Help Required, New QB team!

New high school teams looking for advice should post here.
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 5:37 pm

Help Required, New QB team!

Post by Karan_GeoHP »

Hello Everyone,
We are a team of 6 students who have done quiz bowl competitions before(National History Bee and Bowl), but never any of the NAQT Tournaments. Any tips on sites besides and the NAQT You Gotta Know to study from? Also, how do you prepare in group sessions?

Furthermore, from the questions I have seen in the packets and online, there are a lot of literature questions. Does anyone know how to study for them, especially if you are not really into classical literature?


Last edited by Karan_GeoHP on Mon Feb 13, 2017 7:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Karan Menon
University of Southern California Quiz Bowl President(2019-present)
John P. Stevens High School Quiz Bowl President(2017-2019), Coach(2020-present)
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Stained Diviner
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Re: Help Required, New QB team!

Post by Stained Diviner »

For new teams, it is helpful to listen to a lot of questions to get a sense for how questions are structured and what topics come up. You can find lots of free good questions at the packet archive.

A lot of teams take notes on what comes up, especially topics they need to study, and they then study or read those things. It is common for new teams to need to work on literature.
David Reinstein
PACE VP of Outreach, Head Writer and Editor for Scobol Solo and Masonics (Illinois), TD for New Trier Scobol Solo and New Trier Varsity, Writer for NAQT (2011-2017), IHSSBCA Board Member, IHSSBCA Chair (2004-2014), PACE Member, PACE President (2016-2018), New Trier Coach (1994-2011)
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Irreligion in Bangladesh
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Re: Help Required, New QB team!

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

Having played NHBB, you'll notice that history tossups feel the same, and other categories have writing styles common to them; it's just a matter of learning material and getting familiar with the other categories. If you've had success studying old NHBB packets, you'll probably have success studying old quizbowl packets. If you've had success reading history (textbooks, historical books), you'll probably have success reading literature (anthologies and textbooks, novels, poems). If you've had success taking notes on questions you hear in games/practice, continue taking notes. If you haven't had success at one of these things for NHBB, do still try it with other subjects in regular quizbowl; people learn different things in different ways.

The main similarity with history and literature in quizbowl is that they're both mostly tested on the primary sources; literature tossups check to see if you've learned what happened in the book, and history tossups check to see if you've learned what happened in the event. Few high school questions dive into literary criticism or historiography. As a result, there's a high amount of success to be had from reading literary works. You ask about "if you are not really into classical literature" -- if so, pick literature you do like. If there isn't that literature out there, broaden your horizons and you may find something new you like. If not, maybe just stick to history; you don't have to master the entire distribution.

The main difference between the games is the balance of how depth is tested. NHBB is almost totally tossups, so the depth focus is more on "be able to buzz early on hard clues;" quizbowl bonuses focus on "be able to respond with hard answers." Those actions are different, and to an extent they require different studying processes. (Some of that balance swings back; because NHBB is single-subject, you'll see hard tossup answer lines in NHBB that couldn't be tossed up effectively in regular difficulty quizbowl; they're better placed as middle/hard parts of bonuses instead.)
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Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
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Re: Help Required, New QB team!

Post by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov »

The best website to use for studying is Quinterest is best when used in conjunction with Wikipedia or some other database/encyclopedia. If I am reading through a Wikipedia article pertaining to my study topic (and making flashcards along the way to help me remember things, another good strategy), I am also searching clues from the Wikipedia article on Quinterest to see if they are relevant or not. For example, if I am studying the Battle of Antietam, something that I would read about on the Wikipedia page is that reinforcements from Harper's Ferry prevented Ambrose Burnside's offensive. I would then go to Quinterest and find questions about the Battle of Antietam and see whether that clue is used or not - whether it is worth remembering or not. Also, I like to switch the "Search type" from "Answer" to "Question and Answer", as this will show all questions that mention my searched term, not just the ones with my searched term as an answer.

When my club meets, we just split into teams and play quiz bowl, which may not be the most efficient use of club meetings, but is very very helpful in developing players' buzzing strategies and buzzing intuition.

Even if you don't have a player that knows literature (and this applies to any subject), you will eventually start picking up clues from along the way that will help you convert some literature questions, without specific studying. However, it also helps to have someone that just reads summaries of books online and remembers key plot points/characters, ideally using Quinterest to discern important points from less important ones.

Hope that this helps, and good luck to your team in the future!

PS Very happy to see a fellow GeoBee alumnus get into Quiz Bowl!
Nick Rommel
Lexington Quizbowl President '17-'18

"Cloud forests in this mountain range-" BUZZ "Andes Mountains"
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