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HBBVS – All you need to know

The Mumbai Science Teachers’ Association conducts Dr. Homi Bhabha Balvaidnyanik Spardha – HBBVS – since 1981 to encourage students to take an interest in science, to inculcate scientific attitude and to search for science talent in students.
Only students studying in class 6 & 9 can participate in this exam. This competition is based on scientific knowledge acquired by the students up to std. VI and IX. It is conducted in English and Marathi medium only.


Only students studying in class 6 & 9 can participate in this exam.

Date of exam

  • Tentative Day / Date Stage 1: Mid- September
  • Stage 2- Mid- January Practical examination -IX standard at all centres
  • Stage 3 – Mid- February Interviews and viva voice of action research.


  • The interested students have to register only online through their School only.
  • Semi-English medium students can select English or Marathi as medium of instructions for the competition.
  • Once the medium is selected by student, it remains same throughout the competition. It can not be changed at any circumstances.
  • There are two steps involved in the registration process. They are as follows :
    1. School Registration
    2. Student Registration
  • First, the school needs to register, then students can register through the school. No one can go for a personal registration without affiliation to any school.


For Class 6 exam: the syllabus is based on textbooks of Class 5 & 6 of SSC syllabus and related content from ICSE and CBSE books of class 6.

Class 5 

  1. Living Things
  • Characteristics Of Living Things
  • Grouping Things
  1. Plant Life
  • How Do Plant Reproduce?
  • Reproduction From Seeds
  • Dispersal Of Seeds
  • Crops
  • To Grow Good Crops
  1. Animal Life
  • Different Body Coverings
  • Different Eating Habits
  • Different Methods Of Moving
  • Some Animals Travel Long Distances
  1. Interdependence In Nature
  • Living Things Depend On Nonliving Things
  • Plants And Animals Are Dependent On Each Other
  • Food Relationships
  1. Bones And Muscles
  • The Skeletal System
  • Parts Of The Skeleton
  • Joints
  • The Muscular System
  1. The Nervous System
  • The Brain
  • The Spinal Cord
  • Nerves
  • The Eyes
  • Reflex Action
  • Your Sense Organs
  • The Ears
  • The Nose
  • The TongueThe Skin
  1. Food And Health
  • Nutrients In Food
  • A Balanced Diet
  • Preserving Nutrients In Food
  • Diseases
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Spread Of Infectious Diseases
  • Prevention Of Infectious Diseases
  • Deficiency Diseases
  • Other Non – Communicable Diseases
  • Exercise And Rest
  1. Safety And First Aid
  • Accidents
  • First Aid
  • Fire
  1. Rocks And Minerals
  • Igneous Rocks
  • Sedimentary Rocks
  • Metamorphic Rocks
  • Wealth From Rocks
  1. Soil Erosion and conservation
  • Importance Of Soil
  • How Is Soil Formed?
  • Soil Erosion
  • Soil Conservation
  1. Air, Water And Weather
  • The Atmosphere
  • What Is In The Atmosphere
  • The Atmosphere Protects Life
  • What Does Air Contain?
  • Air Occupies Space
  • Air Has Weight
  • Air Is Needed For Burning
  • Air Exerts Pressure
  • Using Air Pressure
  • Atmospheric Pollution
  • Water
  • Water Dissolves Many Things
  • Impurities In Water
  • Removing Insoluble Impurities
  • Removing Soluble Impurities
  • Drinking Water
  1. The Moon
  • Conditions On The Moon
  • How The Moon Moves
  • Phases Of The Moon
  • Landing On The Moon
  • Eclipses
  • Artificial Satellites
  1. Simple Machines
  • Simple Machines
  • The Lever
  • Inclined Plane
  • Screw
  • Pulley
  • Wheel And Axle
  1. The Environment
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Problems
  • Pollution
  • Natural Resources
  • What Can Be Done?
  1. Natural Calamities
  • Earthquakes
  • Cyclones And Floods
  • Drought

