"I Had Emotions That I Haven’t Had for Ages…"

2018 Geographical Dictation participants. Photo by: the press service of the Society
2018 Geographical Dictation participants. Photo by: the press service of the Society

November 11, the geographical dictation took place in all Russia’s regions and abroad.  About 4,000 venues in 99 countries hosted this educational event.  If you couldn’t join it offline, you can take the test online till 2 p.m. Moscow time November 15. Go to dic.rgo.ru/en to test your knowledge in geography.   

The event participants shared their impressions at the central venue at Lomonosov Moscow State University in Moscow.


Photo by: the press service of the Society
Photo by: the press service of the Society

Hero of Russia Fyodor Yurchikhin, a cosmonaut who has been to the earth orbit five times and made 9 space walks noted:

"I happened to have hardly studied for the test because of my working trips, but I still wanted to look through some materials. Although I knew the dictation was anonymous, I can't say that I found it comforting. I remembered different sections of geography: physical, economic, climatic. At school I knew this subject perfectly well and still remember, for example, the height of the highest waterfall in the world, Angel falls in Venezuela. At home I have a lot of geographical reference books, encyclopedias.

And yet, when I was told that the questions were divided into two groups and some of them were to test our intelligence, I wondered whether it would be possible to answer all of them? The very first question tripped me up. I couldn’t recall the correct answer. Then, by a mistake, I wrote the answer to the second question in a wrong column. Fortunately, it was allowed to cross and write the correct one. I realized that I was excited like a schoolboy. I looked at my neighbors and they were solid adults, and we giggled, peeked, prompted each other, we did it quietly, as if it were a real exam and the teacher can see. Adults asked young guys for advice. I had the emotions that I haven’t had for ages. I'm an astronaut, I have passed hundreds of difficult exams, and the geographical dictation made me feel like a child. By the sixth or seventh question, I calmed down and I think I’ve answered the vast majority of questions correctly. I had a great pleasure. Pity that the dictation lasted only 45 minutes!

I really hope that people who took the test November 11, whether out of necessity, curiosity, learnt something new about their native country. The test might provoke people to find some facts in the Internet or an encyclopedia. I’m sure I’ll check my answers at home."


Photo by: the press service of the Society
Photo by: the press service of the Society

Head of the Nalchik "Altair" youth club, a personal 2018 scholarship winner Tengiz Mokaev said:

"I liked the dictation very much! We have organized ourselves a venue in Nalchik, the capital of Kabardino-Balkaria; young people from the youth club attended it.  I wrote the test at Lomonosov Moscow State University, because I happened to be in Moscow: winners of personal scholarships of the Society were awarded on that day.

The questions were difficult, but very interesting. The tasks tested not only your knowledge in geography, but also in related sciences, history, culture, so everyone who wrote the dictation, was able to find something interesting.

Unfortunately, I know for sure that I have given a wrong answer to the question about what happened to the sea near the Crimean Bridge in 2012, what phenomenon periodically happens to the Black sea? I live in the mountainous region, so I do not know marine phenomena very well. And I seem to have missed this news. So, I wrote "high wave", and it turned out that the sea was frozen. That was the only question I answered at random.

I would like to see “regional” questions in the test next year. For example, there can be five questions about the North Caucasus for those participants who will write the dictation in this region. This will further raise interest in the event among people who are fond of local history, geography and history of their native land. For example, when I came across the question about the battle tower of the Vovnushki complex in Ingushetia, I liked it and was immediately overwhelmed with a sense of pride from the fact that I knew this place and happened to visit it!"


Photo by: the press service of the Society
Photo by: the press service of the Society

2018 i-Geo Olympiad third prize winner Mikhail Selyugin said:

"I liked both the organization of the event and the questions themselves. Of course, it is easier to get a high score for the geographical dictation than win the international Olympiad in geography; it doesn’t require such serious preparation. But you still need to be an erudite person.

There were tasks that seemed difficult to me. For example, the question about the name of the ancient Volga city that was built where the river bent almost at right angles. And one of the easiest ones for me was about Russian cities’ location in time zones.

I think this is a very useful project. People learn a lot about Russia’s geography, the largest country in the world. I faced geographical questions at iGeo, but for most people such tests are something new and they once again encourage looking through geography and filling in the gaps in their knowledge.

The fact that famous politicians, public figures, athletes, actors and musicians took part in it makes the dictation even more popular and significant. I would recommend everyone to take this test, especially government employees because the development of the country is inextricably linked with geography.

I would advise future participants not to worry while writing the test, but enjoy the process! And if possible, you should come to an offline venue, so the impressions will be brighter and more powerful. But the test is also available online and this is great.  

 Take the 2018 geographical test now.