A small debate arose last week on facebook between some top uk quizzers. I was very interested to read it and want to ask TQA readers their take on the issue.
Basically, the issue was about the fairest way to contest major quizzing events and what is the truer test of knowledge. For anyone who is not aware the UK has a quizzing circuit which meets once a month and contests Grand Prix events. The format of the event is paper based questions. I have not yet attended an event but have purchased question sets so roughly know what I am talking about. 240 questions I believe are to be answered on paper.
The majority in the debate felt this was a fair way to test, stating it was a true test of knowledge as there was no pressure of say a mastermind style GK round or the frustration of being beat to the buzzer.
The subject was raised whether or not some sort of buzzer round should be added to the quiz GP’s. With nearly a hundred people attending these events this would be a logistical nightmare but I’m sure the folks who organise it could manage it. Would this add anything to the quiz? As much as I enjoy buzzer quizzers it is clear that they favour the people with the best recall and speed. You could play say a 50 question buzzer quiz and know the answer to every questions but be outbuzzed by others. Is this a fair test of knowledge? I would agree with those who say not. Of course to be a top class quizzer and compete in the main broadcast quiz shows you need good speed and recall but I do not see a place for it at GP’s. I think writing down the answers on a paper based “exam”, for want of a better word, is the true test of knowledge these GP’s are supposed to represent and also fairer in terms of the rankings etc.
Those arguing the other side of the case make a good point. First off I am denying the fast paced quizzing ability needed to compete on Mastermind is a superb test of knowledge. Of course it is! But the point raised by other people was that being in a situation such as a buzzer quiz demands more attention and concentration thus produces better results. I can certainly see where this point of view comes from and to add to that a few quizzers mentioned that if they were doing bad on one set of questions they were more likely to just “give up” than if in a buzzer quiz.
A combination of the above is obviously needed to be a top quizzer but in terms of the Quizzing Circuit GP’s I would agree with the argument that paper tests serve better. Any views?