Top of the Bench

Preliminary Rounds



Preliminary Round 2022

What has changed?

Previously, schools (~30) would apply via e-mail to Trevor Birt, requesting preliminary questions which were completed under exam conditions and returned (~25) for marking. Of these, the top 6-10 would be invited to our Regional Final. Last year we held parallel quizzes and lab practical sessions jointly at Coventry University and the University of Birmingham. The top scoring teams were then invited to our regional final.

Why change?

  • To ensure the ‘exam conditions’ are consistent for all schools
  • To increase the scope and engagement of schools
  • To make the ‘preliminary’ a fun day!


The preliminary round will be held jointly at Coventry University and the University of Birmingham on Sat. 10rd December 2022.  The top 5 or 6 schools from this round will then be invited to the Regional Final. The Birmingham & West Midlands Local section Regional Final will be held on Sat. 21st January 2023.

How do I enter my students?

A team has to be made up of two Year 9 students, one Year 10 student and one Year 11 student. Where possible students who have taken part in previous years should not be included. To Register your school for this year’s Preliminary Round please complete the registration form below:

Team information ...

Each team should be made up of the following:

  • 2 students from year 9
  • 1 student from year 10
  • 1 student from year 11

Each school can enter up to TWO teams.

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

What to bring ...

Each team member needs to bring:

  • Pens, pencils and rubber
  • Calculator
  • Ruler

Complimentary refreshments will be provided in the CTL Building.

Competing Schools ...
University of Birmingham
Alcester Grammar School
Bishop Veseys School
Concord College
Holyhead School
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys
King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Girls
King Edward’s school for boys (Edgbaston)
RGS Dodderhill
Turves Green Boys School
Windsor High School and Sixth Form
Coventry University
King Edward VI School
Princethorpe College
Rugby School
The Kingsley School
Twycross House School
Programme ...

Programme of events

Time Activity Location
1000- 1300 Arrival and refreshments CTL Foyer/Cafe
1100 – 1230 Written Paper Quiz CTL Upper Floor
1230 – 1430 Tour of the CTL / Chemistry Department CTL Cafe area
1430 Final Remarks and Dismissal CTL Cafe area

CTL – Collaborative Teaching Laboratory


Location ...