Geography is a fundamental part of our world. It helps us understand the world around us. Learning about the physical, political, cultural, historical and environmental aspects of the continents, countries and cities; major rivers and oceans etc. will not only enhance our knowledge, but also helps us appreciate the diverse world we live in.
A student who prepares for a Geography Bee is better able to understand various topics that have an impact on our planet. These include climate change, desertification, El Nino, and issues related to resource depletion. It will also help the student comprehend political geography, global political issues, international relations and the economy.
North South Foundation’s Geography Bee also has a section devoted to Indian Geography and history.
For North South Foundation Geography Bee rules, participants should refer to: Rules .
To understand the scope of the contest for your grade level, refer to: Syllabus .
For help in preparing for the Geography contest, visit: Preparation .
If you have any more questions about the Geography Bee, visit: FAQ
In addition to all the general contest rules stated by North South Foundation, the following rules are applicable for the Geography Bee Competition.
There are 2 levels of competition in Geography Bee:
- JGB (Junior Geography Bee): Grades 1, 2 and 3
- SGB (Senior Geography Bee): Grades 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8
- A 1st rank winner at the North South Foundation National Finals Junior Geography Bee can only participate in the Senior Geography Bee the following contest year onwards.
- A 1st rank winner at the North South Foundation National Finals Senior National Finals of the North South Foundation Senior Geography contest is not eligible to compete in any North South Foundation Geography Bee contests.
- A National Geographic Bee winner is not eligible to participate in North South Foundation Geography Bee contests.
- Kids in Grades 4 to 8 are not eligible to participate in the Junior Geography Bee contests.
- Geography Bees (JGB and SGB) are held in two phases: Phase I (written) and Phase II (oral).
- Parents are not allowed in Phase I. They may be allowed in Phase II at the discretion of the judges, if the space permits.
- Phase I is a written test with 25 questions. All contestants will get the same 25 questions.
- The contestants will have 30 minutes to complete Phase I.
- Unclear and illegible writing might be open for misinterpretation. So, contestants are expected to write clearly and legibly. The decision of the judges is final.
- There will NOT be any partial credits. There will be NO negative points for any incorrect answer. The contestant will be awarded one point for the correct answer and zero for an incorrect answer.
- All Phase I sheets shall be returned at the end of the contest. All contestants will advance to Phase II (oral round).
- Phase II contains 5 oral rounds.
- During this phase, the pronouncer announces the question. The contestant is not allowed to ask the judges any information on the question. The contestant is allowed 30 seconds to provide his/her choice of the answer. The judges may award zero points to any contestant who ignores a request to start giving an answer.
- During each of the five rounds, each contestant gets a new question from the list. If a contestant gives an incorrect answer, the judges provide the correct answer. The next contestant will be given a new question from the list.
- The contestant will be awarded one point for the correct answer and zero for an incorrect answer.
Based on the combined scores from both phases, the judges will determine the winners.
The 1st place winner shall be ahead by at least one point to be declared as the champion.
In announcing the ranks 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, the judges will follow these rules:
- Announce Ranks 1, 2 and 3, if and only if there are at least 10 contestants
- Announce Ranks 1 and 2 ONLY, if there are 6-9 contestants
- Announce Rank 1 ONLY, if there are 5 contestants or less
Based on the scores from Ph I (questions 1-25) and Ph II (5 questions) for a combined total of 30, if there is a tie, the scheme outlined below is followed in the order given, to break the ties:
- Phase I score among questions 1-25
- Phase I score among questions 21-25
- Phase I score among questions 16-20
- Phase I score among questions 11-15
- Phase I score among questions 1-10
- If the above steps fail to break the tie in question, the foundation may use additional measures to resolve them or award joint ranks.
- Invitation to National Finals is based on the combined cutoff scores (max 30) determined for each eligible grade level for all the contestants nationally.
- The regional ranks have no bearing on determining if the contestant is invited to the national finals. and is not based on a direct correlation of ranks achieved by a contestant in a regional contest.
- For example, a 1st rank holder in a particular chapter might not be invited to the finals due to a low score.
- Similarly, a 5th rank holder of another chapter might be invited to the finals if his/her score meets the cutoff.
The questions will be related but not confined to the following categories.
