Fifteen year follow-up geography skills test administered in Indiana, 1987 and 2002

F. L. Bein, James Hayes, Thomas G. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


After fifteen years of geographic education efforts, a baseline geography skills test was repeated in Indiana. In 2002, 2,278 students in college freshman geography courses were tested with a revision of the National Council for Geographic Education Competency-Based Geography Test, Secondary Level Form II. The test measured geographic ability in map skills, place name location, physical geography, and human geography. As in 1987, the 2002 test gathered personal information from each student on age, gender, travel experience, and prior geographic education. Test scores were lower by two percent in 2002. Travel and lifetime experience are again the best teachers of geography as opposed to high school geography course work. Significant performance differences persist between gender and ethnic groups. Arts and science students perform significantly higher than students from education, business, and other schools. Test results underscore the need to emphasize more intentional classroom focus on state standards and preparation of classroom teachers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-36
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geography
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009


  • Geographic ability
  • NCGE competency test
  • Social variables
  • Travel experience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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