The best resource for preparing for the National Championships are the past National Championships questions posted here as well as the questions used in the Quiz Bowl Tournament portion of the US Geography Championship’s Varsity and Junior Varsity National Championships from 2013-2016, as well as the Middle School and Elementary Division USGC Quiz Bowl Tournament National Championships from 2015. These can be found on the USGC website here. Questions used at the IGB’s Elementary and Middle School Division National Championships will be slightly easier than the Varsity and Junior Varsity levels, on the whole. Again, though, many (in fact, most) questions that have been asked at the Varsity and Junior Varsity levels in the USGC Quiz Bowl Tournament would not be out of place at the IGB’s USA Middle School and Elementary Division National Championships.
Likewise, if at all possible, we strongly recommend students get advance practice and experience with buzzer-based academic competition through participation in National History Bee and Bowl events (click here for Varsity and Junior Varsity tournaments, which are also open to elementary and middle schoolers – and see here for the dedicated Middle School and Elementary National History Bee and Bowl events) and through all subject quiz bowl tournaments (see here for the best compendium of upcoming tournaments, though the events listed on these forums are by no means the only competitions that exist). Many students (especially those with experience in other non-buzzer based geography competitions, but lacking buzzer-based academic competition experience) may find buzzer-based play takes some getting used to in order to excel at, and it is beneficial for students to get some buzzer-based competition experience (even if not on mostly geography questions) prior to the National Championships.
Links to additional buzzer-style quiz questions can be found on the National History Bee and Bowl’s website here (many of these questions have a historical geography focus). You can also view all-subject quiz questions at www.quizbowlpackets.com including a much narrower selection of all-geography events (in particular, any event labeled “Geography Monstrosity” in the Collegiate section of the website though those questions are considerably harder on average than even the Varsity and Junior Varsity National Championships questions for IGB. Still, there is certainly some overlap).
Additionally, we recommend that students keep up to date with current events, as a fair number of the questions have a focus on what is currently happening in the world, and how geography applies to national and international affairs. The Economist and The New York Times are worth reading in particular for this purpose (paywalls apply).
Motivated students might also consider becoming an AFS Exchange Student (or hosting one from another country) for a particularly unique chance to learn about foreign cultures and languages while studying overseas and living with a host family. Upon graduation, students can also further their geographic, international relations, and intercultural knowledge through participation in the International Youth Leadership Conference. Contact IGB founder, AFS alumnus (Semester Program to Vienna, Austria in 1998-1999), and IYLC past participant (Prague, 2003) David Madden if you have any further questions about either of these adventures at email@example.com.