For the 2018-2019 academic year, the Regional level of the US History Bee consists solely of the National Qualifying Exams.


The National Qualifying Exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions, which students have 20 minutes to complete. For each question, there are four possible answers with two points scored for a correct answer, 0 points for an answer left blank, and -1 point scored for an incorrect answer. The Exams are the same for the Varsity and Junior Varsity Divisions.
The National Qualifying Exam is administered during the lunch break at all National History Bee and Bowl High School Regional and State tournament sites. At these sites, the NQE costs $10 per student. Or, if you’d prefer to have a teacher or homeschool instructor proctor the Exam for you, please click here for details on how to register that way – this option costs $20. Please note that there are three separate versions of the NQE. The version on offer at any given tournament site corresponds to the Set being used at the tournament. You can check which Set is being used by going to and clicking on the dot on the map of the tournament you’d like to attend. If you would like to have someone proctor the NQE for you, you can request which version of the NQE you would like to take.
Students who score in the top half of their Division at their site automatically qualify for the National Championships; this is inclusive of odd numbers of students and ties for the last spot. Alternatively, if students score above the official National Median Score in their Division for their version of the NQE, they will qualify for the National Championships on that basis.
Different National Median Scores are calculated for Varsity and Junior Varsity students for each version of the National Qualifying Exam. In 2018-2019, C Set medians are calculated on January 1, B Set medians are calculated on February 1, and A Set medians are calculated on March 1.
It is only necessary to qualify once for Nationals. If a student finishes below the Nationals qualifying threshold on an NQE, that would not “unqualify” them from Nationals if they’ve already qualified through a different exam version.
Students who are taking the NQE with a teacher or homeschool instructor as their proctor can only qualify through the method of finishing above the National Median Score. All students who qualify in this way (including those who take it at an official NQE site) will be contacted by early March.



The distribution of questions on a chronological basis for the NQE as well as the National Championships, will be roughly as follows:
15% – US History until 1783 (including the history of lands that would eventually become part of the USA before they did)
10% – US History from 1784-1815
15% – US History from 1816-1865
15% – US History from 1866-1918
15% – US History from 1919-1945
15% – US History from 1946-1992
15% – US History from 1993-Present

The distribution of questions on a thematic basis for both the NQE as well as the National Championships, will be roughly as follows:

10% – Military History
25 % – Social and Cultural History
35 % – Political History
10 % – Economic History
5% – Historiography
5% – Sports & Entertainment History
10% – Any / Other / Multiple Disciplines Combined