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What is quizzing all about?

Updated: Apr 4, 2023

What is quizzing all about?

The answer to this simple question is not as straightforward as it seems. In the last article we discussed “why is quizzing important” (if you haven’t read that, you can go through it here); and after establishing its importance the question that naturally follows is: what does quizzing entail? What is it all about?

If you think conventionally and haven’t been following the evolution of quizzing through time, you may equate quizzing with fact crunching. ‘Who was the first Indian to space, in which year was the battle of Plassey fought or Which country has won the most number of Olympic medals etc., i.e. questions which require you to know a certain fact, rummage through your brain to recollect it and blurt the answer out. But if you look closely, this isn’t much different compared to the syllabus based traditional exam papers which we were so disapproving of in the previous article.

But modern quizzing has grown into something which is much more than mere fact crunching. The modern quiz master will not only ask you a question; she will nudge and guide you towards the answer. Let me explain this with an example. Rather than asking which country has won the most number of Olympic medals, a modern QM will ask: Known colloquially as “Uncle Sam”, and famous for its movie industry Hollywood, which country tops the Olympics medal tally with 2,963 medals? (The questions which you’ll encounter in a standard quiz competition would not be as simple, I’m just giving you an idea about modern framing of a question).

Now, let’s dissect this question. Instead of just a single question, you can now answer either of the three questions:

1. Which country is colloquially known as Uncle Sam?


2. Which country is famous for its film industry, Hollywood?


3. Which country has won the most number of Olympic medals?

But the beauty of this is that you don’t need to know the answer to either of the three questions to come out with the correct answer to the original question. Inside your brain, you just need to make some connections between all the keywords (Uncle Sam, Hollywood and Most number of Olympic medals) and come out with an educated guess. You must have noticed that Uncle Sam abbreviates to US; you must have watched a few (if not a lot) of Hollywood movies and would recall that USA features prominently in most of them; and now you just need to connect these two facts with the overall dominance of USA in the Olympics. And that fact about 2953 medals, that was given so that you can put it at the back of your mind and can use it as a reference to some other question you encounter later. It is indeed a cycle of knowledge. And that is what quizzing is all about, hopping on the cycle of knowledge and giving your brain some good old exercise, sans the usual frustration that comes with fact crunching.

We will delve into some other facet of quizzing in the next article. Till then, #Stay_Tuned.

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