What: 400 question multiple choice exam – Counts 1/3 towards overall individual IGB World Championship!
Who: Required individual event for competing students. Open to family, friends, parents, and coaches!

The Battery is the only required individual event at IGB Worlds, as it is used to seed the teams. It also counts one third (along with the Written Exam and  towards the individual IGB World Championship title. The Battery, however, is also an event in its own right, with 400 multiple choice questions on all aspects, fields, and places of geography. The Battery will be one of the first events at IGB Worlds. As with the Qualifying Exams, students receive two points for a correct answer, zero points for an answer left blank, and lose a point for an incorrect answer.

As mentioned, the Battery is used to determine the composition of National and State teams for the team events at IGB Worlds. Unlike at the Olympiad, at IGB Worlds the Battery will not be split into two parts with only the first part counting.

The top three or four students from a country or state will form the A Team for that country or state, the next top three scoring students will form the B Team and so on per age group. If only one or two students are representing a state or country, they will be paired up either with a higher age division within one’s country or state or with students from a different country or state. For 2022, IGB Worlds teams will have 3 or 4 students. Olympiad teams will have 2 or 3 students.

Students (and Parents, Family Members and Coaches who are also competing) will have 55 minutes for Part 1 (200 questions) and 55 minutes for Part 2 (200 questions) with a 10 minute break in between. This works out to an average of 16.5 seconds per question.

A distribution for 2022 will be forthcoming shortly. The 2022 distribution will be similar to, but not identical to the 2018 distribution, which was as follows:

24 human (not location specific), 24 physical (not location specific, including oceans), 6 miscellaneous concepts (from any discipline), 8 US (roughly half human half physical), 8 Europe, 10 Africa, 8 other Americas, 12 Asia, 2 Australia / Oceania / Antarctica.

The human / physical in the sets of 24 are sets of related questions with a concept and then concrete examples that relate back to those.

Disclaimer: the distribution may vary by 1 or 2 questions per category for every 100 questions.

In 2018, this event was called the International Geography Exam. The Exam from 2018 and its Answer Key are listed here for review and practice.
2018 International Geography Bee World Championships – International Geography Exam Part 1
2018 International Geography Bee World Championships – International Geography Exam Part 2
2018 International Geography Bee World Championships – International Geography Exam Part 3
2018 International Geography Bee World Championships – International Geography Exam Part 4
2018 International Geography Bee World Championships – International Geography Exam Answer Key

What: 75 question multiple choice exam
Who: Individual event for competing students. Open to family, friends, parents, and coaches!

In 2022 we will offer a second multiple choice exam (in addition to the required Battery) on a specific topic. In 2022, our topic will be related to where our venue will be, so the topic here will be announced by the end of 2020. An exact distribution will then be forthcoming. The exam will feature 75 questions, and will be scored on the usual 2 points for a correct response, 0 for a blank, and -1 for an incorrect basis. The time limit for the Exam is 35 minutes.


What: Crossword Puzzle Tournament
Who: Individual event for competing students. Open to family, friends, parents, and coaches!

The Crossword Puzzle Tournament is one of many new events for 2022 at IGB Worlds. This will consist of a set of three puzzles of increasing difficulty. Students and family members will receive the first puzzle at the start of the competition. Points will be awarded for each letter filled in correctly, with bonus points going to anyone correctly finishing all letters in a puzzle correctly, and further bonus points going to the fastest competitors to do so. The overall time limit will be 70 minutes, but there is no set allocation to how much time must be spent on which puzzle. However, the first puzzle must be turned in to receive the second puzzle, and the second puzzle must be turned in prior to receiving the third puzzle. Once a puzzle is turned in, the overall time (not the specific time spent on each puzzle) will be noted, and that will be used to calculate the timing bonus points among all correct finishers. Once a puzzle has been turned in, it may not be edited further. All entries in the puzzle will have geographical relevance (i.e. there will not be filler words).

What: Game show-style geography quiz game
Who: Required team event for competing students.

Geographeud once again returns to the IGB Worlds event line up for 2022. This required team event sees two teams compete against each other in a competition reminiscent of the American game show Family Feud. In Geographeud, we ask teams to name one of the top five (or six, or seven, etc.) of a geographical category. For example “Excluding Brazil and Portugal, name the top five countries with the most Portuguese speakers.” Or, “Name the top six lakes by volume in the world.” Teams send up one of their players to buzz in on an initial guess – whoever gets the higher value controls the board (or can elect to pass). We then continue with the other team members, though once a team gets three strikes, the other team then can win the round by naming one of the remaining answers the first team missed. Of course if the first team gets all entries before getting three strikes, then they win.
The exact number of rounds in each game will be a function of the overall number of teams. At a minimum, the top four teams in each age division will advance to the final rounds on Day 7.

