How to study packets?

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mistermeister
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How to study packets?

Post by mistermeister »

Hi guys. I'm a new quiz bowl member and I've started to study packets. I am wondering whether I should just read through all the packets as fast as I can or look at every clue for each packet?
It takes me about two hours to go in depth for a packet but only about 15-20 minutes to read a packet as fast as I can.

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CaptainKirk
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by CaptainKirk »

You really won't gain anything by speed reading a packet, but it isn't worth your time in my opinion to spend hours on one. When I read a packet, I read one clue/sentence at a time and try to get the clues to stick in my head, that way the answer line is more easily relatable to what I've just read. I find that printing out packets helps a lot if you have the resources.
Eli Kirk
DuBois Area High School '16
Quiz Bowl Captain 2014-

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1992 in spaceflight
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by 1992 in spaceflight »

Going off of what Eli said: it'll be more worthwhile for you if you write down clues while you're reading packets (this is how I improved). You'll need to be looking up the clues from the packets you're reading to make sure they're all unique, though.

I found that writing down clues or typing them up helped me out, but you should find out what works the best for you with regards to studying and do that.
Jacob O'Rourke
Washington (MO) HS Assistant Coach (2014-Present); MOQBA Secretary (2015-Present)
Formerly: HSAPQ Host Contact; NASAT Outreach Coordinator (2016 and 2017); Kirksville HS Assistant Coach (2012-2014); Truman State '14; and Pacific High (MO) '10


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naan/steak-holding toll
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

What are you trying to get out of your packet-studying? Are you trying to specialize in one subject or are you trying to build general familiarity with a large number of categories? There are probably the most important questions I ask myself before looking at packets. Right now, for example, I'm trying to gain a large amount of depth in a pretty wide range of subjects, so I actually probably do spend an hour to two hours per packet I read over, though I'm also reading over ACF Nationals 2015, which is a rather hefty set. If you're just starting out, this probably isn't the most productive way to go about things.

In any case, I completely agree with the above posters - you have to write down what you're trying to learn if you really want to make sure you get it down. Make sure you know what your objectives are, too, because otherwise you'll waste time writing down things that won't end up helping you out a lot competitively.
Will Alston
Bethesda Chevy Chase HS '12, Dartmouth '16, Columbia Business School '21
NAQT Writer and Subject Editor

Banana Stand
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by Banana Stand »

Since you're new, you should probably just blow through a few sets to gain canon knowledge, but not so fast that you don't gain anything. That's your highest ROI strategy right now since you probably don't know that many pre-FTP clues yet and it's important you learn some of those and a lot of giveaways. Moving forward, I'd suggest figuring out what you want to specialize in(if you have other teammates that study) and then using packets to study those categories. The way I do this is by going through a packet and basically ignoring most of what I'm not studying, and then notecarding answerlines/clues for my subjects, as well as using them as a springboard for finding stuff to read.
Jack Mehr
St. Joe's NJ '14
UVA '19

mistermeister
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by mistermeister »

My goal is to become a lower national level player by March and to make Naqt nats.
I am specializing in history so I'm studying HSAPQ NHBB nationals 2014. There are like five clues for each question so I'm like: should I look up the clue and lose time or should I skip the clue and risk missing it in competition?
Should I study a less dense set to gain knowledge of the canon? Also, do you guys just write down a bunch of clues and what they are about and memorize them?

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acrosby1861
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by acrosby1861 »

I found that when reading over packets, highlighting stuff is helpful, especially for visual learners. Go through the entire packet and highlight what each question is asking so you know what to look for. Like if the question is asking for "this person", you highlight the words "this person" the first time you see it. Or if the question is asking for "this substance", highlight the words "this substance" the first time you see it. Only do this for the first time you see "this person" or "this substance" or "this [insert thing here]". Then in another color, highlight all the key terms you feel are important. So in the end, you'd have what they're asking highlighted in one color and the key terms in another color. It gets really messy and uses a lot of highlighter ink, but if you're a visual learner, then this would help.
Arianne Crosby
Los Alamitos High School | 2013 — 2017
UC San Diego | 2017 — 2020

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Re: How to study packets?