Class 6 

  1. Our Food
  • Food Ingredients
  • How people develop food habits
  • Different methods of preparing food
  • Preservation of food
  1. Playing with Magnets
  • Magnets of different shapes
  • Poles of a bar magnet
  • Magnetic Compass
  • Earth as a Magnet
  1. Rain: Where does it come from
  • Forms of water
  • Condensation
  • Water Cycle
  1. What Do Animals Eat
  • Collecting and finding foot to eat
  • Getting food without hunting
  • How leeches get their food
  • FoodChain
  1. Materials and Things
  • Properties of materials
  • Transparency
  • State of the materials
  1. Habitat
  • Pond as a habitat
  • Tree as a habitat
  • Our house as a habitat
  • Diversity of habitats in andhra Pradesh
  • Good habitat ,good life
  1. Separation of Substances
  • Mixures
  • Methods of separation
  • Chromotography Anovel method of separation
  • Separation using more than one method
  1. Fibre to Fabric
  • Types of fabric
  • Types of fibres
  • Making yarn from cotton fibre
  • Making of jute yarn
  • Yarn to fabric
  1. Plants: Parts and Functions
  • Parts of plant
  • Roots :different types of roots
  • Functions of the roots
  • Parts of leaf
  • Ventation
  • Functions of a leaf
  • Stem provides support to the plant
  1. Changes around Us
  • Changing of milk into curd
  • Changing Seasons
  • Observing the changes in shadow during winter and summer
  • Compare the Changing of milk into curd with change of seasons
  1. Water in our Life
  • Water and its uses
  • Measuring the volume of water
  • Where do we get water from
  • Water on earth
  1. Simple Electric Circuits
  • Electric Components
  • Torch-Light
  • Conductors and Insulators
  • The story of Bulb
  1. Learning how to Measure
  • Measuring lengths
  • The story of the scale
  • How to measure length accurately with a meter scale
  • How can we measure a small thickness
  • Measurement of area
  • Units of Measurement
  • Measurement of Volume
  • Measurement of volume of liquids
  • Measuring of irregular solids using a measuring cylinder
  1. Movements in Animals
  • Muscels
  • Bones
  • Different types of joints
  • Ball and socket joint
  • Hinge joint
  • Neck joint
  • Fixed joint
  • Movement in the animals-locomotion
  • Locomotion in fish
  • Locomotion in birds
  • Locomotion in snake
  • Locomotion in snail
  1. Lights, Shadows and Images
  • How can we see objects
  • Do all objects form Shadows
  • Shadows
  • Difference between image and shadow
  1. Living and Non-Living
  • Some things are living things or non living things
  • Compare Characterstics
  • Movement in Living Beings
  • Food and living beings
  • Growth in living beings
  • Do all living things breath
  • Do all living things get rid of their waste
  • Living things give birth to young ones
  • Response to stimulus
  • Seeds-Living or not
  • Living things under microscope
  • Are bacteria harmful

For Class 9 exam: the syllabus is based on textbooks of Class 7,8 & 9 of SSC science syllabus and related content from ICSE and CBSE books of class 9.

