FAQ

After I’ve entered, what happens; how do I run the Competition in my school?

Running the Competition

  1. We send you a question booklet and answer sheet for each participating student. Schools should receive the Question packs by Wednesday 29 March, 2017.
  2. You run the Competition under test conditions over a 35-minute period between 26 April and 9 May, 2017. The multiple-choice questions test knowledge and skills, within the time constraints of responding to stimulus material.
  3. You send the completed answer sheets to us, postmarked no later than Wednesday 10 May, 2017, to be received by us no later than Tuesday 23 May, 2017.
  4. The answer sheets are computer marked.
  5. Students’ individual results and certificates - high distinction, distinction, credit or participation - are returned to you in late July, 2017. All students correctly filling in their identification receive a certificate.
Do I have to choose a specific date between 26 April and 9 May?

We recommend that all students from one school complete the Competition on the same day. It is up to the school which of the days between 26 April and 9 May, 2017 is chosen. We realise that not all schools can arrange to have all their students compete on the same day so, if necessary, schools may spread the Competition over two or more days.

Is there any flexibility with dates for distance education schools?

We can be more flexible with dates for Schools of Distance Education. For distance education students to be eligible for prizes they must complete the Competition under test conditions. Teachers should contact us to discuss any problems.

Can I make changes to my school’s entry?

If a school wishes to increase or decrease the number of students entered, or to withdraw its entry, the organisers must receive notification of this by email or fax by 10.00 am Wednesday 8, March. If required, a refund will be made, less a $30.00 handling fee. No refund will be given if notification is received after this time.

You may only use the answer sheets supplied this year. You may use any spare answer sheets sent in the Competition pack for additional late students and send the extra payment back with the answer sheets. You may NOT use other answer sheets or photocopies as they cannot be read by the current computer program.

What are the age levels for the Competition?

Age levels

Students are graded at high school Year levels. The students’ printed scores, percentiles and certificate categories are calculated within their Year cohorts.

The highest-scoring student in each Year in Australia, in each State and in the combined Territories (ACT, NT and the External Territories) will each receive a prize as follows:

  • Years 7 and 8 in 2017. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 1-30. Prizes include a book prize and special certificate. Students younger than Year 7 may enter as Year 7.
  • Years 9 and 10 in 2017. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 1-40. Prizes include a book prize, and special certificate.
  • Years 11 and 12 in 2017. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 16-50. Prizes at this level use scores with a weighting on the final 10 questions. Prizes include: a medal, a book prize and special certificate.

For students in Year 11 who are between 15 and 18 on 30 June, the highest-scoring male and female students in each State and the combined Territories each win a place at Geography’s Big Week Out. Two other high-scoring students are also awarded this prize. Tied students may be separated using school assessment.

Do I need to keep the question booklets secure?

Competition question sets must be under the teacher’s control until Wednesday 10, May and should be returned to the teacher's control after the students sit the test. Although the possibility exists of a student hearing some questions from another, such a student would not succeed in the selection processes for the international teams. On balance, we believe that the disadvantages of insisting that the Competition be held everywhere at the same time outweigh the problem of possible cheating.

What type of classroom supervision is needed for the Competition?

Students will complete the answer sheets individually under test conditions, that is: they will be supervised at all times; the time limit will be adhered to; no access to external resources is allowed; no advice on the content of the test is to be given to students after the test has been seen by teachers/supervisors.

What is the school-assigned code on the answer sheet?

This optional code is for use by schools that are entering large numbers of students and want their results sorted by Year and Class. If you choose to use this code, your school results will be returned sorted first by Year level and then by School Assigned Code.  This allows a school to sort their students first by Year Level (7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12) and then by 11 class sets (A - K). Otherwise students should leave this blank.

Is there any special accommodation for visually impaired students?

We don’t have a braille version but we can assist in other ways. Teachers of visually impaired students should contact us to discuss options.

What can Year 7 and Year 8 students win?

For students in Year 7 and Year 8. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 1-30. The highest-scoring student in Australia, in each State and in the combined Territories (ACT, NT and the External Territories) will each receive a book prize and special certificate. Students in classes lower than Year 7 may enter as Year 7.

What can Year 9 and Year 10 students win?

For students in Year 9 and Year 10. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 1-40. The highest-scoring student in Australia, in each State and in the combined Territories (ACT, NT and the External Territories) will each receive a book prize and special certificate.

What can Year 11 and Year 12 students win?

For students in Year 11 and Year 12. These students’ scores and certificates are graded using Questions 16-50. The highest-scoring student in Australia, in each State and in the combined Territories (ACT, NT and the External Territories) will each receive a book prize and special certificate.

For students in Year 11 who are between 15 and 18 years old on 30 June, the highest-scoring male and female students in each State and the combined Territories each win a place at Geography’s Big Week Out. Two other high-scoring students are also awarded this prize. Tied students may be separated using school assessment.

What can schools win?

A book prize and framed certificate will be awarded to the top school in Australia, each State and the combined Territories, based on the scores of the school’s best 5 students from each of Years 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12.

What if I haven't received the question pack by Wednesday 29 March, 2017?

Please check that you have received the right number of question booklets and answer sheets when they arrive. We are not infallible. If your school has not received its question pack by Wednesday 29 March, 2017, double-check with the school office as to whether the package has arrived. If not, notify us by 6.00 pm on Friday 31 March, 2017 and we will send a replacement set express mail. Schools that do not notify us of non-arrival of material by Friday 31 March, 2017 will not be eligible for any refund.

What is Geography’s Big Week Out?

The 2017 Geography’s Big Week Out will be held on Kangaroo Island, South Australia from Sunday 1 to Friday 6 October. The Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia are the host and organisers of the 2017 and 2018 Geography's Big Week Out. The event is a mix of stimulating and hands-on geography activities designed to challenge and extend high-performing senior students. Costs (airfares, accommodation, meals, and activities) of participation in the Big Week Out are met by the organisers. The four members of Australia’s team to the 2018 International Geography Olympiad will be selected based on students’ performances during the 2017 Geography's Big Week Out. Australia’s team to the 20176 Olympiad in Belgrade, Serbia, have been selected from participants in the 2016 Geography's Big Week Out. Geography’s Big Week Out and Australia’s participation in the International Geography Olympiads are supported by the Australian Government, Department fo Education and Training.

Can home schools enter the Competition?

Yes, we accept entries from home schools and there is no minimum entry fee. Home schools should use the online entry form and pay online at the same time as entering. For students to be eligible for prizes they must complete the Competition under test conditions.

Can I get paper copies of past question booklets?

Past Competition questions are on our website - see under Practice Questions - or schools can obtain single copies from past years by sending us an A4-sized stamped envelope addressed to a school. Low resolution versions of past Competition questions can be downloaded.