What: Game show-style geography quiz game
Who: Individual event for competing students

Geopardy, as its name suggests, is a game based on the popular quiz show Jeopardy! with a number of adjustments so that we can make it a competition event for IGB Worlds. Up to 8 students compete at a time, selecting clues of varying values and difficulty from a grid of categories (all of which, of course, will have geographic themes). Students will not be able to ring in until the moderator has finished reading each question. If a student answers correctly, they get the points, and pick the next question.
For sake of keeping things clear to non-native English speakers (and those not as familiar with the game show), we will form the questions in the form of questions, and students will only need to give the answers (i.e. and not answer in the form of a question as on the show). There may be various hidden squares (i.e. not just Daily Doubles as on the show), but other twists as well. The number of rounds each student will play will be a function of how many players sign up, but we will have at least several students advance out of each preliminary round game, so that it’s not incumbent on students to win their first match if they are playing against up to 7 other players.

What: Interactive game
Who: Individual event for competing students

The Great Trading Game, a mainstay of the International History Olympiad since 2015, will make its IGB Worlds debut in 2022. This interactive game combines knowledge of geography, economics, trading acumen, and Caribbean trade routes, with fast-paced game play. The Great Trading Game is the brainchild of IGB Worlds staff member, Jay Wickliff, a member of the social studies faculty at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia.

Further details and rules for the Great Trading Game will be forthcoming shortly. Participants are also encouraged to have a look at the International History Olympiad website for the Great Trading Game as past files pertaining to the game are contained there as well.

What: Multi-faceted quiz competition with six different components
Who: Required team event for competing students

The Hextathlon (sometimes spelled Hexathlon; both versions are considered correct) has been a component of the International History Olympiad since 2015 and will be making its debut at IGB Worlds in 2022. The Hextathlon is a collaborative team event where team members will work together to come up with correct answers on 6 different types of quizzes, including the following:

1. Fill in the blank quiz
2. 3-2-1 quiz (Teams will hear questions audibly and have the chance to submit an answer off a difficult clue for 3 points, a moderate clue for 2 points, or an easy clue for 1 point. Clues will be read in 3-2-1 order, with teams having an opportunity to submit an answer before the next clue is read. Teams can only submit 1 answer per question, however (i.e. you cannot submit an answer after each clue, or go back and change your answer upon hearing a later clue)
3. Multiple choice quiz
4. Map quiz
5. Audio quiz
6. Visual quiz

There will be a limited amount of time for each version of the quiz (15 or 20 minutes for each step), and each quiz will be worth the same amount in the overall score.

What: Multiple choice exam
Who: Individual event for competing students. Open to family, friends, parents, and coaches!

The Historical Geography Exam replaces the Historical Geography Bee for the 2022 IGB World Championships (though note that the Historical Geography Bee is still a component competition of the International History Olympiad during the following week). Students will have 50 minutes to answer 100 questions with the usual scoring system of 2 points for a correct answer, 0 for an answer left blank, and -1 for an incorrect answer being in place. Questions will increase in difficulty as the exam progresses.

What: Multiple choice and written exam – follows the curriculum of the AP Human Geography Exam
Who: Individual event for competing students

At the 2022 International Geography Bee World Championships, students will have a chance to compete in an exam that is identical in its syllabus and structure to the College Board’s AP Human Geography Exam. The sole difference between the AP exam and the exam at IGB Worlds will be that students will only have 40 minutes for the multiple choice portion, and 1 hour and 5 minutes for the written portion. There will be a 5 minute break in between the two portions; students will not be able to go back and work on the multiple choice portion after they have turned that section in. To prepare for this competition, we strongly suggest that (if your school offers it) you take AP Human Geography as a course, and if your school does not offer it, you should teach yourself the syllabus and still take the official AP exam. We also suggest you prepare with this book as its author, Jason Flowers, will be on the staff of IGB Worlds and will be the author and lead grader of the exam. This is one of the most demanding events of the week, and we hope that many students will rise to the challenge and take it.

What: Board game
Who: Individual event for competing students. Open to family, friends, parents, and coaches!

From February 2016 through July 2019, International Academic Competitions Executive Directors David and Nolwenn Madden traveled non-stop without any home base. This 3.5 year odyssey (and lots of travel prior to that as well) was instrumental in establishing competitions in over 30 countries around the world that paved the way for the IGB World Championships. Throughout this time period (and still to this day, as now David and Nolwenn travel about 50% of the time while maintaining a home base in Burlington, Vermont), a knowledge of geography was essential in determining the strategy for IAC’s growth around the world. Travel planning, a knowledge of language distributions and climate patterns, familiarity with exchange rates and international politics, and map skills are just some of the many ways that geography knowledge played a role (in a “meta” sense, if you will…) in establishing geography knowledge competitions.

At the 2022 IGB World Championships, you will be able to join in the fun of IAC’s growth by playing IAC: The Board Game which simulates David and Nolwenn’s adventure. You’ll need to bring your geography knowledge, an ability to apply it to real-world problem solving, and your strategic decision making skills in order to take home the gold medal in this unique and challenging event. Further details will become available once the rules of the game have been determined in full.