Class 7

  1. Food Components
  • What Are The Essential Components Of Food ?
  • Roughages Or Dietary Fibres
  • Sources Of Roughages
  • Water
  • Balanced Diet
  • History Of Food And Nutrition
  1. Acids And Bases
  • Indicators
  • Fertile Land – Organic Manures
  • Salts
  1. Animal Fibre
  • Story Of Silk
  • Story Of Wool
  1. Motion And Time
  • Motion And Rest
  • Uniform And Non Uniform Motion
  • Types Of Motions
  • Slow And Fast Motion
  • Estimating Time.
  • Units Of Time
  • Speed
  • Units Of Speed
  1. Temperature And Its Measurement
  • Heat – A Form Of Energy
  • Heat And Temperature:
  • Expansion Of Liquid Due To Heat
  • Properties Of Mercury
  • Properties Of Alcohol
  • Thermometers
  1. Weather And Climate
  • Measuring Components Of Weather
  • Measuring Rainfall
  • Direction Of The Wind
  • Humidity
  • What Is Climate ?
  • Climate And Life Style
  1. Electricity
  • Symbols Of Electric Components
  • Circuit Diagram
  • Series And Parallel Circuits
  • Connecting Electrical Cells In Series
  • Connecting Electrical Cells In Parallel
  • Connecting Electric Bulbs In Series
  • Connecting Bulbs In Parallel
  • Heating Effects Of Electric Current Tube Lights And Compact Fluorescent
  • Lamps (Cfls)
  • Miniature Circuit Breaker (Mcb)
  1. Air, Winds And Cyclones
  • Where Do We Find Air ?
  • Does Air Exert Pressure ?
  • Air Expands On Heating
  • Hot Air Is Lighter Than Cold Air
  • Effects Of Moving Air
  • Wind – Uneven Heating On The Earth
  • Cyclones
  • Destruction By Cyclones
  1. Reflection Of Light
  • When Will You Be Able To See Clear Images Of Yourself In A Plane Mirror ?
  • Laws Of Reflection
  • Make Your Own Periscope
  • How To Form Multiple Images ?
  • Make Your Own Kaleidoscope
  • Why Do We Call Concave And Convex Mirrors As Spherical Mirrors?
  • Let Us Form Images With Spherical Mirrors
  1. Nutrition In Plants
  • Where Does Water Come From?
  • Exchange Of Air
  • Do Plants Produce Only Starch ?
  • Other Modes Nutrition In Plants
  1. Respiration In Organisms
  • Respiration In Human Beings
  • Exercise And Breathing
  • What Does Our Breath Contain ?
  • Breathing In Other Animals
  • Respiration In Plants
  • Respiration In Sprouted Seeds
  1. Reproductions In Plants
  • Flower And Its Parts
  • Complete Flower
  • Incomplete Flower
  • Unisexual Flower
  • Bisexual Flower
  • Sexual Parts Of Flower
  • Flower Part To Fruit
  • Agents Of Pollination
  • Asexual Reproduction
  1. Seed Dispersal
  • Why Are Seeds Dispersed ?
  • How Are Seeds Dispersed ?
  • Different Agents Of The Seed Dispersal
  • Why Plants Produced A Large Number Of Seeds
  1. Water
  • Sources Of Water
  • What Would You Do For The Cause “Water For Life” ?
  • Processes At The Waste Water Treatment Plant
  • Diseases Caused By Untreated Water
  • Other Ways Of Disposing Sewage :
  • Types Of Drainage Systems
  • Conservation Of Water
  1. Soil : Our Life
  • Soil
  • Know More About Your Soil
  • Horizons Of Soil
  • Soil And Crops
  • Soil Conservation
  1. Forest : Our Life
  • What Forests Are?
  • Diversity In Forests
  • Step Towards Conservation
  1. Changes Around Us
  • Physical Change
  • Chemical Changes
  • Rusting Of Iron
  • Galvanisation
  • Observe The Changes In Magnesium Ribbon
  • Observe Reaction Of Vinegar With Baking Soda
  • Burning Of Camphor
  • Crystallisation

