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How to sort and process information better?

Updated: Apr 6

At the onset, I apologize for taking so long to come up with this article. It’s been more than a year since the last post about how to be a good quizzer (you can check it out here) and many of you were asking about the article on processing information better which I promised as a follow-up to the previous article.

It has taken a lot of time because I was busy developing the quizarc page on Instagram and some other personal commitments, but I promise that from now on I will be more regular here.

Now, let’s get to the topic at hand.

I told you in the previous article that to become a good quizzer you need to assimilate a lot of information. But there is literally an ocean of information out there. How should you go about sorting which information would be beneficial to you as a quizzer and more importantly how can you retain that information so that you can actually recall it in a quiz and answer a question.

First up, let's look at how to sort relevant information which would be helpful in a quiz. Ideally speaking, any kind of information can be molded in the form of a question and asked in a quiz. But you can’t go about earnestly reading everything under the sun, can you? There should be a return on investment concept applied to this scenario. The time and effort that you are giving is the investment and successfully cracking a question in a quiz would be the return. So we need to sort and assimilate those bits of information which would aid us in cracking actual quiz questions.

The first and most basic way to do this is by starting with current affairs. The things which are happening at present would obviously be on the top of the mind for a quizmaster when she’s setting the questions. But there’s a catch. A good quizmaster would not ask you directly about a current event. The question would somehow be tangentially connected with the recent happening.

Let me illustrate this with an example.

The football legend Pelé passing away on 29th December 2022 was a heartbreaking major event. So, when I was doing a football quiz in January 2023, there had to be a question on Pelé. But a direct question would have been too evident. So I came up with this question:

In this question you need to connect the three entities and arrive at an answer. As you already know, the answer is obviously Pelé. But how?

The first photo is of the ship Black Pearl as seen in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and Pelé was nicknamed The Black Pearl.

The second photo is of a young Albert Einstein and Pelé passed away in the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo.

The third photo is of Thomas Alva Edison and Pelé was named after him (his full name was Edson Arantes do Nascimento). This was apparently because electricity had just been introduced to his hometown when he was born.

So, to crack this question only your knowledge about Pelé’s passing away is not enough. You need to know about the world of Pirates of the Caribbean, you need to know how young Einstein and Edison look and most importantly you need to make the connection between these to Pelé.

As I said earlier, the starting point can be current affairs, but you need to go deep into it. So once you get to know about Pelé’s passing away, read up on him. Read up about the names associated with him and the events connected to him. Also, go into a few tangents like people or things sharing commonalities with Pelé.

Wikipedia is a good place to start, but then you need to branch into various other articles, newsletters etc. to be able to cover the topic in depth.

Okay, I think this is enough knowledge for today. I will be back with the next article in which I will discuss the retention part in detail.

By the way, you can check out the whole set of Goal A football quiz from our youtube channel here.

#stay_tuned for the next article. #I_will_be_back soon.

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