Q: What are the best resources to study for the National Geographic Bee?

To test and broaden one’s personal knowledge in preparation for the National Geographic Bee, we recommend Hexco’s GeoMentor software, GeoTests, and GeoFlips. We also recommend Hexco’s Personal Coaching System which includes an assessment and study plan tailored to each individual’s skill level and goals.

Additionally, students need a good atlas and access to a set of encyclopedias. We recommend using the library for specialized subjects. The web has many good on-line geography resources. Reliable extensions include .gov, .org, and .edu; Some .com sites are excellent and trustworthy as well. A number of these resources can be accessed through a subscription, and many are available at little to no cost. When using a website, always make sure it is a reliable one.

Q: My child is just becoming interested in geography, what should he/she study?

Once a students’ interest is piqued, consider using our GeoMentor/Foundations software or GeoTests/Foundations to learn all the basics and more.  In 1,000 multiple-choice questions, a student covers geographic terms, state capitals, state nicknames, world capitals, waterways, U.S. geography, North American facts, and a large number of more advanced questions.

Mastering basics can be followed by our GeoMentor/Intermediate or Advanced software of GeoTests/Intermediate or Advanced printed questions. These contain multi-layered questions that provide your student a wealth of elements to research and expand his/her knowledge bank along the way.

Looking for more fun geography exercises? See who can name the most capitals. Can you name the U.S. states in alphabetical order? Can you put them in order by statehood? Which state has a pine as a state tree? What state has the bluebonnet as the state flower? Point out the physical and human geography of your part of the world i.e., a river, forest, or plateau, a Greek Orthodox church, a Czech festival, or streets named for people. Learn about your home-state or province first, then build on that knowledge. Begin with researching states or provinces, country, neighboring countries, hemisphere, the rest of the world. Get an age appropriate atlas; some atlases are geared to younger students to make learning more fun.

Q: What is a multi-layered question and why is it important to master answering this type of question?

When developing a foundation in geography, a simple multiple choice question format is appropriate for study because it allows a person to accumulate and store a large “bank” of facts. Multi-layered questions string this bank of facts together to construct a more challenging question -- the type of question seen at the higher rungs of the National Geographic Bee. The benefits of studying multi-layer questions are two-fold: (1) The correct answer cannot be guessed (no multiple choice answers are given); therefore, the student must research the answer. Research often leads to picking up several other facts and gives students a more well-rounded perspective; additionally (2) Multi-layered questions allow students the opportunity to process and assess a greater amount of information more quickly and then come up with the right answer. A student competing in the final rounds of the National Geographic Bee, should be familiar with this type of question to reduce nervousness at the bee.

Multi-layered questions that are found in Hexco’s advanced level products require knowledge of more than one subject to come up with the correct answer. Often, the beginning part of a multi-layered question serves as a “clue.” This “clue” is only useful if one has that information stored in memory. Good listening skills and quick thinking are required for students who reach the higher levels of the National Geographic Bee competition. One example of a multi-layer question: “Name the mountain range that lies between the capital cities of Mbabane and Maputo; it forms the western edge of Krueger National Park.”