On October 27, in all the regions of our country and abroad, the fifth, anniversary, time passed the Geographical Dictation. An educational event of the Russian Geographical Society took place at 5831 specially organized venues. For comparison: last year there were 3,532. The number of countries in which the Dictation was written has grown from 97 last year to 110 this year.
The central platform of the Dictation
The central venue of the Geographical Dictation was the Shuvalov building of Lomonosov Moscow State University. The moderator of the Dictation on the main venue was the TV presenter Yana Churikova. At first, she asked quiz questions (as warm-up brain exercises). Often, without listening to the question to the end, those present in the hall raised a forest of hands. For each correct answer, participants received valuable prizes. At noon, the Dictation began. On the main venue, side by side, their geographical knowledge were testing President of the Russian Geographical Society, Sergei Shoigu; famous scientists, athletes, and entertainers . At the Lomonosov Moscow State University in particular, the Dictation was written by its Rector Viktor Sadovnichy; as well as Special Presidential Representative for Environmental Protection, Ecology and Transport Sergey Ivanov; hockey player, State Duma deputy Vyacheslav Fetisov; musician Sergey Shnurov; cosmonauts Fedor Yurchikhin and Roman Romanenko.
“It was scary! But it was very interesting!” - Fyodor Yurchikhin shared his impressions. “It`s not my first time writing the Geographical Dictation, but I am still nervous. It seems that you know a lot of things, but this test makes you feel like a boy again, who is sitting at his desk, peeping at the answers of his classmates. This is a return to youth - thank you very much for that! But the tasks are very pleasant. It seems to me, that finding the key word in the question can help you answer it correctly."
“I, somehow, remembered my school and student years, and it was such a pleasant feeling, I will call it nostalgic,” said Sergey Shnurov. “I really felt the neurons running in my already quite old brain. It's cool, it's ticklish, it's great!”
Immediately before the start of the Dictation, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Skripochka and Alexander Skvortsov addressed its participants directly from the orbit, from the International Space Station.
"Every day, flying over our Russia, we see how big and beautiful our country is, but to understand this, it is not necessary to go into orbit ... Travel, admire our country, and at the same time gain knowledge that will help you ace the Geographical Dictation. We wish you good luck! " - noted Oleg Skrypochka.
In 45 minutes, the participants of the event had to answer 40 questions, divided into two parts, varying in degree of difficulty. The first part was the basic level, and consisted of 10 questions. It was the so-called geographical educational program, and was based on well-known geographical facts. The second part had 30 questions, and was more difficult, requiring the use of imaginative thinking, logic and erudition. For each correct answer, the participant was awarded 1 point, for an incorrect answer - 0 points. Thus, the participant got two results. The maximum number of points for the first part of the Dictation was 10, for the second - 30.
“Last year there were a lot of questions related to literature. There were geographical questions from some literary works. So, it was required to know not only geography, but also literature. And this time there was more history,” said Special Presidential Representative Sergei Ivanov.
Questions for the Dictation were compiled by the editors of the TV-show "Svoya Igra" together with experts from the RGS. Four versions were prepared: for in-person venues in Russia and abroad, for the Dictation online, a demo version for a test Dictation before the event, and a version of the Dictation for the visually impaired.
“We tried to formulate the question so that the answer could be inferred logically,” - said one of the authors of the questions of the Geographical Dictation in 2018 and 2019, the producer of the TV-show “Svoya Igra” Sergei Pekhletsky. “This year, all questions are closed-ended, built on the principle of test with answer options: machine processing requires an unambiguous interpretation."
“We take into account the increase in the audience. Six thousand venues. We want people to learn more, so the questions themselves include the informative part, which, when reading the question, makes it possible to learn something about our country,” said Sergei Shoigu.
The President of the RGS emphasized that the goal of the event was not to “fail” the participants, the main thing was: “It is necessary, that after the Dictation there is a desire to leaf through something, watch, and study.”
According to Sergei Shoigu, the most difficult questions for him were the ones that required to build a sequence - for example, the subjects of the Russian Federation from south to north.
