For the 2020-2021 academic year, the Regional level of the US History Bee consists of the US History Bee League and the National Qualifying Exams.

History Bowl Leagues will be held online this academic year during 3 five-week periods. Our Fall League, which will feature our C Set of questions, will take place in October and November. The Winter League, using our B set, will happen in January and February, and our Spring League on A set will be in February and March. Set C is comparatively the easiest, followed by Set B, then Set A. Each Bee League will be played over the course of five weeks and will start in October, January and February respectively. Matches will take place on Thursday evenings at 8:00pm Eastern Time. All matches will be played using an online buzzer system and Zoom. The Varsity division will be students currently enrolled in 11th and 12th grade, while Junior Varsity will be 10th grade and below.

Leagues will be organized into nationwide pools with a soft field cap of 100 per age division. If the soft cap is exceeded, the players will be as evenly split as possible into 2 or more geographical sub-divisions. There will be three guaranteed prelim rounds of 30 questions on Weeks 1, 2 and 3. Semi-Finals will be played on Week 4 and Finals on Week 5.

The top 60% of students, according to prelim rank, in each age division will qualify for the US History Bee at Nationals.


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 by teachers or homeschool instructor proctors the Exam for you. Please click here for details on how to register that way – this option costs $10. Please note that there are three separate versions of the NQE, and you can request which version of the NQE you would like to take.
Students who score above the official National Median Score in their Division for their version of the NQE 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. C Set median scores are calculated on January 1, B Set median scores are calculated on February 1, and A Set median scores 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