New Team, resources to study

This forum is for anyone seeking advice on starting a collegiate team, branching out into new types of tournaments, or other "how-to" aspects of collegiate quizbowl.
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Karan_GeoHP
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New Team, resources to study

Post by Karan_GeoHP »

Hello, my name is Karan Menon. I am a freshman and President of USC Quiz Bowl. Our members have high school quiz bowl experience and we have gone to two ACF tournaments so far, but are finding ACF questions very difficult. What is the best way to prepare for ACF level literature, philosophy, and science?
Karan Menon
University of Southern California Quiz Bowl President(2019-present)
John P. Stevens High School Quiz Bowl President(2017-2019), Coach(2020-present)
[email protected]
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CPiGuy
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Re: New Team, resources to study

Post by CPiGuy »

Karan_GeoHP wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:28 am but are finding ACF questions very difficult.
I'm not going to address the rest of your post bc I don't really have any good suggestions, but you shouldn't feel too intimidated by ACF Regionals -- aside from opens and Nationals, it's probably the hardest tournament on the collegiate calendar. Almost every tournament you play will be easier than it, often significantly. 12.5 PPB is actually quite respectable for a new team on Regionals in my opinion.
Conor Thompson (he/him)
Bangor High School '16
University of Michigan '20
Iowa State University '25
A Dim-Witted Saboteur
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Re: New Team, resources to study

Post by A Dim-Witted Saboteur »

Karan_GeoHP wrote: Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:28 am Hello, my name is Karan Menon. I am a freshman and President of USC Quiz Bowl. Our members have high school quiz bowl experience and we have gone to two ACF tournaments so far, but are finding ACF questions very difficult. What is the best way to prepare for ACF level literature, philosophy, and science?
Hi, Karan! It's always great to see people taking the initiative to start clubs on their own; that's really impressive and definitely not something I could've done. It's definitely hard to know where to begin with higher difficulties, but the good news is you seem to have the most important part (wanting to improve) down. I can speak mostly to literature, so if any science player wants to post correctives to any of this they should feel free. If you have high school quiz bowl experience the general methods for adjusting to college tournaments is the same (I'm largely condensing advice from Max Schindler and Matt Weiner here; I believe you can find the originals in the "Best of the Best" section viewtopic.php?f=30&t=14099): read questions until you notice patterns in what comes up (it's larger and harder, but collegiate quiz bowl has a "canon" just like high school), google the easiest part of a bonus or the easiest clue you've never heard of while you're reading a packet (adding it to a study doc if you have one is optional), and if you want break categories up into smaller pieces to make learning them seem more manageable. Studying "literature" is daunting, studying "Nathaniel Hawthorne" or "African dramatists" or "medieval poets" is less so. Writing questions on your own in ACF format and at ACF difficulty is also a very good method for making it seem less intimidating and a good way to cement new things you're learning in your mind. For literature specifically, I'd also recommend giving the things clued in questions a read if they're short or seem particularly interesting; it's the surest method of getting yourself points and very frequently a lot of fun. For philosophy, I'll repeat the recommendation of better thought players than me to check out plato.stanford.edu; it can be abstruse at times but is good at giving you a decent sense of what's important. For science, I have nothing to add to Eric Mukherjee's "Becoming and being a great science player" post, available here viewtopic.php?f=30&t=18740. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions, especially about history, where I'm best qualified to give advice. Happy studying!
Jakob Myers
MSU '21, Naperville North (IL) '17
"No one has ever organized a greater effort to get people interested in pretending to play quiz bowl"
-Ankit Aggarwal
They/them, retired
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