We would like to note, that this year the questions of the Dictation were voiced by director Nikita Mikhalkov, musician Sergey Shnurov, and TV presenter Maria Sittel.
All of Russia and half of the world
In Russia, Bashkortostan became the leader in the number of the Dictation venues - 755. Second place belongs to Krasnodar Territory - 576 venues; the third is the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) - 352.
In addition to Russia, the event of the Russian Geographical Society took place in 109 countries of the world: throughout almost entire Europe, in the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Indonesia, Australia, South Africa, Kenya, Nepal, Japan, etc. Dictation was written on all continents except Antarctica. The leaders in the number of venues for the educational campaign among foreign countries were Ukraine - 22 venues, China - 10 venues, the Republic of Belarus - 9 venues, and Serbia - 6 venues.
The event was held in universities, schools, libraries, but not only. Among the most unusual locations for the Dictation are the Cruiser Aurora Museum and Ship, the Mission Control Center, oil platforms in the Caspian Sea, venues in the Sayano-Shushensky, Caucasian and other reserves.
For the first time, in addition to English, the Dictation questions were translated into French and Turkish. The French version was used, for example, at the venue of the Russian Spiritual and Cultural Orthodox Center in Paris, where teachers and students of the Sorbonne University wrote the dictation.
A special option has been developed for the visually impaired. The visually impaired wrote the Dictation at 284 venues across the country.
You can still write the Dictation. Online
Those who could not come to the venue in person will be able to write the Dictation online at dictant.rgo.ru. The online version of the Dictation is available from 14:00 on October 27th to 14:00 on October 31st.
How to find out your result
The results of the Dictation, written at in-person venues, will be available from November 29th. They can be found on the website dictant.rgo.ru by the identification number of the form.
Those, who write the online version of the Dictation, will know the results immediately after answering the questions.
Based on the results of the Dictation, a statistical report will be prepared on how successfully the participants managed it.
We would like to remind you, that for the first time the Geographical Dictation took place on the initiative of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Russian Geographical Society, President of Russia Vladimir Putin on November 1st, 2015 at 210 regional venues in all constituent entities of the Russian Federation. In four years of Dictation`s existence, almost 900 thousand people became its participants. The record year for the number of participants was 2018, when it was written by 376 thousand people (257 thousand at venues, and 119 thousand online). Since 2017, the Dictation has become international.
The Geographical Dictation is part of the great work that the RGS does
The Geographical Dictation is an integral part of the great, daily work that the RGS is doing so that people know geography better, and therefore their country, its history and culture. The RGS holds lectures, workshops, and provides scholarships to young geographers, and grants for various scientific and media projects. Recently, in the "Zaryadye" park, the RGS Festival was held, and in 10 days more than 500 thousand people attended it.
We would like to mention, that in May of this year, the President of Russia, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the RGS Vladimir Putin signed a list of instructions on the issues of popularizing geography. Among them are such initiatives of the RGS as the inclusion of geography in the list of compulsory entrance examinations in specialized universities, improving the quality of teaching geography in schools, developing a professional standard for the profession of geographer, and creating a holiday - the Geographer's Day. Together with the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, universities and the whole community of geographers, the Russian Geographical Society is working on the execution of presidential instructions.
“Everything that is contained in the instructions of Vladimir Putin is important for the development of geography,” - Nikolai Kasimov, President of the Geography Department of Lomonosov Moscow State University, First Vice President of the Russian Geographical Society said during participation in the Geographical Dictation - 2019. “In particular, it’s necessary for the universities to expand the list of specialties in which the exam in geography is accepted. For example, for economists, who decide that they need geography, since they are studying regional economies. There are three things that are important for each person, that determine identity of the nation. This is the language we speak, the history that we have, and the place where we live, that is, our country, its geography. Russian language, history, geography, I think, should be basic subjects at the Unified State Exams."
It is already known, that August 18th officially became the Day of the Geographer in Russia. The date is dedicated to the founding day of the Russian Geographical Society.