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Hints and Tips for Running a Quiz

Timing
Be Prepared
During the Quiz
Fund-Raising Tips

Timing

It’s important to select a quiz that is appropriate for the length of event you plan to run. As a general guideline, a fifty question quiz should be completed within an hour and a half, while a hundred question quiz should be completed in less than three hours – these timings include a break in the middle.

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Be Prepared

Ensure that you have sufficient copies of question and answers sheets for the expected number of teams - plus a few spare (it’s surprising how many teams turn up unannounced!).

Teams will need pens/pencils and scrap paper to make notes on, so make sure you have sufficient supplies.

Try to aim for teams of six, experience has shown this to be a good number as it allows for two players to drop out while still leaving a viable team of four.

Give a prize to the winning team and perhaps a bag of sweets to the one that comes last.

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During the Quiz

When reading the questions remember to speak loudly and clearly, if you have access to a P.A. system you may find this very helpful - there is always background noise from contestants and spectators as the quiz progresses!

Speak slowly and clearly and read every question through twice, this serves two purposes:

  1. People are often too busy talking and miss the start of a question – they’ll want it repeating anyway!
  2. Hopefully you’ll drown out the excited contestant who shouts the answer out!

After the second reading allow about 20 seconds before reading the next question.

In many small quiz events marking is achieved by swapping answer papers between teams and then reading out the answers. This can work, although it relies on the honesty of the teams and can lead to inconsistent marking. Be aware that this can only be done at the end of the quiz, as to mark individual sections in this manner will stop the flow.

If possible, allocate a marker to mark all the answer sheets, a single marker can easily cope with fifteen teams, for larger events an extra marker will be necessary.

Choose the points during the quiz when you want to collect sections for marking. This will depend on how many sections are on a single answer page, how many markers you have etc. When the papers have been collected, give the answers to the previous sections and move on to the next while the answers are being marked.

The score should be regularly read out or displayed, if a projector or whiteboard are available this can add a professional touch! – you can increase or decrease the frequency of updates depending on how well you’re following your schedule.

Have a break for half an hour in the middle of the quiz, everyone will want one!

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Fund-Raising Tips

Charge each player a fee to enter the quiz.

Consider these ideas for raising more money:

  1. If you can run the event in a location with a bar you can earn more through the sale of refreshments.
  2. The event could include a supper during the break – charge enough for this to cover the costs and add a little extra profit.
  3. During the break you could hold a raffle prize draw, or perhaps play a simple fund raising game.

    One such game is “Heads and Tails”. To play this everyone pays a small amount (a pound or a couple of dollars). The idea is to guess the outcome when two coins are flipped by the person running the game.

    Everyone starts by standing and placing each hand on either their head or their rear (where their tails would be!). So, to signify that they think the result will be two heads they must place both hands on their head, two tails and both hands are placed on their rear, and if they think one coin will be heads and the other tails they should place one hand on their head and the other on their rear.

    After the coins are flipped, everyone who guesses correctly remains standing and everyone else sits down. This is repeated until there is a winner. That person wins half the money collected and the other half pays for the prizes and the price of the quiz. This should mean that all the money collected as entry fees is profit.

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