Class 8

  1. Force
  • What Is Force?
  • Types Of Force?
  • Contact Forces?
  • Forces Acting At A Distance
  • Net Force
  • Other Effects To Force
  • Pressure
  1. Friction
  • Force Of Friction, Types
  • Is Friction Necessary?
  • Increasing And Decreasing Friction
  • Fluid Friction
  1. Sound
  • Production Of Sound
  • Musical Instruments
  • Sounds Produced By Human Beings
  • Noise And Music
  • Audible Range
  • Sound Pollution
  1. Some Natural Phenomena
  • Lightning
  • Charging By Rubbing
  • The Story Of Lightning
  • Lightning Safety
  • Lightning Conductors
  • Earthquakes
  1. Stars And The Solar System
  • The Surface Of The Moon
  • Solar Eclipse
  • Lunar Eclipse
  • Let Us Know Something About Stars
  • The Solar System
  • How People Came To An Understanding That Earth Is Spherical
  1. Synthetics Fibres And Plastics
  • What Is Synthetic Fibre?
  • Some Synthetic Fibres
  • Plastics Around Us
  • Reduce, Recycle , Reuse And Recover-R Principle
  1. Metals And Non Metals
  • Physical Properties
  • Chemical Properties
  • Some Uses Of Non-Metals
  • Uses Of Metals
  1. Coal And Petroleum
  • Sources Of Materials
  • Coal, Petroleum And Natural Gas As Fuels
  • Some Petrochemical Products
  • Natural Gas And Petrochemicals
  • Why Are Coal And Petroleum So Versatile?
  • Conserving Coal And Petroleum
  • Misuse Of Energy Resources And Consequences
  1. Combustion, Fuels And Flame
  • What Is Needed For The Process Of Combustion?
  • Ignition Temperature
  • Types Of Combustion
  • Fuels
  • Fire Control
  • Flame
  • Structure Of A Flame
  1. Electrical Conductivity Of Liquids
  • Electrical Conductivity Of Liquids
  • When Do Liquids Conduct Electricity?
  • Chemical Effect Of Electric Current
  • Electrolytic Cell
  • Electroplating
  1. What Is Science
  • What Is Science ?
  • Why Do Science ?
  • Science And Change
  • How Scientists Work – Scientific Method
  1. Cell – The Basic Unit Of Life
  • Discovery Of The Cell
  • Diversity In Cells
  1. Story Of Micro Organisms (Part I & Part II)
  • Story Of Microscope Invention And Discovery Of Micro Organisms
  • Microorganisms
  • Group Of Microorganisms
  • Microorganisms – Our Friends Or Foes?
  • Useful(Friendly) Organisms
  • Soil Micro Organisms In Soil Fertility
  • Harmful Microorganisms
  • Food Poisoning
  • Food Preservation
  • Pasteurisation
  • Storing And Packing
  • Nitrogen Fixation
  1. Reproduction In Animals
  • Viviparous And Oviparous Animals
  • Modes Of Reproduction In Animals
  • Sexual Reproduction
  • Fertilisation
  • Life Cycle Of Frog
  1. Reaching The Age Of Adolescence
  • Change At Adolescence
  • Voice Change
  • Development Of Sex Organs
  • Reproductive Phase Of Life In Humans
  1. Biodiversity And Its Conservation
  • What Is Biodiversity?
  • Biodiversity: A Case Study
  • Value Of Biodiversity And Its Conservation
  • What Is A National Park And A Sanctuary?
  1. Different Ecosystems
  • What Is Ecosystem?
  • Changes In The Ecosystem
  • Types Fo Ecosystem
  • Mangrove Ecosystem – Coringa
  • Biotic Componets
  • The Desert Ecosystem
  • Forest Ecosystem
  • Energy Flow In An Ecosystem
  1. Food Production From Plants Methods Of Management
  • Growing Paddy And Agricultural Practices
  • Sowing To Storing
  • Types Of Seeding
  • Natural Manure
  • Irrigation
  1. Production And Management Of Food From Animals
  • Animal Husbandry
  • Milk Production
  • Selection Procedure
  • Poultry
  • Api Culture
  • Inland Fisheries
  1. Not for drink not for health
  • What Is Air Pollution
  • Pollutants
  • What Are The Effects By Air Pollution ?
  • Water Pollution
  1. Why Do We Fall Ill ?
  • Health And Its Failure
  • Disease And Its Causes
  • Causes Of Diseases
  • Infections And Non-Infections Causes
  • Means Of Spread
  • Principles Of Treatment & Prevension

