There are ten official competition events at the 2018 International Geography Bee World Championships. Three of these are team events. Three of the individual events combine to determine the official overall International Geography Bee World Championship title. The other events count towards the medal table we will maintain. The Historical Geography Bee is a joint event with the International History Olympiad; medals won in that event will count towards both the IGB and Olympiad medals tables (even if a student isn’t otherwise participating in both the IGB World Championship and the Olympiad).
Events counting towards the IGB World Championship Title
The IGB World Championship Title is decided on the “rank points” system. Each student is ranked in each competition in the order of their finish. Students receive the number of rank points that corresponds to their rank, though for ties, if two students tie for second, for example, they would each receive 2.5 rank points for finishing tied for both second and effectively being tied for third place as well. The student with the fewest rank points is the overall champion; in the event of ties for the top spots, the students would play a tiebreaker consisting of all three event styles, with the rank points system holding for that as well.
1. International Geography Exam – Participation is Required
The International Geography Exam is a 400 question multiple-choice exam with questions on all aspects of world geography. 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. The Exam is analogous to the Battery Exam at the International History Olympiad. The Exam will take place at the Hotel Adlon on July 12 from 10:00am-12:00pm. There will be one 15 minute break. Students (and 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.
Distribution is as follows for every 100 questions:
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.
2. International Geography Showdown – Participation is Not Required
The International Geography Showdown is a buzzer-based quiz tournament with standard “pyramidal-style” paragraph-length questions. However, in contrast with the International Geography Quiz, in all cases in the showdown, only two students will compete at once, in a head-to-head format! The exact format of the showdown will in some ways be dependent on the number of competing students in each age division, though for all students it will involve a series of at least five preliminary rounds with 12 questions (and tiebreakers if necessary) and then playoffs. The draw for the Showdown will be based off of the International Geography Exam results. The Showdown will be held at Berlin Brandenburg International School from 9:00am-1:10pm on July 16.
3. International Geography Quiz – Participation is Required
The International Geography Quiz is also a buzzer-based tournament, though the format here will be much more familiar to most students, as this event is very similar to the Geography Bee format used at the Asian, Canadian, European, and US championships. There will be five rounds of preliminary competition followed by playoffs for the top students. The question distribution both here and for the Showdown will be comparable to the distribution used for the International Geography Exam taking into account rounding necessary for the number of questions in each round. The International Geography Quiz will take place at the Berlin Brandenburg International School from 9am-12pm on July 17 for the preliminary rounds. The Semifinals will be held at BBIS at 12:50pm; the Finals will be held at 1:20pm that same day.
Other individual events
4. Berlin Conference Simulation – Participation is Not Required
Please Download the Berlin Conference Simulation Guide Here!
The Berlin Conference Simulation is considerably different from most other events in that it is less of a direct test of geography knowledge, and more of an event where participants will need to apply their knowledge of historical geography to solve problems related to the colonization of Africa. Students will role play as a character with a defined position. During the simulation, IGB staff will then provide new information continually based on the decisions made by participants. This dynamic environment will call for critical thinking and problem solving skills, along with the ability to persuade and work with other participants. For students who have competed in Model UN conferences or in the Historical Simulation at the International History Olympiad, this will be somewhat more familiar. However, the topic, rules, and guidelines of the simulation will be made clear in advance, so that students new to a competition along these lines will be able to compete and participate effectively as well. The Simulation will take place from 10am-4pm at the Hotel Steigenberger on July 14.
5. Geography Scramble – Participation is Not Required
The Scramble is a buzzer-based tournament with a very specific topic. The topic will be announced on July 1. As such, the focus is much more on ability to study an in-depth topic quickly as opposed to having a vast storehouse of geographic knowledge as is the case for the other buzzer-based competitions. The Scramble will be played from 4pm-6pm at the Hotel Steigenberger on July 14.
6. Historical Geography Bee – Participation is Not Required
The Historical Geography Bee is a unique joint event between the International Geography Bee World Championships and the International History Olympiad. The event is a buzzer-based tournament following standard Bee rules. Further details and sample questions from when this event was held in the past at the Olympiad can be found on the Olympiad website here.
7. Geography Knockout – Participation is Not Required
The Geography Knockout competition will use the same rules as the History Knockout competition for the International History Olympiad (though obviously with geography questions instead). The rules for Knockout are explained on the Knockout page on the Olympiad website here. The finals of the Knockout tournament will be played in the Mauerpark during the Prenzlauer Berg Walking Tour on the evening of July 13 at 8:15pm. The preliminary rounds will be played that afternoon on Museum Island.
Team events – All 3 are Required
Teams will be determined through the first 50 questions of the International Geography Exam which will be submitted after 15 minutes. Where possible, students will be paired together with students in their age division from their same country or state, however, some degree of mixed teams will be inevitable. The Exam will be used to seed mixed teams as evenly as possible though countries and states with 6 or more students in an age division will still field their strongest possible team on the basis of Exam results. All teams will consist of three or four students (this is different from the International History Olympiad where all teams consist of 2 or 3 students).
8. Treasure Hunt
The Treasure Hunt will take place on the afternoon of the first day. Students will have a chance to explore Berlin (supervised by IGB staff, of course) and make their way through the city to stop off at checkpoints. Participants will need to be able to be familiar with the geography of Berlin, decide on the best route to take, make decisions in real time that are likely to lead to the highest score, and be able to gauge the skills of their teammates. This event will be part Amazing Race, part city safari, part travel planning and a whole lot of fun as participants get to know their teammates and our fascinating host city!
This new event will sort-of recreate the American classic game show Family Feud. But instead of asking participants “we asked 100 people to name something phound in their kitchen that starts with the letter “S”, the top six answers are on the board, now you need to name them.” (or something zany like that), participants will need to name, say, the top phive countries by population in Sub-Saharan Africa. Or the top phour worldwide producers of rice. Or the six largest states by area of India. Get the pheel of it? It will certainly be a phantastic way to cap the phirst phull day of competitions!
10. Team Quiz
The Team Quiz will be an analogue of sorts to the Hextathlon competition at the International History Olympiad. Participants will collaborate with their teammates to answer various questions in themed rounds, some of which will have audio and visual components. This will take place from 7pm – 9pm on July 14, the night before the International History Olympiad begins at the Hotel Steigenberger. Competitors taking part in the Olympiad will then meet with the other Olympiad participants at the Berlin Brandenburg International School for the Olympiad Opening Ceremonies the following morning.