For students in the USA, International Academic Competitions organizes two separate geography competitions: the exam-based US Geography Championships and the buzzer-based geography quiz tournament known as the International Geography Bee. IGB is a worldwide geography quiz competition that is contested in different regions of the world (the US being one of them), and then the top students win the right to play in the International Geography Bee World Championships which are held in conjunction with the International History Olympiad on a biennial basis. The inaugural IGB World Championships was held in Berlin, Germany in 2018 and the next IGB World Championship will be held in 2024.

The US Division of the IGB consists of the Qualifying Exam, and the National Championships. The same age divisions and the same definitions for these apply to the US Division of the IGB as they do for the US Geography Championships.

The 2023 Varsity/JV National Championships of the International Geography Bee will take place during the IAC Varsity/JV National Championships, happening April 27-30, 2023 in Arlington, VA, while the 2023 Middle/Elementary School Championships of the IGB will take place during the IAC Middle/Elementary School National Championships, happening June 1-4, 2023 in Arlington, VA.

US Varsity and JV students qualify for the National Championships of IGB, as well as USGC, by qualifying on the USGC/IGB qualifying exam.

For Middle/Elementary students, they must first take the Online Regional Qualifying Exam (which is free at these levels). Students who pass that level then must compete in the Regional Finals. Students who finish in the top 50% at the Middle and Elementary School Regional Finals qualify for the IGB US National Championships. Middle School and Elementary School students automatically qualify for the National Championships of the US Geography Championships if they qualify for the IGB Regional Finals.

US students qualify for the World Championships of IGB by finishing in the top half of their age division at Nationals, by finishing in the top 25% in the Regional Tournaments(for Middle/Elementary students only), or by scoring at least a 75 on any National Qualifying Exam version. Qualification is then valid for two years or until whenever the next IGB World Championships are held.

The cost to compete at the IGB National Championships in 2023 is $95 for the Varsity and Junior Varsity Divisions, and $135 for the Middle School and Elementary School Divisions, and for the US Geography Championships, the cost is $95 for Varsity and Junior Varsity, while it’s $115 for Middle and Elementary students.

Please note that Middle and Elementary students can qualify for and participate in the JV National Championships, but qualifying for the JV National Championships does not qualify a student automatically for the Middle/Elementary School National Championships. They must still qualify as normal.

The International Geography Bee is organized under the auspices of the staff of International Academic Competitions. More information on the International Geography Bee is available on the IGB website at For further questions about USGC, IGB or IAC, please email us at

Good luck!