What: Game show-style geography quiz game
Who: Individual event for competing students

Knockout is a competition unique to the IGB World Championships and the International History Olympiad.* Up to 10 players sit or stand in a circle. One player begins, and then selects another player – that player then has to answer a geography quiz question correctly. If they don’t, they get a strike. If they answer correctly, then they get the chance to pick the next player. If you get a certain number of strikes, then you’re out! The top players move on to additional rounds. At the end of the rounds, the last players to get knocked out receive bronze and silver medals, and the sole survivor is the gold medalist.

* IGB Worlds trivia note! When David was an exchange student in Vienna, he enjoyed watching Jeder Gegen Jeden (translation: Each Against Everyone) – a German language quiz show that eighteen years later provided the idea for Knockout. If you’re interested in seeing an episode of Jeder Gegen Jeden, click here. Even if you don’t speak German, you can probably get the gist of the show – and if you listen carefully, you may even be able to figure out a few of the questions and answers!

What: Exam
Who: Individual event for competing students

Geography, as an academic discipline, has numerous quantitative applications. With this new event for 2022, IGB Worlds challenges its competitors to put their math skills to the test in an exam featuring problems with geographic applications. While a knowledge of math (including standard high school geometry, algebra, and statistics), will be needed, so will a knowledge of geographic concepts. An ability to interpret graphs and charts will also be needed, and to a lesser extent, concepts from trigonometry and algebra II (no calculus will be needed, however).
What will not be tested here will be standard factual geography content (i.e. knowledge of countries’ capitals, physical and political geography, etc. as there are numerous other competitions for that). This will be a challenging competition, but an important one, especially for students looking to pursue university studies in geography, environmental science, political science, civil engineering, and related fields. Sample questions and a broad distribution of question topics will be provided at a later date.

What: Simulation of a geography crisis
Who: Individual event for competing students

Geographers in the real world must often deal with environmental and anthropogenic problems. This simulation will provide students a hands-on opportunity to simulate a geography-themed crisis in real time which they must solve by grappling with negotiations and real time updates provided by our staff team. Students will be given a role that they must then play throughout the preliminary stages. The top students from the preliminary stages will then proceed to a final stage where they will need to play a different character and come to a resolution of the crisis – if they can…

Note that a simulation guide will be provided in the coming months, along with further details regarding the background of the simulation. Students will receive their role for the preliminary stages in advance of the simulation, though not until June 2020 once students have selected all of their events for IGB Worlds.

What: Research paper and oral defense
Who: Individual event for competing students.

For the 2022 International Geography Bee World Championships, we are introducing a new event whereby students will do their own research, the Symposium. The Symposium will have three components. First, students will write a 3000-4000 word research paper on a topic of their choice, as long as it is within the broader theme of the general topic, which will be announced here by early 2022. Possible avenues of exploration include demography, the impact of climate change and natural disasters, cultural practices, island biogeography, land use patterns, urban planning, and more. We encourage students to read through academic geography journals to get inspiration for paper topics, and to explore how professional geographers conduct research.
The research paper must be entirely original, though it is permitted for students to submit a relevant paper that they have previously written as part of their academic studies in school or as a homeschooled student. Papers must be formatted to include proper footnotes and a bibliography and should include a wide variety of sources. Any evidence of plagiarism will lead to immediate disqualification.

Students’ papers will be due on June 1, 2022, and will then be read by IGB Worlds staff. The top students will then be subject to an oral examination by their readers. Those who pass the oral examination will take part in the Symposium with geographers, teachers, and academics (who will have read students’ papers in advance). The Symposium will consist of a final defense of the paper followed by lunch with the professional geographers and instructors. The top three students in each age division, as selected by the readers and examiners will win the gold, silver, and bronze medals.

Note: You are welcome to use whichever citation format you prefer, although you must cite sources. Footnotes are preferred over endnotes, if you are using footnotes. You are also welcome to use MLA format (whereby, you would just indicate the author’s name [and work if citing more than one source by the same author] in parentheses, followed by the relevant page number). For all papers, a bibliography must be included, and a wide variety of sources (especially primary sources and interviews) is encouraged.

What: Treasure Hunt
Who: Required team event for competing students.

The 2020 IGB Worlds Treasure Hunt will be a multi-faceted event for teams requiring different aspects of geography knowledge. As in 2018, the rules and parameters of this event will be announced at IGB Worlds at the start of the Treasure Hunt.

What: Written exam – Counts 1/3 towards overall individual IGB World Championship!
Who: Individual event for competing students.

The Written Exam is an important component of IGB Worlds which will ask students to write responses to various challenging questions. Factual and analytical skills will both be tested, as both are needed for students to write effective responses to the questions. Bearing in mind that English is not the native language of many competing students, considerations of English style, orthography, and grammar will not be considered important here unless they largely impede the ability of the grader to understand what the competitor is trying to say. Participation in the Written Exam is not required, but it counts 1/3 towards the Individual International Geography Bee World Championship title. Players in 2022 will likely have 90 minutes to complete the Exam.

The structure of the Written Exam is yet to be determined, but it will likely be similar (if not identical) to the format of the Written Exam of the International History Olympiad. Sample questions and a grading rubric, along with the structure of the exam will be posted well in advance of IGB Worlds.