At the Varsity/JV level, to participate at Nationals in the US History Bee, National Science Bee, National Political Science Bee, National Geography Bee and/or the US Geography Championships, students must take a National Qualifying Exam, or NQE. NQEs are available to all students, but please note that Elementary and Middle School students that qualify on NQEs will qualify for Varsity/JV Nationals ONLY and not EMS Nationals, as these tests were intended for high school students. To qualify for EMS Nationals, students must still pass the ORQE and qualify for Nationals at a Regional Finals competition as normal.
All National Qualifying Exams will be administered either in person at Regional competitions or online. NQEs have 50 multiple choice questions, and students will have 20 minutes to complete them. Students receive 2 points for a correct answer, 0 points for an answer left blank, and -1 point for an incorrect response. Students cannot retake NQEs but can attempt to qualify on a different question set.
Students will be assigned to Varsity or JV divisions based on their grade, so 11th and 12th grade is Varsity, while 10th grade and lower is Junior Varsity. The exception to this rule is the Geography NQE, where divisions are based on birthdates, not grade level. For Geography NQEs only, students born before July 1, 2008 are placed in the Varsity division, while anyone born on or after that date is considered Junior Varsity.
The opening and closing dates of the exams are the same as our Regional competitions, and after a given exam has been available for a time, all scores up to that point will be used to calculate a median score for qualification purposes, and the top half of scores for each exam will qualify for Nationals. Students can still take NQEs after the median has been set; to qualify, the student must meet or exceed the median score.
- C set exams are now available, and the median have been set and are available on the results pages below.
- B set exams are now available, and the median will be set on February 4, 2024
- A set exams will be available starting on February 3, 2024, and the median will be set on March 2, 2024
All exam versions will be available online to students until April 7, 2024.
Online exams (see below) cost $15 per exam plus a processing fee if paying by card. Please be prepared to take the test when you pay for the exam, as it may not be possible to take the test later once it’s paid for. If you wish to pay for an online exam by check, or wish to register many students for an online exam at once, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also take NQEs at a Regional tournament for $15 per exam, payable by cash or check.
Individuals qualify for the US History Bee, National Geography Bee, US Geography Championships, National Political Science Bee, and National Science Bee at V/JV Nationals by:
- Taking the respective NQE at any in-person V/JV Regional competition and either:
- scoring a 75 or higher or
- finishing in the top 50% of their division at that location
- Taking the respective NQE online and either:
- scoring a 75 or higher or
- meeting or beating the median score for that exam once it is set
NOTE: Students qualify for Varsity/JV Nationals in both the National Geography Bee and the US Geography Championships upon passing the Geography NQE.
Click the link of the NQE you wish to take. Bolded exams indicate the exam is available, and unbolded exams will be available on the date listed.
Results will be updated periodically at the links below.