Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

New high school teams looking for advice should post here.
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MasterYster
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Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by MasterYster » Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:53 pm

Hello everyone! I recently joined my school's quizbowl team and would like to know how to become a very VERY strong player. The only questions I can get cold are science and math. How can I expand my knowledge and become very good at the vast amount of info involved with the quizbowl/its Academic
Yousuf - WCHS

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Papa's in the House
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by Papa's in the House » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:32 pm

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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by cornfused » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:34 pm

Papa's in the House wrote:http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~sharadmv/
...doesn't work, that.
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by Papa's in the House » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:42 pm

cornfused wrote:
Papa's in the House wrote:http://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~sharadmv/
...doesn't work, that.
Oh, well, when Quizbowl Central starts working again, I recommend that you get on that and start reading questions/playing multiplayer.
Charles Martin Jr.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Academic Buzzer Team | President
B.S. in Accountancy, August 2011
B.S. in Finance, August 2011
MAS Program, Class of 2012

MiltonWaddams
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by MiltonWaddams » Thu Feb 23, 2012 6:46 pm

http://www.quizbowlpackets.com/

That should start you off while QBC is down.

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MasterYster
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by MasterYster » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:07 pm

So should I just go through every single question and try to understand them?
Yousuf - WCHS

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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Thu Feb 23, 2012 7:41 pm

I guess you can do that, but you're probably just going to become fatigued and get really bored. It all depends on how fast you want to improve; if you're a freshman or sophomore, it would probably be better to study more gradually. It sounds like you're interested in becoming a generalist, so I would recommend reading some lower-level packets like FNT or SCOP to get you acclimated with non-math or science topics. Then, you should probably look at around 3-5 questions you didn't know the answer to and remember the giveaways to those questions. You might want to build up on your knowledge on math/science and memorize earlier clues for those, but again, it's all up to you really (just do whatever works for you; this is just what I would recommend and it's totally okay if you do some radically different thing).
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by JordanKuhn » Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:56 pm

I flippin did it again. Typed up 3 paragraphs and then hit tab (to indent) which took my focus off of the typing, and then hit backspace, and lost all my writnig. I need to start typing in a notepad and copying it over here.... :mad:

In case if you don't want to read this, you don't have to. I know it's long. But I tried to condense my thoughts.

Quizbowl central is a great resource (links have been provided, although it currently is not running).

What I was saying was, if you wish to become a generalist, study quizbowl topics. Like ben said, start with the basics; start with the Fall Novice Tournament or something similar, just to get used to the what quizbowlers refer to as the "canon," or what is commonly asked about. Reading packets is the best way to gain a feel for what commonly is asked about in quizbowl and give syou a good indication for what is good to learn/know about. If you start studying random literature, half of what you study may never come up; that's a waste of time (from a quizbowl perspective; it may be a good book, though :P).

As a starting learner to quizbowl, something that will help you is first, get associated with the pyramid style of questions (starting with obscure stuff, giving the common-knowledge at the end), and once you understand that, write your own questions (of course, write them on things that come up in quizbowl, but don't write the same question you've seen before. If you don't learn something new in writing a question, you wasted your time. Google "writing quizbowl questions" for guides to help you write them). The best way to become good at quizbowl is to LEARN stuff; dont' just read packets, don't just look at lists of facts. Get a feel for what the questions ask, and then do something about it. Study up on your philosophers; write a paper about famous civil war battles. Actually applying your knowledge into writing a paper, giving a lecture, sharing your knowledge, writing questions, etc., will get it to stick in your head, MUCH better than simply staring at a list or rote memorization (granted, memorization does have its perks, but you'll discover those as you get better).

If you're good at science, however, you may wish to specialize just in that. Many good quizbowl teams have one person who specializes in one thing, one in another, and another person for another subject; this allows more in depth knowledge per each subject and is generally more rewarding from the points perspective, at the cost of no one player excelling pointwise (each subject only comes up so many times per round, after all). If your team is already pretty good, you may wish just to specialize, or, if your team is bad or you are a freshman/sophomore (and therefore have much time to improve), start learning as much as you can; which brings me to my next point.

Time. Time is the most important thing you have in practicing quizbowl. If you're not willing to put your own time into it, you'll never be "very good." Seeing as you created an account just to post this a message, I feel like you're willing to improve and put time into it, but my case still stands. Do quizbowl every day; carry around a sheet of quizbowl facts and look at it in your free time during classes. If you can't find the time to do at least a packet a day, you'll never be as good as others, who, I gaurantee, do more than one packet a day.
Jordan Kuhn, Christiansburg High School (Christiansburg, VA), class of 2014.

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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by jonah » Thu Feb 23, 2012 11:27 pm

JordanKuhn wrote:I flippin did it again. Typed up 3 paragraphs and then hit tab (to indent) which took my focus off of the typing, and then hit backspace, and lost all my writnig. I need to start typing in a notepad and copying it over here.... :mad:
If you use Firefox, the extension Lazarus prevents this kind of thing — you can just hit "Forward" to undo the "Back" and your post will be there.
Jonah Greenthal
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by Panayot Hitov » Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:47 pm

Another thing that cannot be ignored is going to good tournaments. Due to your mention of It's Academic, I assume that you are in the Metro DC area, which means that you have a huge amount of well-written tournaments with strong fields within an hour's drive. Actually going to tournaments is what I feel the single biggest one-day improvement to your skills could be. A list of upcoming tournaments in the DC area can be found here.
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by Redgrass1 » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:11 pm

I'm also new, but I think the best way to get better is to play more games, you should join the facebook group (if you're not in it) and play matches with people. I ask a ton of questions and people explain things to me, they're very helpful and teach me a lot of stock and you gotta know stuff. Also, by listening to questions you get better at identifying clues and getting used to hearing them instead of just reading them off paper. Reading old packets also helps, but when QB central gets back online you should definitely use that, also Madden recommends getting Incomplete Education. That's our holy text. There's also lots of you gotta know lists on NAQT.com and acequizbowlcamp.com I find that learning the basics gives you a broader range.
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MasterYster
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by MasterYster » Sat Feb 25, 2012 9:06 pm

So the packets are really the real thing needed? I've tried to start memorizing the literature frequency list but I don't think its very effective
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by Urech hydantoin synthesis » Sun Feb 26, 2012 1:47 pm

MasterYster wrote:So the packets are really the real thing needed? I've tried to start memorizing the literature frequency list but I don't think its very effective
Well, studying packets is basically the fastest way to become a good generalist. Going to tournaments will help you immensely as you get more experience recalling clues and being able to get used to the way the clues are read in games. It is helpful to have some real (classroom, personal study, or other non-quizbowl related) knowledge of some subjects, though it is not required if you currently want to become a generalist.
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by tintinnabulation » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:10 pm

MasterYster wrote:So the packets are really the real thing needed? I've tried to start memorizing the literature frequency list but I don't think its very effective
To start out being a good literature player, I think that you have to start out with the lists. if you can't handle the "FTP, name this author of Jane Eyre," you can't handle the Mr. Brocklehurst and the Lowwood School. If you want to get really good, you have to read packets and go on Wikipedia and and Sparknotes and stuff, but if you know nothing, memorizing lists of authors and works is a good way to get fairly proficient really fast. Especially if no one else in your team knows anything about lit.
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by Auroni » Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:11 pm

Read A/Several Book(s)
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Re: Tips for a brand new quizbowl player

Post by VGTheOne » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:46 am

Auroni wrote:
Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:11 pm
Read A/Several Book(s)
Like? (Sorry for a reply 7 years later, I'm stalking through old forum posts to find ways to improve.)
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