Thematic GeoDictation competitions started

Cosmonauts Anna Kikina and Sergei Prokopiev answered the questions of the Geographical Dictation of the Russian Geographical Society. Photo: Roskosmos


Following a good tradition, the Russian Geographical Society announces the start of a series of short thematic competitions, thanks to which everyone can offer their ideas for questions of the Geographical Dictation – 2023. This year, the thematic competitions "Write your question for Geographical Dictation" are timed to coincide with the Year of the Teacher and mentor, celebrated in the Russian Federation.

Every week until the beginning of April, two blitz contests dedicated to a specific topic will open – largely inspired by the anniversaries that fall during this period. One competition of the pair invites teachers and educators to remember their inquisitive pupils and share the most unusual questions related to geography that their pupils and students asked. The second blitz contest is aimed at a wide range of participants who want to remember their student days and tell about the most interesting facts related to geography, which they learned thanks to their tutors and professors. When filling out the competition form, you must choose the option of participating in the competition – as a "Student" or as a "Mentor".

We believe that geography is so comprehensive that in every scientific discipline there is a section or even several areas related to geography. However, no competition can last forever, and for a series of thematic competitions "Write your question for the Geographical Dictation – 2023" we had to limit ourselves to only seven areas that we associated with school courses. Facts and questions sent to each of the blitz contests should be focused on the geography of Russia in conjunction with the proposed topic.

"Man and Geography" is the theme of the first week, when the World Day of Social Justice (February 20) and International Mother Language Day (February 21) are celebrated. We are waiting for the brightest and most entertaining facts that impressed the Students, and non-standard questions about the resettlement, leisure and creativity of Russians that the Mentors heard from their pupils and students.

Ideas submitted to a pair of blitz contests under this topic should be devoted to the accommodation of the population, the functioning of recreational complexes and the development of cultural activities in Russia. Questions and facts may relate to:

  • demographic processes and trends, in particular population migration and urbanization;
  • ​​​​​​​recreational geography (location and activities of recreational complexes) and travel in Russia;
  • the contribution of Russian figures of art and culture, scientists and educational specialists to the development of world civilization;
  • reflections of geographical features of Russia, its natural heritage in the works of world’s most influential writers and poets, artists, film directors, other figures of art.

We also welcome questions and facts related to medical geography, i.e. the influence of terrain features on the health of the population.

In order for your idea to be accepted for the competition and, in case of victory, to form the basis of one of the tasks of the main version of the Geographical Dictation 2023, the submitted fact or question must meet a number of criteria:

1. Question types. The competition accepts questions of an exclusively closed type, with multiple answers. Important: there can only be one correct answer per question and, similarly, only one unquestionable interpretation is possible for a fact. Requirements for questions and examples of their presentation are fixed in Appendix No. 1 to the Regulations on the competition (in Russian).

2. Originality. The competition accepts questions and facts that do not repeat the content of the tasks of the Geographical Dictation of previous years. You can see all the variants for past seasons of the Geographical Dictation here (and test your knowledge as well).

3. Amount of submitted questions. There is a strict limit here – one person can submit no more than three questions to the blitz contest.

All questions and facts submitted to the competition will be examined by professional geographers and scientists representing related sciences (historians, biologists, art critics, etc.). The experts will determine the best ideas, on the basis of which the tasks of the main variant of the Dictation will be formulated.

Within each topic in a series of short thematic competitions, the Expert Commission will determine two Winners: one in the Mentor category and one in the Student category. The winners of a series of blitz contests will receive Certificates and the main prize – a gift certificate that allows to pay for a tourist trip "with an open date" along one of the routes recommended by the Russian Geographical Society. By decision of the Organizer, the Winners of a series of short thematic competitions may be invited to the Central Dictation venue in Moscow.

The list of Winners will appear on the website of the Russian Geographical Society no later than May 17, 2023.

By decision of the Competition Commission, a group of Finalists can also be determined, from which no more than four Prize-winners can be selected within each topic. If there are Prize-winners and Finalists of a series of short thematic competitions, their questions will be included in the tasks of the Dictation and/or will be used in various quizzes as part of the promotion of the Dictation; the Prize-winners will receive incentive awards.


Topics and schedule of short thematic competitions:

1. A PERSON AND GEOGRAPHY (February 20–26, 2023);

2. ECOLOGY AND BIOGEOGRAPHY (February 27 – March 5, 2023);


4. ECONOMICS AND GEOGRAPHY (March 13–19, 2023);

5. ETHNOGRAPHY AND ART HISTORY (March 20–26, 2023);

6. GEOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY (March 27 – April 2, 2023);

7. GEOPHYSICS AND CLIMATE (April 3–9, 2023).

It is possible to take part in both a series of thematic blitz contests and the international competition "Write your question for the Geographical Dictation - 2023" (lasts from February 13 till May 17, 2023, inclusive), however, it is not allowed to send the same question to the international competition and a series of short thematic competitions.