Post by acrosby1861 »

mistermeister wrote:My goal is to become a lower national level player by March and to make Naqt nats.
I am specializing in history so I'm studying HSAPQ NHBB nationals 2014. There are like five clues for each question so I'm like: should I look up the clue and lose time or should I skip the clue and risk missing it in competition?
Should I study a less dense set to gain knowledge of the canon? Also, do you guys just write down a bunch of clues and what they are about and memorize them?
Note: I didn't see the post I'm quoting from until after I submitted my previous post.

I'd recommend looking up the clue only if it's really interesting. But still study NHBB nats because more difficult questions will give more difficult clues. I'm not the kind of person who writes down stuff and memorizes because I'll either lose the list of stuff I wrote down or forget to memorize the stuff. I specialize in history, too, so if you need help or something, you can PM me or send an email.
Arianne Crosby
Los Alamitos High School | 2013 — 2017
UC San Diego | 2017 — 2020

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Skepticism and Animal Feed
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed »

What I've seen a lot of people do is read the questions in the categories they want to focus on, mark (honestly) where they would have buzzed on the question, and look up all the clues prior to that point to learn about them.
Bruce
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My guide to using Wikipedia as a question source

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jupiter
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by jupiter »

mistermeister wrote:My goal is to become a lower national level player by March and to make Naqt nats.
I am specializing in history so I'm studying HSAPQ NHBB nationals 2014. There are like five clues for each question so I'm like: should I look up the clue and lose time or should I skip the clue and risk missing it in competition?
Should I study a less dense set to gain knowledge of the canon? Also, do you guys just write down a bunch of clues and what they are about and memorize them?
I feel like this has been dabbled at but I think it is important to mention specifically. Don't try and memorize every clue from a toss-up. Whenever I do in-depth studying of a packet I always open Quinterest (a packet database) and look up other questions with the same answer line. You will see that there are certain clues in every toss-up on something and lots of other clues which are only in one toss-up on it. I look up those clues which come up a lot and put them on notecards. This way I know that I will learn clues which will probably be in later toss-ups. All the other clues which rarely come up I take note of, but rarely remember, and it doesn't really hurt me. This way I can get a decent amount of both depth and breadth.
John DiCarlo

Kealing '12
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MIT '20

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needhamquizteam
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by needhamquizteam »

I also plan on becoming a well rounded player, and I use the strategy of writing down small notes from question sets. Are there any tips for getting more "powers" from question sets specifically house written sets?
Roger Ramesh
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CaptainKirk
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by CaptainKirk »

There isn't really a surefire way to get more powers, besides extensive studying and note-taking. Making flashcards would be your best bet, but don't fill them with information in font size 1. Underline the main events/characters/details and maybe add a small sentence to explain the significance.

As for the isolation of house written sets, they can be longer or shorter in toss-up length than an NAQT set, so read past iterations of the set and determine what sets their wording apart from others. Figure out what types of clues are more prevalent (i.e. Characters in a novel vs. events in the novel).
Eli Kirk
DuBois Area High School '16
Quiz Bowl Captain 2014-

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dhumphreys17
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Re: How to study packets?

Post by dhumphreys17 »

John DiCarlo has it pretty much on the nose. Quinterest is an insanely good resource for knowing "what clues come up", so to speak. Sometimes, I find that there's some clue that ALWAYS comes up before power (like that the flipped coin comes up heads 92 times in a row and that this is the opening scene of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead for a Hamlet answerline). What I've been doing lately is classifying clues that are in Quinterest questions as "lead-in", "lead-to-mid", "post-power", "pre-giveaway", and "giveaway". You may need more or less categorizations depending on the length of the tossup, but I've found that this has been helpful to my literature game by understanding not just what comes up but where as well.

EDIT: The part where it explains the connection to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead actually came up post-power. But the original point (flipped coins) still stands as its own example.
Devin James John Bartholomew Humphreys
Team Captain, Sacred Heart Academy High School (MI), Class of 2017
Michigan State University, anticipated Class of 2020

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