Class 9

  1. Motion
  • What Is Relative?
  • Motion Is Relative
  • Types Of Motion
  1. Laws Of Motion
  • First Law Of Motion
  • Second Law Of Motion
  • Third Law Of Motion
  • Conservation Of Momentum And Impulse
  1. Gravitation
  • Uniform Circular Motion
  • Universal Law Of Gravitation
  • Free Fall
  • Weight
  • Centre Of Gravity
  1. Work And Energy
  • Work
  • Idea Of Energy
  • Energy Transfer And The Work
  • Sources Of Energy
  • Forms Of Energy
  • Conservation Of Energy
  1. Sound
  • Production Of Sound
  • How Does Sound Travel
  • Propagation Of Sound
  • Types Of Waves
  • Characteristics Of The Sound Wave
  • Reflection Of Sound
  • Range Of Hearing
  • Sonar
  1. Matter Around Us
  • States Of Matter
  • Properties Of Solids, Liquids And Gases
  • Compressibility
  • Can Matter Change Its State?
  • What Is Matter Made Up Of?
  • Particles Of Matter Attract Each Other
  • How Diffusion Takes Place?
  • Effects Of Temperature
  • Effects Of Change Of Pressure
  • Evaporation
  1. Is Matter Pure?
  • What Is A Mixture
  • Types Of Mixtures
  • Separating The Components Of A Mixture
  • Separation Of Immiscible And Miscible Liquids
  • Separation Of A Mixture Two Miscible Liquids
  • Types Of Pure Substances
  1. Atoms And Molecules
  • Law Of Conservation Of Mass
  • Law Of Constant Proportion
  • Dalton’s Atomic Theory
  • Atoms And Molecules Symbols Of Elements
  • Symbols Of Elements
  • Some Unusual Symbols
  • Elements With More Than One Atom
  • Atomicity
  • Valency
  • What Is An Ion
  • Atomic Mass
  • Molecules Of Compounds
  • Molecular Mass
  • Mole Concept
  • Molar Mass
  1. What Is Inside The Atom?
  • Sub Atomic Particles
  • The Structure Of An Atom
  • Thomson Model Of The Atom
  • Rutherford’s Alpha Particles Scattering
  • Bhors Model Of The Atom
  • Distribution Of Electrons On Diff Orbits
  • Atomic Number
  • Atomic Mass Number
  • Writing Symbols Of Atom
  • Isotopes
  • Applications Of Isoptopes
  1. Floating Bodies
  • Have A Little Fun
  • Comparing Density
  • Relative Density Of Liquids
  • Upwards Force In Liquids
  • Pressure Of Air
  • Measuring The Force Of Buoyancy
  • Archimedes Principle
  • Pascals Principle
  1. Plant Tissues
  • Meristematic Tissues
  1. Animal Tissues
  • Types Of Cells
  • Story Of Blood
  • Nervous Cells
  1. Movement Of Materials Across The Cell Membrane
  • Functions Of Plasma Membrane
  • Diffusion
  1. Diversity In Living Organisms
  • Diversity In Plants
  • Diversity In Animals
  • The Hierarchy Of Classification
  • Classification Of Animals
  • Nomenclature
  1. Sense Organs
  • What Do Our Sense Do?
  • Simulation To Sensation
  1. Animal Behaviour
  • Diff Types Of Animal Behaviour
  • Human Behaviour
  • Some Experiments Towards Animal Intelligence
  1. Challenges In Improving Agriculture Products
  • How To Increase The Food Production?
  • Plant And Soil Nutrients
  • Crop Rotation And Protection
  1. Adaptations
  • Adaptations In Some More Desert Animals
  • Adaptations In Aquatic Ecosystem, Other Adaptations
  • Lichens
  1. Soil Protection
  • History Of Soil
  • Pollution Of Soil
  • Protection Of Soil
  1. Bio Geo Chemicals
  • Water And Nitrogen Cycle
  • Carbon And Oxygen Cycle
  • Ozone Layer

Less emphasis is given for knowledge based questions and more emphasis for understanding, reasoning, correlation, etc.

The questions related to general knowledge in science are based on topics like happenings of the last year and science around day to day life.

Exam pattern of HBBVS
Written Test, Practical Test and Interview are three phases of competition.
Distribution of the marks are give below :

Phase 1 : Written Test
Phase 1 is same for std. VI and IXth
No. of questions : 100 Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) based on Science and General Knowledge (GK) in Science.
Max. Marks : 100
Duration : 90 minutes
Selection Procedure :
a) Students obtaining marks above 35 will get Passing Certificate.
b) Top 7.5% students from total students will eligible for Phase 2 and they will also get Merit Certificate.

Phase 2 : Practical Test

For VI std :
There will be 6 experiments of 5 marks based on General Science.
Max Marks : 30
Duration : 30 min (5 min per experiment)
Selection for Phase 3
a) Top 10% students will be consider for Phase 3.
b) Students must have secured minimum 30% in Phase 1 and Phase 2.

For IX Std :
i) Physics : 1 experiment
Max Marks : 10
Duration : 10 min.
ii) Chemistry : 1 experiment
Max Marks : 10
Duration : 10 min.
iii) Biology : 10 questions based on 10 specimens
Max Marks : 10
Duration : 10 min.

