Academic WorldQuest Sample Questions – Register Today

Today we’re pleased to share sample questions keyed to this year’s WorldQuest topics for teams to consider as they prepare for the December 2 practice match and the February 25th State Championship match. Sample questions follow below.

Teachers and coaches of teams — those who have registered teams, those planning to register and those interested in learning more about WorldQuest — who would like copies of these questions with answers please contact Council Education Outreach Coordinator Catherine Kelly by email (


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ASEAN at 50
India’s Bid for Global Power
Combatting Climate Change
Saudi Arabia 
The Peacebuilding Toolkit
America’s Diplomats 
Current Events (2) *
* The national competition in Washington in April will have a category based on the “Great Decisions” series and only one “Current Events” section.
Current events questions may be drawn from the “What in the World?” Weekly Quiz, which are taken from our daily posting of global affairs news on Twitter (@TNWAC #TNWACquiz).  You can review all Weekly Quiz postings at THIS LINK.


NOTE: For the practice match on December 2, 2017, and the TNWAC AWQ match on February 25, 2018, there will be NO questions from the “Great Decisions” Category. Instead, there will be two rounds of Current Events questions. For the December 2 practice match, Current Events questions will be taken directly from the more recent “What in the World Quiz” questions (November), posted on the TNWAC website.


1. The major focus of NAFTA has been the elimination on most tariffs on traded goods between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Which of the following is NOT also included in NAFTA’s objectives?

A. protect intellectual property
B. eliminate wage disparities and inequalities
C. establish dispute-resolution mechanisms
D. implement labor and environmental safeguards

Source: Council on Foreign Relations, “NAFTA’s Economic Impact,” October 4, 2017.

2. Since the 1990s, trade between the U.S. and Mexico has grown tremendously, with bilateral goods and services trade in 2015 reaching a total _____ greater than before NAFTA was implemented in 1993.

A. two times
B. four times
C. six times
D. ten times

Source: Christopher Wilson, “Growing Together: Economic Ties between the United States and Mexico,”

ASEAN at 50

1. Which ASEAN state currently has the largest per capita GDP?

A. Singapore
B. Indonesia
C. Thailand
D. Malaysia

2. What is the Chaing Mai Initiative Multilateralization?

A. a regional joint counter-terrorism force
B. a currency arraignment designed to facilitate foreign currency transactions among ASEAN members
C. an agreement among ASEAN states to work to solve global problems such as food security and climate change
D. an annual cooperation forum where all ASEAN states meet

Source: Council on Foreign Relations, “ASEAN: The Association of Southeast Asian Nations; Backgrounder” November 2017

India’s Bid for Global Power

1. India’s current Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promoted which of the following as the centerpiece of India’s foreign policy?

A. India will continue its policy of nonalignment, a role which in past decades was effective in preventing U.S. Soviet hostility during the Cold War from undermining India’s security and autonomy.
B. India will work through its military capabilities to preserve self-rule, independence, and self-sufficiency.
C. India will focus primarily on establishing its dominance in South Asia in order to counteract the influence of Russia and China.
D. India will complete the necessary structural reforms and capitalize on its relationship with the United States to become a genuinely world leader and great power.

Source: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “India as a Leading Power,” 04/04/2016.

2. According to the World Bank’s latest edition of Global Economic Prospects, Ethiopia is currently (2017) the world’s fastest-growing economy. India is close behind, currently ranking as the world’s _____ fastest-growing economy.

A. second
B. third
C. fourth
D. fifth

Source: “These are the world’s fastest-growing economies in 2017,” World Economic Forum, June 2017.

Combatting Climate Change

1. As governments fail to increase their investment in renewable energy technologies, companies and wealthy individuals have pledged to invest billions of dollars in green technology. Which one of these is not one of the top five tech companies leading those investments?
A. Sony
B. Facebook
C. Microsoft
D. Google

Source: State of the Planet, “What Five Tech Companies Are Doing About Climate Change,” 04/04/2016.
2. What prompted the Government of France in July of 2017 to release their plan to ban all gas and diesel cars by 2040?
A. They wanted the 2017 meeting of the G20 to recognize France’s leadership in improving air quality.
B. They wanted to respond to the United States’ decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord.
C. They wanted to increase business for France’s failing electric car industry.
D. The United Nations Environmental Programme was pressuring France to release a plan.
Source: Huffington Post, “France To Ban All Gas And Diesel Cars By 2040,” 07/06/2017


1. What does Rand Corporation mean when a country encounters a “principle agent problem”?
A. It relates to a country’s goal of global dominance
B. It concerns the financial commitment involved in a counter-cyber attack
C. An attack that originates from within a country may or may not be the work of that government or a third party
D. none of the above

Source: Rand Corporation, “Why It’s So Hard to Stop a Cyberattack—and Even Harder to Fight Back,” March 30, 2017.
2. Which of the following is not one of the Department of Homeland security’s mission?
A. prevent terrorism and enhancing security
B. safeguard and secure cyberspace
C. ensure resilience to disasters
D. providing military support for homeland security
Source: Department of Homeland Security, “Our Mission,” August 29, 2016.

Saudi Arabia

1. Which region is Aramco’s biggest market, receiving more than 60% of its crude exports?
A. the United States
B. Europe
C. the Middle East
D. East Asia

Source: The New Arab, “9 Facts About Oil Giant Saudi Aramco,” January 8, 2016
2. In 2016, Aramco reached a record of how many millions of barrels of daily crude oil production?
A. 18
B. 10.5
C. 7.8
D. 5.4

Source: Saudi Aramco, “Facts and Figures,” 2016

The Peacebuilding Toolkit

1. What has been a highly successful major change in the peacebuilding projects undertaken by the U.S. Institute of Peace since the year 2000?

A. less focus on “top-down” peacebuilding and more focus on “bottom-up” peacebuilding
B. more intervention by historically “neutral” states such as Sweden and Switzerland
C. more emphasis on social media and global connectivity
D. expanded use of women and youth in the peacebuilding process

Source: U.S. Institute of Peace Special Report “What Works in Facilitated Dialogue Projects,” June 2017

2. What was a significant innovation central to the process of reconciliation used in the Havana Peace Agreement that led to the resolution of the longstanding conflict in Colombia?

A. incarcerating the drug cartel lords who were leaders in Colombia’s decade-long civil war
B. guaranteeing monetary reparations for the victims of the civil war
C. involving United Nations peacekeeping forces to monitor regions where most of the violence had taken place
D. inviting victims to participate at the negotiating table and giving them a leading role in the new transitional justice system established by the accords

Source: U.S. Institute of Peace Olive Branch blog, “The Accord: Colombia’s Commitment to Peace.”

America’s Diplomats

1. Which of these is the main reason the Department of State is committed to increasing the diversity of the foreign service in the 21st century?

A. The Department made ‘excellence in diversity and inclusion’ one of its key pillars.
B. Congress was unhappy with the lack of diversity in the foreign service and the Department is now mandated by law to recruit a more diverse workforce.
C. The Department has a lack of officers with language skills and is hoping to recruit Americans who are fluent in languages other than English.
D. U.S. diplomats represent America to the world and the Department wants a workforce that is representative of the larger ethnic and social changes taking place in the United States.

Source: U.S. Department of State, “Discover Diplomacy: Diversity.”
2. In what year did the Department of Foreign Affairs become the Department of State, reflecting the new “domestic duties” given to the Department by Congress?

A. 1781
B. 1789
C. 1812
D. 1920
Source: U.S. Department of State, “Why is the Department called the Department of State?”

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