13 possible disorders to choose from (THESE MAY BE UPDATED SO CHECK BACK LATER – WE WILL ADD A NOTE HERE SO THAT IT IS CLEAR WHEN THE LIST OF DISORDERS HAS BEEN FINALIZED): bipolar disorder, epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, schizophrenia, stroke, Tourette Syndrome, neurological AIDS, chronic pain, depression, and autism.

To study for this part, you might try the Medical Encyclopedia of Medline Plus which can be found at the National Library of Medicine website:

International Brain Bee Resources:

The 2018 IBB details are coming soon.  We will post a link to the IBB 2018 website as soon as it is available.  Note: you may also see the international event referred to as “International Brain Bee World Championship (IBBWC)”.

Parents and teachers:  Please note that no recording devices are allowed during the question and answer period of any part of the National Brain Bee.