Lessons in Quizzing


After a long hiatus, I finally had my first quizzing experience in over 4 months as I conducted an Open Sports Quiz at IIT Bombay.  This was something I was really looking forward to, as quizzing had been one of the most important activities of my undergraduate life, one which I thoroughly enjoyed, irrespective of whether I won it or not. And the event was more significant because I was an alumnus-cum-quizmaster, having been given the opportunity despite not having won a single quiz finals during my four years at  IITB . I have had many disappointing seconds, many disgusting thirds but not even one proud first. The person who haunts me the most :

The Guy who screwed up a summer vacation in Sweden

Anyways senti and frustration apart, there are some very interesting observations , conclusions and random statements that came into my mind while I was reflecting on the happenings of this and the numerous quizzes that happened before. Some deal with setting a quiz, some with answering a questions, a great resource and some may just be random gyaan. I list them out here :

1. Experimentation is usually disastrous : When it comes to setting a quiz, an indefinite infinite rebound, with a small buzzer/written round is possibly the best and easiest way to go about it. I have always felt that quizzes should not be monotonous and there should be some funk element attached to it. As a result , I have tried to incorporate what seemed to me very jazzy rounds into my quizzes and almost all of them have been disasters. India’s best Open Quiz , the Landmark Quiz, is still in infinite rebound format after 10 years for a reason.

2. Quizzing is an elitist’s game :  Apart from the so called nerds(  the word used by quiz muggles to refer to the quizzards), no one wants to come to the realization that they are dumb. They never want to learn new things. They just want to see questions whose answers are familiar to them. Who cares about learning new stuff?  This probably leads to a change in my quizzing version of Chef Gusteau’s statement in the movie Ratatouille: “Everyone can quiz”. Probably they can’t. Probably quizzing is just meant for the “”chosen few”.

3. Humans are inherently pervert : What do I say more about people who love the question the wife of whose answer is :

Crowd Puller Question

more than this question

Which Walt Disney owned team plays in an arena called the Pond?

(Please don’t google the answer )

I guess that this photo made you more curious about my post than the title.

4. Setting quizzes is not everyone’s cup of tea :  During my second year , I got into setting a few quizzes for my college quiz clubs, for one small reason. I believed that setting quizzes helps you learn more than what you learn by participating in one. I can definitely say that I was wrong, because I am testimony to the fact that if you start setting quizzes before you are proficient at it, you will neither be a good quizzer, nor a good quizmaster. Master the basics first and then become a preacher.

( I know that was a rather sudden end to this post,but it is not. It reflects the nature of this blog – Random)

PS : – I need three teammates for the Mega Whats Open Quiz 2011 to be held this year on December 11 in Mumbai. Please contact if enthu.

PPS : A nice entry on quizzing : Here.

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