100_5380Click here for information on the 2023 Middle School & Elementary School Divisions of the USGC National Championships.

2023 USGC Varsity & Junior Varsity Nationals Information:

International Academic Competitions is excited to announce that the 2023 Varsity & Junior Varsity US National Championships of the US Geography Championships as part of the IAC Varsity/Junior Varsity National Championships, being held April 27-30, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. Please visit https://hs.iacnationals.com/ for more information.

Format and Schedule of Varsity and Junior Varsity Nationals

At the 2023 Varsity and Junior Varsity National Championships of the USGC, all participating students will take part in a three-part competition divided into two one-hour blocks of time. The three parts are all exams this year.

1. PART I – (60 minutes total for test taking, 15 for administration)A Written Exam, similar (though shorter) to the one used at the International Geography Olympiad and the first half (40 questions) of the Multiple Choice Exam.

In this block of time, students will need to complete a Written Exam which will consist of short-answer responses. The best practice resource are prior years’ written exams, which are found with their answer keys here. During this hour, students will also complete the first half of the Multiple Choice Exam (40 of the 80 questions). Students can spend as much time on the Written Exam and/or the Multiple Choice Exam as they wish, but after this hour is over, they cannot adjust answers on either. The Written Exam will have the following different sections:

-Geography and current events
-Historical geography
-Cultural geography
-Economic geography
-Urban geography
-Climate geography

See the International Geography Olympiad website links for additional examples of past questions in this style from the Written Response Exams.

This year’s Multiple Choice Exam will consist of 80 questions, which will be similar to past years’ National Championship multiple choice questions. A certain portion (roughly 30%-40%) will focus on conceptual questions of the sort commonly found on the Multi-Media Exams used at the International Geography Olympiad. See the International Geography Olympiad website links for examples of past questions of this style. As with the National Qualifying Exams, students receive 2 points per correct answer on the MCE, 0 for a blank response, and -1 for an incorrect response.

2. PART II – (60 minutes total for test taking, 15 for administration) – A Cartographic Skills Exam and Part 2 (the second 40 questions) of the Multiple Choice Exam

In the second portion of the National Championships, students take the Cartographic Skills Exam. This test is meant to assess the types of practical map skills and cartographic reasoning reflected on both the iGeo written and field work examinations. The exam will consist of 7 to 9 sets of questions. In order to prepare for this exam, map-based questions from previous iGeo WRT exams, as well as similar questions from College Board AP Human Geography free response sections, and UK GCSE exams will be useful. Here are some sample questions of the sort which will be asked on the exam.

As was the case during the first hour, students can spend as much time on the Cartographic Skills Exam or the 40 Multiple Choice Exam questions in this section as they wish, but they cannot adjust answers to Part 1 (Written Exam or the first 40 Multiple Choice Exam questions).


As on the National Qualifying Exam, students at Nationals will be grouped into Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions. The cutoff will not be done based on grade, but rather, students born on or after July 1, 2007 are required to compete in the Junior Varsity division. They will win prizes for their performance, and we will crown a JV National Champion, but JV students are ineligible to qualify for a spot on Team USA at the 2023 International Geography Olympiad.

For Varsity students, the top four overall students this year will constitute Team USA at the 2023 International Geography Olympiad.

For the Overall USGC rank, scores will be determined by giving participating students a rank of 1 to N, with N being the number of overall competing students, on each of the three exams. Tied students will split the average of their ranks (e.g. – if there are two students tied for second place, each would receive 2.5 points). Students thus earn a number of placement points equivalent to their ranks. The students with the lowest overall number of placement points from all portions combined will thus be the highest ranking students, and that will be used to determine the overall scores. If students tie on the overall placement, the tiebreaks will be (in respective order):
1. Final placement on Multiple Choice Exam
2. Final placement on Written Exam
3. Final placement in Map Exercise Exam
4. Additional 5 question Tiebreaker Multiple Choice Exams (this process may be repeated as needed until a winner is determined).

The exams will be scored as soon as possible after the competition is finished. Results will be available at hs.iacnationals.com/results.