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10. Top tips for preparing for the. National Geographic Bee. By Neeraj Sirdeshmukh 2 nd place winner in 2006 National Geo Bee. TIP # 1: LOCATIONS.

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Top tips for preparing for the l.jpg

10

Top tips for preparing for the

National Geographic Bee

By Neeraj Sirdeshmukh

2nd place winner in 2006 National Geo Bee


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TIP # 1: LOCATIONS

Learning geography starts with the basic tool, the atlas. Familiarize yourself with the major cities, countries, provinces/territories, and other physical and political divisions of our planet.

A good atlas is Geographica.

Another one is National Geographic Family Atlas of the World.

A free world atlas can be found online at www.encarta.msn.com.

Go to www.geography.about.com to find blank maps of every county.


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Identify what location is represented by each symbol on the blank map:

This port city was founded in 1177 when a castle over the Lagan River was built.

ANSWER: Belfast, United Kingdom

What river is this?

ANSWER: Rhine River

This is the second largest city in Germany and is located on the Elbe River.

ANSWER: Hamburg, Germany

This is the southernmost point of mainland Europe. What is it called?

ANSWER: Point Tarifa, Spain

The best way to memorize locations is to practice filling inblank maps.


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TIP # 2: CURRENT EVENTS blank map:

  • Keep up with world news every day to know what’s happening around the world.

  • All current events questions ask about events that happened up to 1 year before the national bee.

  • Global news is more important than

    United States news for the Bee. Most current events questions will have a geographic clue. Others might not.

    For example, a question might look like:

    On January 2, 2009, the army of which country announced that it had captured Kilinochchi, the capital city of the Tamil Tiger rebels?

    ANSWER:

  • One of the best websites for global news

    coverage is www.bbcnews.com.

SRI LANKA


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TIP # 3: CAPITAL CITIES blank map:

  • Memorize the capital of every country in the world. Making flash cards is a great way to do this.

  • Lets see how much you already know. Here is a short quiz:

  • What is the capital of:

ARGENTINA?

Buenos Aires

RWANDA?

Kigali

SIERRA LEONE?

Freetown

MALDIVES?

Male

MALAYSIA?

Kuala Lumpur

BURKINA FASO?

Ouagadougou


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TIP # 4: PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY blank map:

Learnphysical geographyterms through a good reference book or encyclopedia. I used theNational Geographic Desk Reference. Again, making flash cards is a good way to memorize terms.

Physical geography questions ask mostly about key terms, such as barchan, cirque, moraine, abyssal plain, tarn, and esker.

These terms relate to mostly the following topics: world climates, soils, wind and ocean current patterns, glaciers, dunes, rocks and minerals, the ocean floor, rivers, lakes, etc.….


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CLIMATE GRAPHS blank map:

These types of questions pop up occasionally and require you to analyze a climate graph, a chart that shows temperature and precipitation patterns for a particular location. You are given a few cities and asked to find the one that best fits the graph.

For example, look at this graph. The red line represents the temperature in degrees Celsius. You can tell that it is hot year round- around 28 degrees C. There are no extremes in temperature. This should immediately tell you that this city is close to the equator. The blue bars represent precipitation. It is very wet. The highest amount of precipitation occurs from November-January. If you know that the northeast monsoon winds blow during this period, you can tell that this city is located somewhere in southern Asia. SO WHAT CITY IS IT ????

What city matches this climagraph?

A) Rio de Janeiro B) Stockholm C) Washington, D.C. D) Singapore E) Sydney

ANSWER: Singapore


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TIP # 5: STUDY REGULARLY blank map:

Don’t forget to study regularly. Utilize any free time you have. Use your weekends, after-school free time and vacations fruitfully.

It’s up to you to decide how much you should study.


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TIP # 6: GEOGRAPHY IS A BROAD SUBJECT. SO WHAT DO YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW?

To give you an idea of how big geography really is, here are some of the different parts of geography:

  • Political geography

  • Physical geography

  • Economic geography

  • Historical geography

  • Cultural (human) geography

  • Travel/tourism

    There are many other parts.. But for the Bee, these six are the ones you should be familiar with…..


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What do you need to know about each part of geography? NEED TO KNOW?

  • POLITICAL:Countries, capitals, major cities, autonomous regions, overseas territories/dependencies, bordering countries, international organizations (like OPEC, NATO), flags of major countries

  • PHYSICAL:other than what we discussed earlier, physical geo also includes where physical features, such as rivers, lakes, mountains, deserts, plateaus, basins, bays, seas, gulfs, etc….. are located.

