International Academic Competitions is delighted to announce the launch of the National Political Science Bee, a new competition promoting excellence in civics education for students across the USA! Please take some time to explore this website to learn more about the NPSB. In addition to the information contained in the various pages linked through the menu bar, the below-listed FAQs may also be helpful in providing further details on the competition. If after perusing the website you have further questions, please feel free to contact at any time.

Q. Is there a younger age limit to compete? Is the competition open to middle and elementary school students?
A. No, there is no younger age limit to compete, though you may wish to review the sample qualifying exam which is posted here to see if the difficulty level is appropriate. There is also no separate division for middle and elementary school students, so they would just compete in the Junior Varsity Division, with other students in 10th grade and younger. We anticipate introducing separate Middle School and Elementary Divisions to the National Political Science Bee in subsequent academic years.

Q. Can homeschoolers compete?
A. Yes, homeschoolers are encouraged to compete! If homeschoolers do not have a formal grade level that they are in, then a birthdate cutoff is used to determine whether they are Varsity or Junior Varsity eligible. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the birthdate cutoff is September 1, 2003 – students born on or after this date are considered Junior Varsity eligible if they do not have a formal grade level.

Q. What is the cost to compete this year?
A. The cost to take the National Political Science Bee National Qualifying Exam is $10 if taken at a Varsity and Junior Varsity National History Bee and Bowl tournament site. It costs $20 if a student applies to take it individually with a teacher or community-based proctor. It is free of charge if taken with an AP US Government and Politics teacher to whom IAC has provided the A Set National Qualifying Exam and answer key.
The National Championships of the National Political Science Bee will cost $95 in 2020. This cost includes dinner on Thursday, April 23, 2020 and participation in a dinner seminar as well as the competition at Nationals.

Q. Where can I find a list of Varsity and Junior Varsity National History Bee and Bowl tournament sites?
A. On the website at Students are also encouraged to compete at these events, as they provide additional opportunities to compete on buzzer-based quiz questions prior to the National Championships.

Q. When will you be announcing which politicians, policy makers, and other distinguished citizens will be presenting the dinner seminars at the National Championships as well as the discussion topics for each dinner seminar?
A. The presenters will only be announced on Thursday, April 23 at Nationals, as the schedules of many such people can change on very short notice. However, the dinner seminar topics will be announced by March 2020 so that students who have registered for Nationals can get a sense of the topics on offer.

Q. How will students select their dinner seminar topics?
A. Students will select their preferred dinner seminar topics, though IAC will determine which students attend which dinner seminars. Students will be notified which dinner seminar topic they will have approximately 7-10 days in advance of Nationals so that they have some time to read up on it.

Q. Where can I find sample questions to prepare for the National Championships?
A. We recommend looking through past questions on as well as through this link on the National History Bee and Bowl site and preparing with questions that focus on the topics covered under the National Political Science Bee Question Distribution File.

Q. Will questions in the playoff rounds at Nationals be more challenging than those in the preliminary rounds?
A. Yes, and the questions in the finals will be harder than those in the semifinals on average. Note that the Varsity and JV Divisions will use the same questions though.

Q. Do you have any other tips on preparation?
A. Aside from reviewing past questions, taking AP Government courses, playing quiz bowl and National History Bee and Bowl tournaments, we highly recommend reading The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, and other reputable newspapers and political science-focused publications.