2019 USGO Middle and Elementary School Division Nationals Information

Results from the 2019 USGO Middle School and Elementary School National Championships on June 7 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL are now posted in the link below!

Click here for 2019 USGO Middle School and Elementary School National Championships Results!

The 2019 Middle School and Elementary School National Championships of the United States Geography Olympiad will be held from 3:10pm-5:30pm on the afternoon of Friday, June 7 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, IL (next to Chicago). This date, time, and location are confirmed. Remember, if you are qualified for USGO Nationals, you are by definition qualified for the International Geography Bee Nationals as well!

OFFICIAL HOTEL POLICY: Staying at an official hotel is required for all students and families coming from outside a 3 hour driving radius per Google Maps.

Official Hotels (updated on May 30)

UPDATE MAY 30: The time period to book at all three official hotels as listed below has expired. If you are coming from over 3 hours away and have not yet booked a hotel room, please email info@iacompetitions.com for further information on where to book.

1. Room block deadline has passed – Crowne Plaza Chicago Northbrook – rooms are $129 a night (either a king bed with a pullout sofa or two queen beds) including breakfast for all guests. This hotel is approximately 25 minutes from O’Hare and the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. Complimentary shuttle service to and from O’Hare on June 5-11, and to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare on June 7-10 will be provided.

2. Currently full or nearly fullHyatt Regency O’Hare – rooms are $145 (king) or $155 (double / double) – Rooms must be booked through this link (note that this block is likely to be sold out)

3. Currently full or nearly full – Hilton Chicago O’Hare Airport – rooms are $154 (both king and double/double – please reserve a king room if you can, as we have a limited number of rooms with 2 double beds, and we are trying to keep those for families planning on having 3 or 4 people stay in a room) – Rooms must be booked through this link (note that this website may say National History BN Bowl or something like that, but rest assured it is the valid link for all competitions, including geography ones). Free shuttles will be available to bring students and families from this hotel to the Hyatt Regency O’Hare where the National Championships are taking place.

Please click here for the link to the registration form. Registration runs through May 20.

An official schedule of events * and their start times of all events at International Academic Competitions’ 2019 Middle School and Elementary School National Championships, including the US Geography Olympiad, is now available for download here.

* = This “official” version (updated on May 29, 2019) contains a few slight modifications to the earlier “confirmed”  and one update to the the “finalized” schedule (this is the one described in bold below) that had been posted here throughout the early months of 2019. These include:
-There will be four preliminary rounds in the Academic Bee; all students will play in all 4 rounds. These will begin at 9am on June 7 (rounds 1 and 2) and 9am on June 8 (rounds 3 and 4). Round 2 will begin as soon as all rooms have finished Round 1. Round 4 will begin as soon as all rooms have finished Round 3.
-There will be 4 (not 3 as first posted!) preliminary rounds in the Intl. Geography Bee, beginning at 6:30pm on June 7. Students competing in IGB will play in 3 of these 4 rounds. These rounds have official start times – namely, 6:30, 7:05, 7:40, and 8:15. 
-There will only be two rounds of playoffs in the Academic Bee. These will begin at 3:15pm on June 8.
-The other events on the evening of June 8 have also been moved up in the schedule. The History Bee playoffs now begin at 5pm. The Intl. Geography Bee playoffs now begin at 6:45pm. The Humanities Bee finals now begins at 8pm.
-The start time for the History Bowl is now 8:30am on June 9.
-The start time for the Academic Bowl is now 8:30am on June 10.


Students can qualify for the 2019 US Geography Olympiad Middle School and Elementary School National Championships through the National Qualifying Exams.
Please note! Any student who qualifies for the exam-based US Geography Olympiad National Championships also qualifies for the buzzer-based International Geography Bee US National Championships – please click here for more information on IGB Nationals.

Students can qualify for USGO and IGB Nationals in any of the following ways:

On any D, E, F, G, or H Set Version of the National Qualifying Exam, students qualify for Nationals if they obtain any of these scores:

8th Grade: 50
7th Grade: 45
6th Grade: 40
5th Grade and Younger: 35

Students may also qualify for the 2019 US Geography Olympiad (and International Geography Bee) Middle School and Elementary Division National Championships by qualifying for the USGO/IGB Junior Varsity Division’s National Championships on the A, B, or C Set version of the National Qualifying Exam. These are offered at all National History Bee and Bowl Varsity and Junior Varsity Regional and State tournament sites. Students must finish in the top half of JV students at their site, or otherwise finish above the A, B, or C Set National Median Scores, or score 40 or higher (if in 7th or 8th grade) or 25 or higher (if in 6th grade and younger). Qualifying on the basis of scoring at least 40 or 25 only qualifies eligible students for the Middle School or Elementary National Championships, not the JV one though.

Students only need to qualify off any one of the five versions of the USGO National Qualifying Exam. A non-qualifying score on any other version of the Exam does not disqualify a student from attending Nationals. The qualification process for the USGO National Championships is also identical to the qualification process for the US National Championships of the International Geography Bee (i.e. all students who qualify for the one competition qualify for the other).

Finally, Middle School and Elementary School students who finish in the top 50% of students in an International Geography Bee Regional Quiz Tournament also qualify for US Geography Olympiad Nationals. At these tournaments, 7th and 8th graders compete together, and students in 6th grade and younger compete together. Students can qualify for Nationals by finishing either in the top 50% of students in their specific grade (for 6th-8th graders), among all 5th graders and younger (for Elementary School students), or in the combined totals of 7th & 8th graders OR the combined totals of all 6th graders and younger.

Age Divisions at Nationals
For the 2019 National Championships, we will be holding 4 separate age divisions at Middle School and Elementary School Nationals for USGO and IGB. These 4 divisions correspond to the grade a student is in and are: 8th, 7th, 6th, and 5th grade and younger.

The cost of the 2019 US Geography Olympiad Middle School and Elementary Division National Championships is $80 per student.

Entry fees can either be paid by credit card on PayPal when one registers for Nationals on the website here or by check to “International Academic Competitions” and sent to the following address and received by May 25:

USABB/USGO Nationals
PO Box 875
Tenafly, NJ 07670

Format of Middle School and Elementary Division of USGO Nationals

The 2019 US Geography Olympiad Middle School and Elementary Division National Championships will consist of 3 separate parts, a multiple choice exam, a written response exam, and a geography skills exam. Sample questions for the written exam are available here and samples of the geography skills exam questions are available here. For samples for the multiple choice exams, as well as additional samples for the other two exams, please also see the exams used at the 2017 and 2018 National Championships which are available for download here along with their answer keys.

From a timing standpoint, the Geography Olympiad exams will be split into 2 parts: a part with the written exam and the first half of the multiple choice exam (45 minutes total), then a 15 minute break, and then the second half will be the map exam and the second half of the multiple choice exam (another 45 minutes total). Students will be ranked on all 3 exams on the rank points principle:

For the Overall USGO 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 on Geography Skills Exam
4. Additional 5 question Tiebreaker Multiple Choice Exams (this process may be repeated as needed until a winner is determined).

Students who wish to compete in a buzzer-based quiz competition should register for the International Geography Bee’s US National Championships as well.

A total of $20,000 worth of prizes will be on offer at IAC 2019 IAC Middle School and Elementary School National Championships! Click here to download a file showing how these prizes are allocated, including prizes for the US Geography Olympiad. Medals, plaques, and/or trophies will also be awarded to the top finishers.

For further questions, please contact info@geographyolympiad.com

Thanks, and good luck in qualifying! We hope to see you at Nationals in June!