How to Win a Geography Bee

Three Parts:Mental MappingGetting HelpOther Ideas

Geography bees can be hard unless you know what's needed to be done to get through. This article covers State levels, working up to the Nationals.

Part 1
Mental Mapping

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    Remember shapes. Shapes of states and countries can be hard, but it is beneficial for fast recognition. Use flashcards, study maps, and try to remember customized ways to help you recall the shapes––for example, Italy is a boot, Michigan is a glove, etc.
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    Use the concept of jigsaw pieces. Once you have the shapes down, it's time to put them together. Think of California and Nevada. You know California has the crooked concave shape, while Nevada juts out and fits perfectly. This can help you remember. Some pairs are easy (Texas and Oklahoma, Spain and Portugal), while some are difficult (Colorado and Wyoming, Yemen and Oman). Just keep working at it.
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    Learn the lakes, oceans, seas, and rivers.The first three in that list should be easy, now that you have gaping holes in your jigsaw pieces, but rivers are another subject. First try to learn the ones that are borders; after that, the other ones can be tricky. The best approach is to just learn them. Study them whenever you can, to help you to remember them better.

Part 2
Getting Help

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    Have a friend (or family member) quiz you. It's great practice, not only to say it aloud, but now you can't cheat yourself, and it prepares you for proper pronunciation.
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    Ask for your teacher's help. Teachers know what they're doing, so stay after class and have them help. They can help prepare you more than any website article.
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    Find a friend who is doing the geography bee with you. Have a couple of study sessions. Both of you will most likely be studying already, so one might know something the other does not.

Part 3
Other Ideas

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    Study a lot. Always try to be thinking about geography. Not necessarily the bee itself, but think about any geography, history, or current events.
    • Every night, try to set aside some time to stare at maps, practice with fake geography bee questions, and do whatever helps you study: flashcards, saying it out loud, reading it, writing it, whatever helps.
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    Aim to enjoy the event. Sure, the experience may be nerve wracking, but it is also really fun. Just try to enjoy it. It's okay if you get out, because the learning will help you next year!

Article Info

Categories: Geography