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How to Become a better trivia player?

How to Become a better trivia player?

“Tips hints and ideas on improving your trivia skills”


Welcome back to the blog and I hope you have been enjoying the range of posts as of late. If you enjoy reading them half as much as I enjoy writing them then then I will be happy!


Today we are going to look at a very different subject and rather than coming at things from a hosting point of view we are going to look and address any budding trivia players in the room. Now, let me introduce myself a little. I take quizzing, the playing side of things, very seriously and I have devoted the last 6-7 years of my life to improving my ranking on the British circuit. The first “serious” quiz event I attended I was last and swore to myself that day to become better. Within 2 years I had moved up to become 30th in the UK Championships and climbed higher in the rankings with each event. I went from being an average pub quiz player to being a leading player in any event I went to. I am going to share some tips with you on how I improved and what you may need to look at.


Yes, I know what you are going to say….its only a bit of fun, why do I need to take it serious? This is a post for people who want to improve so if you’re not interested in getting a little bit stronger in your team and wowing more players then this may not be the post for you….

Here are a few tips that helped me improve.


How to Become a better trivia player? – Dedicated Current Affairs Revision

You have to keep up on current affairs…..quiz masters always use them. Its fresh in their mind, there will be dedicated rounds and you need to be aware of what is going on. Find a quality newspaper to read each day, browse the news site, listen to news stations in the car instead of music and try and bookmark sites like the BBC News quiz and other such sites that have weekly quizzes on the weeks news. Heck, one thing I do is write myself some revision questions, circling things in papers etc. Even if you have no interest in things like Snooker, or Music, or Film…if there has been a major event that week make sure you know the ins and outs.

The benefits of doing this of course is that you are improving your all round knowledge so don’t simply have facts revised for a quiz for just one night, try and make them stick.


How to Become a better trivia player?- Invest in Books

I would suggest starting off with a little investment in the likes of Trevor Montagues A-Z of everything, a good old fashioned books of lists, a couple of quality trivia books, an atlas, a history the world and a book or two on subjects you feel weak on. Book collecting soon becomes addictive and before you know it you will be building new rooms just to house your quiz books. It helps focus your revision….yes the internet is all well and good but sites like Wikipedia contain so much information you will never need to know whereas the books and reference works end to be much .


How to Become a better trivia player? – Quiz Quiz Quiz

This seems obvious but so many people get bogged down in reading and list learning that they forget to quiz. My one main tip when starting out on your path to improving your quizzing is to get out there and quiz…..when I was in my peak improvement period I went to 4-5 pub quizzes a week as well as several major events a month. I would watch and record all the major TV shows, hunt down old episodes online and every spare moment I had would be holed up in quiz book doing questions.

You have to do questions to get a flavor of the common things that get asked.


How to Become a better trivia player? – Revise topics that come up

There is a YouTube video in which the World Quizzing Champion from a few years ago Jesse Honey gives a tip “To get something wrong once is fine….to get it wrong twice is unforgiveable”. I took this as key advice and its worked perfect. If you get a couple of questions on the periodic table wrong for instance….devote time to learning it and you should never get it wrong again. As you will find from doing a lot of trivia the same questions come up time and time again so make sure you remember answers and make notes of what you get wrong.


How to Become a better trivia player? – Focus on your weakest areas

Another useful tip given to me was focus on the weakest areas you have….this seems simple but use me for example….I was always strong on the sport and entertainment rounds and because I cared about them as topics I would revise them as I enjoyed it. A serious quizzer said to me, ignore that….focus on the things you don’t score highly on. Science being one and Animals being the other….so I devoted my time to those subjects and found I picked up a lot more points that way. In a standard pub quiz I am going to get all the sports questions so revising more detail is useless. Whereas if I spend an hour or two a day on Science it should boost the score more overall.



I hope you have found this useful and I know it wont be for everyone. As I have done this myself I am full of useful information on this subject so any questions just ask, get in touch via the comments and Ill be more than happy to give more tips and suggestions and may even look into doing another post on this subject further down the line. Until then….happy trivia hosting (and playing)

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