Junior Geography Bee:
- General Physical Geography: Major Land forms and Water bodies including US and India.
- Political Geography: States & Capitals
- Physical Geography: Identify the locations and characteristics of the different regions of the United States, major mountains & water bodies
- National Parks
- Political Geography: States, Capitals & Major cities
- Physical Geography: Major mountains & waterways
- Cultural Geography: Languages, Landmarks, Music & Dance forms
- National Parks
- World Geography
- Political Geography: Important countries capitals on different continents
- Physical geography: major mountains & waterways, geographic terms
- Cultural geography: People, languages, holidays, cultural traditions and sports around the world
- UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Major tourist attractions, geographic locations of major cities & countries
Senior Geography Bee:
- General Physical Geography - Earth, Land Forms, Water bodies, Geographic terms, etc.
U.S., India and World
- Political Geography
- Historical Geography
- Physical Geography
- Cultural Geography
- Economic Geography
- Current Events
Up to 25% in both categories can be from Indian Geography.
*Disclaimer: The North South Geography Bee is not related to the National Geographic Bee conducted by the National Geographic Society though some similarities in format may exist.
- Geobee Challenge App – available in the App Store
- GEOBEE Study Corner by National Geographic
- The Geography Bee Complete Preparation Handbook: "1001 Questions & Answers to Help You Win Again and Again" By Matthew T. Rosenberg, Jennifer E. Rosenberg
- "The Handy Geography Answer Book" By Matthew T. Rosenberg
- "How To Ace The National Geographic Bee: Official Study Guide" By Stephen F. Cunha
- Rosenberg website: Preparing for the Geography Bee
- A resource for Junior Geo Bee: www.50states.com
- Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, by Andrew Wojtanik
The NSF Geography Bee is intended as an opportunity for elementary and middle school children to study geography and become more aware of the importance of Geography in day-to-day events.
Scarcely a day goes by when we are not reminded by the media of the ongoing struggle for survival that is being waged in all the far-flung corners of Planet Earth. Headlines tell of Tsunami in the Indian Ocean, a flood in Bangladesh, a famine in Ethiopia or an earthquake in Guatemala. We read of war in Iraq and Afghanistan or terrorism in the Middle East. Our TV screens show us these events in great graphic detail. An adequate understanding of Geography enriches our understanding of the news in its proper context.
For example, we will better understand why an earthquake near Indonesia in the Indian Ocean can affect so many countries around it. We should try to understand not only where these events are occurring, but also why they are taking place and how they will impact our lives.
Knowledge of Geography impacts our understanding of international relations, economy, history, environment, etc.
Finally a shrinking globe and global village are fast becoming a reality during the 21 st century. Geography is all the more relevant in adjusting to this new reality. The knowledge of differing peoples and places one a better citizen of the World today!
Being Indian-Americans, it is our responsibility and pride to impart the knowledge of Indian geography, history and its culture to our children. That is why we are making it a part of the syllabus for the NSF Geography Bee.
No, a participant can only participate in one Geography bee and in one regional center only. Eligible contestants from the regional competitions will be invited into the same bee for the NSF National Finals event.
Yes, a child in KG is allowed to participate in Junior Geography Bee, on an equal basis without any special privileges. Parents should bring young children into the contest with the primary aim of getting them familiar with the Bee. Over the last several years many young children have participated and done exceedingly well in various contests.
Online registration via NSF homepage is generally available, starting early January. You can also refer to the Regional Contest Calendar or ask your Regional Coordinator about registration deadlines and contest dates.
Make learning fun by having Maps displayed visibly at home. This creates stimulating environment that may stir an interest in Geography from an early age. A lot of learning can happen without the child even realizing it! Watch the news regularly as a family and encourage discussion of events. This would help the young children to become aware of the events happening around them.
NSF Geography Bee is not associated with the National Geographic Bee. You need to consult with your children’s school on the rules for entering the National Geographic Bee. What is important, however, is that by participating in the NSF contest, your child will be better prepared to compete in the National Geographic Bee.
NSF Senior Geography Bee is offered at all chapters. However, Junior Geography Bee is still offered as a pilot program only at selective centers . Consult your Chapter Coordinator for the specific contests being offered in your location.