1 month to get ready for Tryouts

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MasterYster
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1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by MasterYster » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:29 pm

Hey at my school there are going to be tryouts at the beginning of the year for the "A" team for our quizbowl/"It's Academic" team and I would really like to know where to start. I've been going to meets for about half a year but I really didn't learn that much. Any recommendations where to start studying?
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by abnormal abdomen » Mon Aug 06, 2012 5:59 pm

I can't really help you with It's Academic! stuff, but as far as pyramidal quizbowl is concerned, your best bet is to study the things in which you have interest. A very common study tool is the Quizbowl DB. Filter to categories that interest you, and read easy high school questions. HSAPQ sets are pretty representative of good pyramidal quizbowl questions. Other common lists to study from include the ones included on the NAQT You Gotta Know page and the ACE Quizbowl Camp site.

This is a pretty quick summary; there are several posts on this website that cover studying in more depth.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by MasterYster » Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:40 pm

The thing is I've tried to go through that stuff, but I'm not really sure where to go from there? Should I be writing down everything in a journal? Should I be making flashcards to memorize them? Or should I just power through them? I'm just really at a loss of what you're supposed to do to get the stuff in your head you know?
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:03 pm

I've always found note carding to be the best strategy. Try to find clues that come up multiple times especially, you'll find that they will continue to come up in whatever set you do for tryouts.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by No Electricity Required » Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:38 pm

MasterYster wrote:The thing is I've tried to go through that stuff, but I'm not really sure where to go from there? Should I be writing down everything in a journal? Should I be making flashcards to memorize them? Or should I just power through them? I'm just really at a loss of what you're supposed to do to get the stuff in your head you know?
Get yourself a notebook for quizbowl. I'd write down and look up answers and clues you come across that you don't know. I wouldn't recommend writing down everything, but write down one or two clues right before where you were buzzing. Then go back, review the stuff you wrote down, and look the stuff up on the internet (read: Wikipedia) to learn more about it.

Flashcards can work, and I use them for some things, but I prefer actually reading/learning things in most subjects. I tend to be less likely to mix things up when I learn things that way, but you should figure out what works for you.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:13 pm

Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I've always found note carding to be the best strategy. Try to find clues that come up multiple times especially, you'll find that they will continue to come up in whatever set you do for tryouts.
You don't need to use notecards to become good at quiz bowl. That's just another form of rote memorization, which will do you some amount of good for the lower levels of high school quiz bowl but will fail you at the highest levels. I have never needed to use them, and neither has Sameer Rai, the best high school player in the country. What you want to do is get real knowledge by reading narratives of the subject you're interested in. If you need to learn things quickly, you can study clues that show up in packets and read Wikipedia articles, but over the long haul, I highly recommend reading textbooks pertaining to your area of study, as that's where writers get high school level clues from. Write questions to bolster your comprehension of a subject and force yourself to do research. If you take it slowly, you own't see results immediately, but you'll gradually get way ahead of those who opted for the memorization method.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by NikhilSethi » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:31 pm

List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:
Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I've always found note carding to be the best strategy. Try to find clues that come up multiple times especially, you'll find that they will continue to come up in whatever set you do for tryouts.
You don't need to use notecards to become good at quiz bowl. That's just another form of rote memorization, which will do you some amount of good for the lower levels of high school quiz bowl but will fail you at the highest levels. I have never needed to use them, and neither has Sameer Rai, the best high school player in the country. What you want to do is get real knowledge by reading narratives of the subject you're interested in. If you need to learn things quickly, you can study clues that show up in packets and read Wikipedia articles, but over the long haul, I highly recommend reading textbooks pertaining to your area of study, as that's where writers get high school level clues from. Write questions to bolster your comprehension of a subject and force yourself to do research. If you take it slowly, you own't see results immediately, but you'll gradually get way ahead of those who opted for the memorization method.
Would you happen to have any suggestions of possible materials to gain this understanding for Myth, Chem, and Physics? Are there specific resources that most readers use?
Thx in advance.
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Alpharetta HS '15

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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by No Electricity Required » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:44 pm

NikhilSethi wrote:
List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:
Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I've always found note carding to be the best strategy. Try to find clues that come up multiple times especially, you'll find that they will continue to come up in whatever set you do for tryouts.
You don't need to use notecards to become good at quiz bowl. That's just another form of rote memorization, which will do you some amount of good for the lower levels of high school quiz bowl but will fail you at the highest levels. I have never needed to use them, and neither has Sameer Rai, the best high school player in the country. What you want to do is get real knowledge by reading narratives of the subject you're interested in. If you need to learn things quickly, you can study clues that show up in packets and read Wikipedia articles, but over the long haul, I highly recommend reading textbooks pertaining to your area of study, as that's where writers get high school level clues from. Write questions to bolster your comprehension of a subject and force yourself to do research. If you take it slowly, you own't see results immediately, but you'll gradually get way ahead of those who opted for the memorization method.
Would you happen to have any suggestions of possible materials to gain this understanding for Myth, Chem, and Physics? Are there specific resources that most readers use?
Thx in advance.
I'll suggest some things.

Myth: The Greek Myths by Graves is solid. You should probably also read the Illiad and the Odyssey.The Eddas for Norse myth are really helpful, and I've heard good things about The Gods and Myths of Northern Europe.