  • ECONOMIC:major exports, currencies, natural resources, mining and industrial regions (like the Donets Basin in Ukraine)

  • HISTORICAL:former names of countries and territories, independence, ancient civilizations and their geographic extent, empires (like the Ottoman, Roman, and Mongolempires)

  • CULTURAL(HUMAN):Religions, languages, and ethnic groups of each country. Also population pyramids.

  • TRAVEL:major and (a few) minor attractions, like the Iguazu Falls, Santorini, Hagia Sophia, Harbour Bridge, Guilin, Valley of the Kings, etc….


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Other points NEED TO KNOW?

  • Learn to interpret climate graphs, population pyramids, and contour maps. For help with climate graphs, look at the climate graphs slide. Population pyramids show the population distribution of a country according to gender and age groups. Contour maps have contour lines on them that connect points of equal elevation.

  • For odd man out, the most common questions deal with locations and physical geography. For example, you may be asked, “What is the odd man out?” and given these choices: Angola, Cape Verde, Sao Tome and Principe, Namibia, and Guinea Bissau. The answer is Namibia because it is the only country that did not achieve independence from Portugal out of the five countries. Namibia got its independence from South Africa.


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QUIZ NEED TO KNOW?

1.POLITICAL: Abkhazia, Ajaria, and South Ossetia are three autonomous republics that have been seeking independence from which country?

ANSWER:Georgia

2.PHYSICAL:What is the term for a volcanic crack in the ground through which steam and gases escape?

ANSWER: fumarole


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QUIZ NEED TO KNOW? (Continued)

3.ECONOMIC: The Darling Downs is a farming region centered around the city of Toowoomba, in which country?

ANSWER: Australia

4. HISTORICAL: Which city was once known as Petrograd and later as Leningrad?

ANSWER: Saint Petersburg, Russia


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QUIZ NEED TO KNOW? (Continued)

5. CULTURAL(HUMAN): Which country has more Muslims than any other country in the world?

ANSWER: Indonesia

6. TRAVEL/TOURISM: The Buddhas of Bamiyan, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. This event occurred in which country?

ANSWER: Afghanistan


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TIP # 7: EARTH’S EXTREMES NEED TO KNOW?

  • Know Earth’s extremes- its highest, lowest, deepest, largest, smallest, most populous, least populous, longest, shortest, hottest, coldest, wettest, most visited, tallest, etc… physical and/or political features. Making flash cards is again a great way to memorize extremes.

  • Questions on Earth’s extremes and odd man out:

  • What is the deepest lake in the world?

  • ANSWER:Lake Baikal, Russia

  • 2) Where was the hottest temperature on Earth ever recorded?

  • ANSWER:El Azizia, Libya

  • 3) Odd man out: abyssal plain, continental shelf, alluvial fan, trench, continental slope

  • ANSWER: Alluvial fan (it is a river feature, not an ocean floor one)


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TIP # 8: CREATE YOUR OWN CHART NEED TO KNOW?

When I was studying, I created my own chart, filled with all the facts I needed to know about every country.

Using a chart to memorize is much easier than just reading a book with facts.

I made columns for the following: country name, capital, major cities, highest points, physical features, independence, religions, languages, ethnic groups, maps, bordering countries, currencies, major exports, and facts.

My table looked like this:


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TIP # 9: PLAY QUIZZES TO TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE NEED TO KNOW?

Playing quizzes is a great way to prepare, especially if you have limited time to study.

Good websites:

www.mygeotrivia.com- thousands of questions

(you can also view a sample of the chart I created here)

www.geography.about.com- go to “Test your Knowledge”

www.nationalgeographic.com/geobee/- new Geo Bee Challenge every day

www.epals.com – go to Geography Central

www.hillmanwonders.com- top 100 wonders of the world


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TIP # 10: PARTICIPATE IN GEOGRAPHY DISCUSSION FORUMS NEED TO KNOW?

One great discussion forum is www.geobeecentral.com , where you can keep in touch with many other geography bee contestants and fans like you…..

There are also quiz questions, more advice on how to prepare, and other tips.

Another one is www.epals.com. There is a blog called Geography Central.


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Thank You NEED TO KNOW?

and

GOOD LUCK !

If you have any questions or comments, please email them to: [email protected]


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