National Geographic Bee Finals
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 National Geographic Bee or at the National Finals of the North South Foundation Senior Geography Bee is not eligible for competing in this and future geography contests conducted by the Foundation (National winners of Junior geography bee can participate in the Senior geography bee.) A contestant who participated in a higher level bee cannot participate in a lower level bee in subsequent years.
The National Finals of the Geography Bee will be held in three phases.
- Phase I is written,
- Phase II is an oral round while
- Phase III is a mix of oral and written rounds followed by a Championship sub-phase.
- The contest may include questions with multiple-choice format and without multiple-choice format.
Contestants are responsible to bring their own pencils and erasers.
- No parents are allowed in Phase I.
- No copying of questions or any sort of audio-taping or video-taping are allowed. If caught, contestants will be asked to leave the room and will not be allowed to compete in any more NSF competitions for this year and the future
- Contestants are seated in order of their badge numbers from left to right. The pronouncer and judges face the audience. The contestants face the judges and pronouncers. The judges are in complete control of the competition and their decisions are final
- Phase I is a written contest with 30 questions. All contestants get the same 30 questions in a booklet. The contestants need to complete this phase in 30 minutes.
- Unclear and illegible writing might be open for misinterpretation. So, contestants are expected to write clearly and legibly.
- Contestants are required to transfer the answers from the question paper to the corresponding numbered row in the student answer sheet (last page of the question paper booklet). In the case of multiple choice format questions, only the letter needs to be transferred to the student answer sheet.
- All Phase I packets should be returned at the end of the contest. It is the responsibility of the contestant to write the badge number on the student answer sheet.
- All contestants will advance to Phase II. Contestants will be divided into groups of about 20, and each group will be seated in a separate room in order of their badge number. Badges will specify the group number.
- Phase II contains 3 oral rounds. In each round, each contestant gets a new question. The contestant faces the judges and speaks into a microphone.
- The pronouncer reads the question along with the corresponding multiple choices (if the question is in a multiple-choice format) to the contestant. The contestant will provide the answer. In the case of a multiple choice format, the contestant will provide the answer in both the letter form (ex: B) and the text form (the actual text in the choice.) Both the letter and text should match. If there is no match, the contestant is awarded zero points.
- The contestant is allowed 15 seconds to provide an answer. The judges may award zero points to any contestant who ignores a request to start giving an answer.
- The contestant is awarded one point for the correct answer and zero for an incorrect answer. 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.
- Based on the cumulative scores of Phase I and II (total out of 33), the judges determine a list of top 10 contestants who advance to Phase III. Because of potential ties, the judges use tie-breaker rules outlined below to arrive at the number of top contestants to go into Phase III. While contestants are divided into groups in Phase II, those selected for Phase III are all seated in one room.
- Phase III consists of two sub-phases: (a) Elimination and (b) Championship. Sub-phase (a) is a double-elimination phase where up to seven contestants out of ten are eliminated to determine the top three candidates. Sub-phase (b) proceeds with the top 2 or 3 candidates.
- In Phase III, all the rules for Phase II apply with the following changes:
- If all contestants are eliminated at the same time, they all will continue. At this point, it becomes a single-elimination process to determine the top three contestants.
- If several contestants are eliminated at the same time, and if there are only three contestants remaining, the three contestants advance to the final championship round.
- If several contestants are eliminated at the same time, and if there are only two contestants remaining, those two automatically advance to the final championship round. Remaining contestants, however, will continue to determine the third spot for the championship sub-phase.
- If several contestants are eliminated at the same time, and if there is only one contestant remaining, that contestant advances to the final round. The remaining contestants will continue till only two contestants remain. These two will move on to the final championship round.
- If several contestants are eliminated at the same time, and if there are only four contestants remaining, those four advance to the next round and the process continues till the top three spots are determined.
- The First, Second and Third place winners are decided based on single elimination rounds in the Championship Phase. All three contestants are administered common questions. This is a single-elimination round. There is a possibility of more than two contestants getting eliminated in one round. If that happens, the contest continues for the second and third position but the other candidate is the champion. The first place winner shall be ahead by at least one point to be declared as the champion. If any of these top three positions remains tied after a maximum of about 10 rounds, it will be broken as per the tie-breaker rules outlined below. For the other ranks too, any tie will be broken by using tie-breaker rules as outlined below.
- Based on the situation, the coordinator and the judges may reduce or increase the number of rounds allowed for the championship rounds. Their decisions are final.
To break ties, the scheme outlined below is followed in the order given:
- Combined Phase I and Phase II score
- Phase I score alone
- Phase I score among questions 26-30
- 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 there more than 10 candidates at this point after the 7 tie-breaker rules have been applied, then only the students who tied for the last position will go through a set of oral tie-breaker questions. This tie-breaker will be single elimination i.e. a student getting an answer wrong will be eliminated. This tie-breaker session will be conducted at the beginning of the time period that is identified as Phase III in the schedule
- If the above steps fail to break the tie in question, the Foundation may use additional measures to break the tie.
Phase I (Written):
Phase II (Oral):
Phase III (Oral):
Some of the Phase III Scenarios and how it is handled
Championship Round, Winners and Ranks:
- 2006 Junior Geography Bee
- 2006 Senior Geography Bee
- 2007 Junior Geography Bee Finals
- 2007 Senior Geography Bee Finals
National Geographic Society conducts National Geographic Bee every year across participating schools in US:
National Geography Bee website.*Disclaimer: The NSF Geography Bee is not related to the National Geographic Bee conducted by the National Geographic Society though some similarities in format may exist, as one of its goals is to help children prepare for the latter.
- GEOBEE - Study Corner
- 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
- "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
- Be a Geo Bee: 1,575 Questions for Aspiring Geography Bees by Sumhith Veda Aradhyula
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.