Phase 3 : Interview
Max Marks : 30
Duration : 5 to 10 min.
Selection Procedure :
Considering 30% marks of Phase 1 + Marks obtained in Phase 2 and Phase 3.
The selection of students in each phase for Mumbai, Thane and rest of Maharashtra is done separately for each standard and medium.

Scholarships and Awards

  • Top 10% students will get Gold Medal, Certificate and Scholarship of Rs. 1000/-.
  • Next top 60% students will get Silver Medal, Certificate and Scholarship of Rs. 500/-.
  • Remaining all students will get Bronze Medal, Certificate and Scholarship of Rs. 300/-.


How to Prepare:

  • Majority of the questions will be from SSC board text books.
  • Less emphasis will be given for knowledge based questions and more emphasis for understanding, reasoning, correlation, etc.
  • The questions related to general knowledge in science will be based on the topics like happenings of the last year and science around day to day life.
  • The question banks for VI and IX standard are available in the official book of MSTA in English and Marathi medium.
  • The question banks only give the general information about the examination and the sample questions
  • Experimental questions are given priority over other questions. Hence, make sure you read all the experiments given in your text books.

Some of the books which can be followed are:

  •  Text books of all Boards
  •  Dr.Homi Bhabha Balvaidnyanik Competition, Publisher : Menaka Prakashan Pune

Please Note:
1. Re-evaluation of the theory paper is not done
2. The passing certificates will be sent to the respective schools. Students can collect it from their respective schools.

Practical examination information

Standard VI – Sample Practicals for HBBVS
1. Some soil and soaked pulses are put in a sieve and the sieve is placed on a stand. In which direction the sprouts will come out of the pulses? Why?
2. Observe the specimen of the vine .State the function of the pointed part (tendril).
3. Observe the specimens .Divide them in to chordates and non chordates (Specimens like fish, fly, earthworm, crab, butterfly, lizard etc)
4. Wind the given thread around the given pencil without overlapping or gaps between the winds. Take measurements to find the approximate radius of the thread.
5. An object and a 100 gram weight are placed in the given pans. State whether the object is a)less than 100 grams2) more than 100 grams or 3) equal to 100 grams.
6. Find out the surface area of the given objects using the materials provided.
7. Without using any measuring scale find out the length of the object.
8. Measure the oscillations of the pendulum per minute using the given instrument.
9. Bounce the given balls from a same height. Which ball bouncing more? State the reason.
10. Identify the most and least powerful magnet.
11. Identify the lever used in the machine.
12. Identify the energy conversion in the working of the toy.
13. Which of the following objects can be used to produce biogas? (Specimen – Plastic flowers, paper flowers, real flowers)
14. Observe the given specimen and identify the labeled parts ( Parts of digestive system of a rat)
15. Form appropriate food chains using the correct animals. Each chain must contain at least three animals.
16. Observe the given specimen. Find out the average number of plants per unit (Total number of plants/number of units of the container).
17. Observe the given table and answer the questions.( Ex. Table of vaccination for a newborn and questions based on it)
18. Observe the given specimens and fill in the blanks .( samples of Shark and Bangda and questions based on their structure like size of scales, position of mouth, shape of tail etc.)
19. Observe the samples of fruits, flowers, stems, leaves and answer the questions or match the columns.
20. Draw a simple diagram of the given specimen and label the ……. ( Fins of fish, calyx of hibiscus, spines of Opuntia etc)

Instruction for HBBVS interview
• Students should bring the duly filled bio-data form along with them when they come for the interview.
• Students should reach 15 minutes prior to the interview time.
• They should bring two copies of the action research project report, one original and one black and white Xerox. The original copy will be returned to the students after the interview and the Xerox will be kept with MSTA office.
• Students should not bring any charts, models or certificates’ file.
• Each student will be having two interviews, one based on general awareness in science and another based on the action research work done by the student.
• Approximate time for each interview is about 7 to 10 minutes.
• Students may have to wait for some time for their turn of interview. So please bring water and healthy snacks.
• Wearing uniform is not compulsory.
• Students should contact the school authorities for the interview letter, bio-data form and other details if any.

HBBVS is one of the most popular school level examinations. For more such exams, read here.

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