Science: I've gotten a ton of mileage out of introductory college textbooks (like what you'd use in AP classes). I really like Fundamentals of Physics by Halliday, Resnick, and Walker. There are suggestions of introductory level textbooks in this article.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by Mewto55555 » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:46 pm

My strategy has always been a {read large amounts of material (be it packets, summaries, textbooks, whatever)} --> {distill clues from the text} --> {turn clues into computer flashcard form} --> {religiously review flashcards}. That said, this probably won't yield quick results; I've been at it for 2+ years now, and it usually takes a few weeks to get cards commited to long-term memory.

The fact that Sameer and I have such wildly different styles but are both pretty successful, even at higher difficulties, should probably be an indication that there's no one right way to study -- you know best how you learn best, so design a strategy around that.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:51 pm

List of Fighting Spirit characters wrote:
Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I've always found note carding to be the best strategy. Try to find clues that come up multiple times especially, you'll find that they will continue to come up in whatever set you do for tryouts.
You don't need to use notecards to become good at quiz bowl. That's just another form of rote memorization, which will do you some amount of good for the lower levels of high school quiz bowl but will fail you at the highest levels. I have never needed to use them, and neither has Sameer Rai, the best high school player in the country. What you want to do is get real knowledge by reading narratives of the subject you're interested in. If you need to learn things quickly, you can study clues that show up in packets and read Wikipedia articles, but over the long haul, I highly recommend reading textbooks pertaining to your area of study, as that's where writers get high school level clues from. Write questions to bolster your comprehension of a subject and force yourself to do research. If you take it slowly, you own't see results immediately, but you'll gradually get way ahead of those who opted for the memorization method.
Obviously it's all up to personal preference. Note carding packets isn't the only thing you should do. One thing I don't get is the bash on Wikipedia. Reading Wikipedia articles will give you just as much information on a particular area in history as any textbook, and will often give more if the textbook isn't specific enough. I didn't say you have to notecard, but just that it is my preferred method.

My personal study method to learn a particular area (British Prime Ministers, for example), is to go on the database, notecard everything in that area, and then read the wiki articles on the subjects I jist notecarded. Following that, read the articles on particular buzzwords, which will give you the advantage of allowing you to buzz off of a description of the buzzword first. Following that, I'll often get someone to read me the tossups I notecarded. Buzzing off of things you just notecarded will make them easy to stay in your head. A combination of notecards and Wikipedia articles will give you a good comprehension of a particular subject, in much less time. A few hours as opposed to a few days. I don't know if my memory is just better than others, but I rarely forget things after doing this.
Last edited by Kilroy Was Here on Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
Collin Parks
University of Michigan '18

"Aragorn was the famed king of Gondor, while the Iberian kingdom was Aragon. Both parties were aware of this coincidence: we have a journal entry from Aragorn that expresses his anger at receiving mail meant for King Peter IV of Aragon for the umpteenth time."~ CommodoreCoCo

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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by Cheynem » Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:54 pm

I think before doing anything (flashcards, notetaking, question writing), it's best to just get exposed to a lot of quizbowl, so reading a number of high quality, difficulty appropriate packets is good. I don't say this to mean MEMORIZE EVERY CLUE, but just that having a familiarity of the types of things that come up in quizbowl is essential before you start reading or studying anything.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by MasterYster » Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:39 pm

Thanks Cheynem, any suggestions on which packets I should start with?
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by MasterYster » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:10 pm

Thanks for all the responses. Just to follow up, which packets do you think I should start with, as in represents the canon of stuff I should definitely know?
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:46 pm

Also, why are there tryouts for your team? Adjustments to teams should be made based on who does work and gets better and demonstrates excellence throughout the year. It should not be set in stone based on a single event at the beginning of the year. Quiz bowl is fundamentally different from athletic events in that talent at tryouts does not necessarily translate to talent in competition or even in practice. Quiz bowl is more based on who's willing to work the hardest and who's intellectually curious enough to pursue the event, as I've personally witnessed many players with high potential burn out early and players who struggled initially rise to the occasion (such as the aforementioned best player in the country).
You might not be able to effect change this year, but try to eliminate competitive tryouts in later years if you can.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by i never see pigeons in wheeling » Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:15 pm

MasterYster wrote:Thanks for all the responses. Just to follow up, which packets do you think I should start with, as in represents the canon of stuff I should definitely know?
Start with LIST, SCOP, and Fall Novice.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:08 pm

If Churchill is anything like Blake was, tryouts were ongoing and could change throughout the year, and the lineup could change between It's Academic tapings.
Anyway, It's Ac is pretty easy to study for, honestly- they repeat questions pretty often and sometimes throw in a little current events. My advice would be to get Churchill to focus as much on quizbowl as It's Ac; It's Ac was fun, but I mostly wish I had played more quizbowl in HS.
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Re: 1 month to get ready for Tryouts

Post by Great Bustard » Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:12 pm

When going through tossups, try looking at multiple tossups with the same answer line, and seeing which clues are referenced across most or all of the different tossups. That can help in particular at higher levels of difficulty. I'll also send you our Quizbowl Resources Guide - if anyone else would like an updated copy (as of summer 2012), please email or private message me.
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