Exams at Middle & Elementary School Nationals

International Academic Competitions is pleased to announce a new addition to its annual Middle School and Elementary School National Championships – the IAC National Championship Exams. The exams will be offered on various fields of history, science, and political science as explained below. Ambitious Middle School and Elementary School students are also welcome to compete in the Junior Varsity Division of the exams which are offered at JV Nationals in Arlington, VA in April for any younger students who attend that event (though the questions will be written at a challenging high school level of difficulty).

A complete schedule of exams and all other events at IAC National Championships can be found on the relevant page of our Nationals website here. Past exams can be found here.

Each exam will consist of 75 multiple choice questions with each correct answer worth 2 points, an incorrect response worth -1 point, and an answer left blank worth 0 points. The time limit will be 30 minutes for each exam. Ties will be broken through 3 tiebreaker questions with numerical answers. Each exam costs $20 and students will be ranked against other students in their age division (Middle School & Elementary).

Asian History Exam

National Asian History Exam

This exam will cover the full sweep of Asian history from the dawn of history in the Middle East, South Asia, and East Asia to the present-day. Approximately 25% of the exam will cover the history of China and approximately 25% of the exam will cover the history of India. Central Asia, Southeast Asia (including Indonesia), and the Middle East (including the Arabian Peninsula) will be treated as well.

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National Biology Exam

This exam will cover all aspects of a standard middle school-level biology curriculum. Topics covered will include molecular and cellular biology, ecology, anatomy, taxonomy, evolution, genetics, zoology, botany, bacteria and viruses, and more.

National Black American History Exam

This exam will cover all aspects of Black American history from the colonial period to the present day. Those taking this exam should study famous Black Americans and related historical events from the fields of politics, business, sports and entertainment, science, the Civil Rights Movement, abolitionism, literature, the arts, and more.

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National Ecology & Environmental Science Exam

This exam will cover all aspects of ecology and environmental science at a level accessible for middle school and elementary school students. Topics covered will include ecosystems, conservation biology, global warming and climate change, food webs, biogeochemistry, environmental degradation, biogeography, biodiversity, and human ecology.

Historical Geography Exam

National Historical Geography Exam

This exam will cover the impact of geography on historical events, and examine questions of population movements, shifts in national and imperial borders, the spread of languages and religions, exploration and trade patterns, military campaigns, and more. Students can also view the questions on this page from the International History Olympiad as an additional study resource. Note that this Exam is neither part of the US Geography Championships nor the International Geography Bee. Unlike those events, this Exam does not require qualification, and is open to all students.

Latin American History Exam

National Latin American History Exam

This exam will cover the history of Latin America, including all Caribbean islands, the Bahamas, and Bermuda, from the pre-colonial period to the present day. Questions will cover political, military, cultural, and diplomatic history. A portion of this exam (approximately 20%) will also cover the experience of Latinos and Latinas in the history of the USA.

Military History Exam

National Military History Exam

This exam will cover all facets of military history from ancient civilizations to the present-day. In addition to battles and wars, questions will also cover military technology, strategy and tactics, and how military outcomes shaped the contours of history. US military history will be covered by approximately 30% of the questions.

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National Physical Science Exam

Coming Soon

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National Political Science Exam

The National Political Science Exam is meant to challenge students with relevant and unbiased questions about topics that are useful to know about for being an astute observer of domestic and international affairs. It is also meant to prepare students for the Varsity and Junior Varsity level National Political Science Bee. Note that the Junior Varsity competition of the NPSB is open to students in 8th grade and younger as well, but it is only contested at Varsity and Junior Varsity National Championships in late April in Arlington, VA. Thus younger students who qualify and are interested in competing in the Junior Varsity Division at the National Championships would need to compete there rather than at Middle and Elementary School Nationals. This exam covers all aspects of Political Science, with a distribution of questions by topic approximately in line with the distributions for the National Political Science Bee available here.

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National Recent History Exam

This exam covers historical developments of the past few decades dating back to January 1, 2000. While the history of this time period is often not taught comprehensively in the classroom, an understanding of the recent past is even more useful for our daily lives than the history of more distant eras. The National Recent History Exam will cover developments in political, social, cultural, economic, and other areas of history. Both World and US history will be covered in the questions.

Women's History Exam

National Women’s History Exam

This exam will cover the history of women in the context of American history from the colonial period until the present day. Questions will focus on famous women and their contributions to American society, the women’s suffrage and women’s liberation movements, and questions of cultural and economic history.