The Regional level of the European Division of The International Geography Bee consists of two variants: the Championships Qualifying Exam (CQE) and the Regional Quiz Tournaments (RQT).
Championships Qualifying Exam
The Championships Qualifying Exam has two versions: Alpha and Beta. These are meant to be of comparable difficulty and on both versions, for all age divisions, the rules are the same. The questions used are the same as well for each age division, though students are only ranked against other students in their same age division off the version of the exam they are taking.
Each Exam has 50 multiple-choice questions with 4 possible answers to each question, and students always have 20 minutes to compete it. Students receive 2 points for a correct answer, 0 points for an answer left blank, and -1 point for an incorrect response.
The CQE is always offered at tournament sites for the International History Bee and Bowl’s European regional tournaments, a list of which is available here. The version of the CQE offered at each tournament site corresponds to the question set (also called Alpha and Beta) that each tournament is running on. Click on the dots on the map at www.ihbbeurope.com to see which question set is offered at which tournament (and thus which CQE version will be given there). Students may also take either the Alpha or Beta version of the CQE at their place of study with either a homeschool instructor or teacher proctoring it. Costs of the CQE vary from country to country, but are generally about 15 Euros or equivalent in local currency to take it at a tournament site. The CQE is free if you take it with a teacher or homeschool proctor administering it. If you are interested in any of these options, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note that students qualify for the European Championships by accomplishing one of the following things:
1. Finishing in the top half of students in their age division who take their respective version of the CQE at any given tournament site. If there is an odd number of students, or if two students tie for the last spot, we “round up” so that 4 students out of 7 would qualify, for example, unless there was a tie for 4th place, in which case 5 (or more, if more than two students tied for 4th) would qualify.
2. Students can also qualify by finishing in the top half throughout Europe among all students who take the CQE within their age division for any given exam. These median scores are calculated for Alpha and Beta Sets for all students who have taken an Exam by April 1.
3. Any student who scores at the automatic qualifying level for the IGB World Championships – a score of at least 75 (if they are Varsity), 65 (if they are Junior Varsity), or 55 (if they are Middle School) – also qualifies for the IGB European Championships.
To qualify for the IGB World Championships off the Championships Qualifying Exam, students must finish either in the top 25% in their age division for the version of the Exam they are taking (either at their tournament site, or for all students across Europe by April 1 – in both case rounded up if there are ties and/or odd numbers of students). A minimum score of 30 is needed however from all students who qualify in this way. Or, students who obtain a score of at least 75 (if they are Varsity), 65 (if they are Junior Varsity), or 55 (if they are Middle School) also qualify regardless of where their score stacks up against other students from throughout Europe.
Registration is not required for students to take the CQE at an IHBB Europe tournament site – they may simply show up at the tournament site and take the Exam there (be sure to arrive at least 15 minutes before the start of the scheduled lunch break).
To take the CQE at a student’s school or with a homeschool instructor, please email email@example.com for further instructions.
Students who take an exam at their school or with a homeschool proctor may qualify on the basis of finishing in the top half in Europe on that version of the Exam (students who take the Exam at a tournament site can also qualify as mentioned, by being in the top half of students in their age division on an Exam at that site), or by reaching the qualifying score for the World Championships.
Past versions of the CQE and their answer keys are available here. For further practice resources, see the past Exams on the US Geography Championships website here. Note that these Exams have more of a focus on the geography of the USA than we will have on the CQE in Europe. Roughly 30-40% of the questions on the CQE will focus on the geography of Europe; the other questions will focus on the geography of other parts of the world.
Regional Quiz Tournaments
Regional Quiz Tournaments for the International Geography Bee function the same way as they do for the International History Bee, featuring buzzer-based play on short paragraph-length questions, which progress from harder to easier information as the question is read. The questions cover all parts of the world and all aspects of geography (political, cultural, physical, etc.) Each tournament has 3 preliminary rounds with 30 questions in the Varsity and JV Divisions, and 25 questions in the Middle School Division. Upon reaching 8 points in a round (each question is worth one point), students exit the round, but they get bonus points based on how quickly they reach eight. The students in each age division with the highest cumulative point total after the preliminaries qualify for the final round. A full rules file is available here for download; note that these are the same rules as are used for the International History Bee.
Students who finish in the top half in their age division at a RQT qualify for BOTH the European Championships and World Championships. However, if any Regional Quiz Tournaments are held at the intramural level, then the winning student qualifies for the World Championships, and the top 25% qualify in each age division for the European Championships.
IGB Regional Quiz Tournaments are new to Europe for the 2019-2020 academic year. If your school is potentially interested in hosting one of these tournaments, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.