Since 2012, International Academic Competitions has overseen the United States Geography Olympiad, a nationwide competition focusing on all aspects of geography. Like the National History Bee, the USGO features Varsity, Junior Varsity, Middle School, and Elementary School divisions. For the 2018-2019 academic year, Varsity students are defined as students born before July 1, 2003. All other primary and secondary school students can compete in the Junior Varsity division. The Middle School division is open solely to 6th through 8th graders, while the Elementary School division is open to 5th graders and younger. See www.geographyolympiad.com for full details.
The top four Varsity students at the National Championships are eligible to attend the International Geography Olympiad (aka iGeo) as Team USA. USGO Staff oversees the trip to iGeo and in 2018, the USA finished 3rd out of over 40 teams overall at iGeo, and two of our four students won gold medals!
At the regional level for Varsity and Junior Varsity students, the USGO features National Qualifying Exams which can either be proctored by a teacher or homeschool instructor, but are more commonly taken at National History Bee and Bowl high school-level state and regional tournaments. The NQE is offered during the lunch break at all-day events, or during the check-in period at afterschool events. Students can also qualify for the USGO National Championships by either finishing in the top half of students in their division at the site where they take the NQE, or by finishing above the National Median Score for their version of the NQE. There are 3 separate versions of the NQE – these correspond to the different sets offered at the NHBB high school-level tournament sites where the NQE is given. Students can take all 3 exams, but only need to qualify once. The 2019 Varsity and Junior Varsity USGO Nationals will be held on Friday, April 26 in Arlington, VA in conjunction with the NHBB Varsity and Junior Varsity National History Bee and Bowl National Championships.
For the Elementary and Middle School divisions, the National Qualifying Exam is also offered as a way to qualify for the National Championships. The 2019 Elementary and Middle School USGO Nationals will be held in June in conjunction with the Middle School and Elementary School National History Bee and Bowl, National Science Bee, and US Academic Bee and Bowl National Championships.
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