Here are some sample questions from the National Geographic Bee, along with ideas about how to look for clues within the questions that can help you figure out the right answers.

Which state has a climate suitable for growing citrus fruits—California or Maine?

You know that oranges and grapefruit are citrus fruits and that they grow in warm places. Since California's climate is definitely warmer and sunnier than Maine's, you correctly answer California.

Which country has the world's largest Muslim population—Indonesia or Mexico?

If you have studied maps showing world religions, you will know the answer immediately. If you haven't, you might reason that Mexico was settled by the Spanish, followers of Christianity not Islam. Either way, you correctly answer Indonesia.

The North Atlantic current brings warm waters from the tropics to the west coast of which continent?

From studying physical maps you know that the North Atlantic is the area of the Atlantic that lies north of the Equator and that the entire west coast of Europe borders the North Atlantic, so you correctly answer Europe.

What is the term for a part of an ocean or sea that cuts far into the bordering landmass and may contain one or more bays?

From studying physical features on maps and using your geographical reference book to learn about physical features, you narrow your choices to two terms: bay and gulf. Since the word "bay" is used in the question, you eliminate it as a possibility and correctly answer gulf.

Which Canadian province produces more than half of the country's manufactured goods?

Even if you haven't studied profiles of Canadian provinces, you know from your mental maps that Ontario borders all of the Great Lakes and has access to the St. Lawrence Seaway. This puts it in a better position than any other Canadian province to import materials needed for manufacturing and to export finished goods. So you correctly answer Ontario.

To visit the ruins of Persepolis, an ancient ceremonial capital of Persia, you would have to travel to what present-day country?

From history books or from studying country profiles, you know that Persia is the former name of Iran, so you correctly answer Iran.

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