Geographical Dictation

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On November 6, 2017, the Third Geographical Dictation took place in Russia and abroad. About 260, 000 people took part in this project. Not only Russia but also many other countries examined their knowledge in Geography. The event was held in 25 countries. Moreover, in 2017 the event was conducted at 2224 locations, where as in 2016 it was held at 1464 places.

The leader in the number of locations for this education event among foreign countries was China, the Dictation was held there in 10 cities. The largest foreign venue for the Dictation was the building of Baku branch of Lomonosov Moscow State University where 800 people participated in the Dictation.

In Russia the largest number of locations for the Dictation was in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). There the event was held at 277 locations. The second was Bashkortostan with 209 locations and the third was the Krasnodar region with 122 places.

The most unusual place where the event was held was the "Akademik Fedorov" research vessel of the Russian Antarctic expedition on the Capetown raid. Another interesting place was nuclear ice-breaker Lenin that is a museum in Murmansk now.

Ten reserves and national parks, museums of Soviet gaming machines in Moscow and St. Petersburg, the All-Russian Child Center "Smena" in the Krasnodar Territory, the Big Planetarium in Novosibirsk also took part in the education event. The Dictation was held in the Strizh trains going from Nizhny Novgorod to Moscow and from Moscow to Berlin.   

The central place for the Dictation was the main building of Lomonosov Moscow State University. Here, as in the previous year, President of the Russian Geographical Society Sergey Shoygu answered the questions together with other participants. Many famous people took part in the event: president of the Lomonosov State University Viktor Sadovnichy, Honorary President of the Russian Geographical Society Vladimir Kotlyakov, the TV presenter Nikolay Drozdov, the film director and actor Vladimir Menshov, the famous hockey player Vyacheslav Fetisov, the politician Sergey Mironov, the author and presenter of TV show “Dialogues about animals” Ivan Zatevakhin, Olympic champion Dmitry Trunenkov and others.  

Test questions included 30 items divided into three blocks. The first consisted of knowledge questions in geographical concepts and terms. The second was aimed at checking the map skills, and the third focused at determining geographical objects by records in trip journals and extracts from books.

Anonymity is a core principle of the Dictation. One shouldn’t put her/his name on answer sheets. Participants are only requested to provide their age, occupation, their relation to geography (e.g. a student or teacher of geography) and some other information.    

The highest score that may be obtained is 100 points.

An online Dictation at was organized for those who could not visit the dictation locations. It started November 26 2017 at 2 pm Moscow time and was open through November 30 2017, 2 pm Moscow time. About 110,000 people took part in the event.

Results were received at  with the help of unique identification codes. Online participants got results at the end of the test.  

The outcome of the event was an analytical report with geographical literacy assessment of the Russian population in general and particular age groups, as well a report on results in Russian regions and abroad.

Dictation in numbers

In 2015, 71,929 people took part in the event, 44,365 of them wrote the Dictation in person at 210 locations and 27, 564 checked their knowledge online.

In 2016 the total number of participants reached 187,187 people. 92,240 participants wrote the Dictation in person at 1464 locations and 94,947 – online.