National Geographic



The following rules regarding contest procedures and eligibility are required in order for a student to potentially advance to the state and national levels. However, schools have flexibility with regards to how they format and conduct their respective school GeoBees.

Homeschools – please see the Homeschool Rules for specific details regarding homeschool registration.


School Bee Registration and Procedures

  • The National Geographic GeoBee is an educational competition designed for any public, private or homeschool in the United States and its territories, as well as Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS), with students in grades four through eight. Registration is not open to individual students.

  • A school must be registered by a paid school employee. This can include the school’s respective  “GeoBee coordinator,” or another appropriate school employee, such as a principal, librarian, curriculum coordinator, or administrative support staff.  Parents, guardians, or school volunteers may not, under any circumstances, register a school for the National Geographic GeoBee.

  • The specified school GeoBee coordinator must also be a paid school employee and will be responsible for downloading official National Geographic GeoBee materials, administering the school-level competition, and effectively communicating with National Geographic about the designated school champion.

  • The school GeoBee coordinator cannot be a relative or guardian of a student participating in the National Geographic GeoBee at any school or homeschool.

  • The National Geographic Society does not encourage or endorse coaching for hire in connection with the National Geographic GeoBee.  The school GeoBee coordinator cannot be a paid GeoBee coach or be affiliated with an organization that collect fees for GeoBee coaching.

  • A minimum of six (6) students from any of the eligible grades (4-8) must be physically present and actively participate in the school level competition in order for the designated school champion to be eligible to take the qualifying test and be considered for possible advancement to the state GeoBee. "Virtual" school GeoBees are not permitted.

  • Official National Geographic GeoBee materials are the property of the registered school and may not be transferred or used by another school. School GeoBee materials may not be shared in hard copy or electronic form with anybody who is not an employee of the registered school, either before or after the school GeoBee.

  • State GeoBee qualifiers will be posted on each state GeoBee site by March 4, 2019. Please check the list to see if your student has qualified. State competitions will be held on Friday, March 29, 2019.

  • The champion from each state is invited to compete in the National Geographic GeoBee National Championship in Washington, D.C. May 19-22, 2019.

  • Any audio, visual, or written recording of school GeoBees is not permitted. Posting or sharing of videos of school GeoBees gives an unfair advantage to students at schools that have not yet held their respective GeoBees. The school GeoBee coordinator must ensure that the school GeoBee is not recorded in any form by participants or event attendees without prior permission from the National Geographic GeoBee director.


Student Eligibility

  • Previous recipients of National Geographic GeoBee scholarships are ineligible to participate. Children of National Geographic employees may participate in their school GeoBee, but are not permitted to advance beyond the school level competition and are therefore ineligible to take the state GeoBee qualifying test.

  • Students must be in grades four through eight (4-8) and must not have reached their 15th birthday on or before September 1, 2018. A student is eligible to participate in the National Geographic GeoBee for no more than five years in total.

  • A student must be enrolled in a school that has registered for the National Geographic GeoBee. Students can only participate in one GeoBee per academic year. Students enrolled in conventional public or private schools may not compete in a homeschool GeoBee or at a different school from which they are enrolled.

  • A student may not attend a school GeoBee at a different school prior to participating in his or her own school GeoBee.

  • Students in eligible grade levels must follow a school schedule and academic course load comparable to the majority of the student’s peers with respect to both grade and age. A student may not be enrolled in more than three (3) courses at the high school and/or college level that are related to the social studies or sciences during the academic year.

  • Students and their parents, guardians, and relatives must not have obtained, have had in their possession, or have seen copies of the school GeoBee question booklet or the qualifying test at any time prior to the competition. Evidence of misconduct will result in disqualification.


State Qualifying Test Procedures

  • The state qualifying test is administered online through the National Geographic GeoBee registration website.

  • The qualifying test must be administered by the school GeoBee coordinator and taken by the one (1) student who has won the school GeoBee. Please check with your school winner to be sure that if they qualify they will be able to attend the State GeoBee on March 29, 2019.  If they cannot, you may administer the Qualifying Test to the 2nd or 3rd place school GeoBee winner. However, the test can be given to only one student.

  • The school GeoBee coordinator must login to the Registration and Resource Center and complete the “school champion online profile” before the student takes the online Qualifying Test.

  • The test is to be taken in the school building or designated location, and must be proctored by the school GeoBee coordinator for the duration of the test. A relative or guardian of the school champion may not administer the test, nor have had access to the online test.

  • The student is to work independently on the test, using no outside help or materials.

  • No more than 60 minutes is allowed for the student to complete the online test.

  • The school champion must complete the online qualifying test by 11:59 pm EST on February 1, 2019. No written test should be taken or mailed to the National Geographic GeoBee office.


National Geographic reserves the right to disqualify any school or student who does not abide by these rules in their entirety.