ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Become A Quizzing Genius

Updated on February 22, 2011


Some of the best scenes in moves and television occur when a character demonstrates incredible general knowledge to the amazement of those around them.

A famous example is the bar scene in Good Will Hunting.

One recent example was in episode 3 of The Vampire Diaries when Stefan Salvatore stands up to a bully teacher by correctly giving the dates of a seemingly endless list of historical events. Then again, he is a vampire and this is a TV show. Can anyone be like that in real-life?

The Bar Scene From 'Good Will Hunting'

Matt Damon's character, Will Hunting stands up to a smug Harvard student.

Kim Peek, the late mega-savant
Kim Peek, the late mega-savant

Real-life brainiacs

The condition of savantism (although popularised by the movie Rain Man') is very much real and many real-life savants have caught the public's attention. The late mega-savant and inspiration for the film 'Rain Man', Kim Peek was said to be able to recall any verse in the Bible from memory. Daniel Tammet, a high-functioning savant and affectionately nicknamed 'Brainman', can speak 11 languages and recite Pi to 22,514 decimal places.

Kevin Ashman of BBC's Eggheads
Kevin Ashman of BBC's Eggheads

TV Quiz Champions

Then there are the remarkable quiz-players we see on TV. The star of NBC's 1 v 100 Christopher Langan is estimated to have an IQ of 210, and Kevin Ashman of BBC1's Eggheads displays a practically infallible general knowledge week-after-week, year-after-year on the popular tea-time quiz show.

Not smart enough?

Despite what you may think, anyone can drastically improve their quizzing abilities. Even in a week, a person can make significant improvements. So if you want to start improving how you do in the quizzing arena, here are some tips to get you started. Some of these tips are discussed in my book and some are brand-new just to get you started!


Tip One: Become a Mentalist!

Master the psychology of the question-setter and you will be able to work out the answer to questions even when you don't know.

If there are multiple-choice answers and the answers are names, consider if any of the names have a slightly unusual spelling. Sometimes question-setters only go to the trouble of accurately spelling a person's name - if it is the correct answer! On the other hand, if a name is spelt in a very complicated manner with apostrophes and hyphens peppered all over the place, that is usually a quiz-setters' pitiful attempt at a red-herring!

If the question is about an obscure medical condition, listen for any clues in the etymology of the word. Quiz-setters (especially those compiling pub quizzes) are eager to fill the entertainment aspect of quizzing by choosing questions that can be worked out with a little consideration and spirited debate! But always, always beware of seemingly obvious clues - these again are often red-herrings!


Tip Two: Don't Be Afraid To Change Your Answer!

Now, I know what you're thinking: first instincts are always correct! Well, yes, I thought the same thing! But according to studies, the chance you will change from a wrong answer to a right answer is 57%! So next time your finger is hovering over a particular answer on the pub quiz machine and you get a sudden urge to change your answer, consider doing it! And then scream “I was gonna go for that!” when it's wrong!

Tip Three: Learn To Save Your Lifelines!

Pub quiz machines are known for having 'stumpers' or 'stoppers': questions so hard that no-one in their right mind could answer them! So treat your lifelines like gold-dust! The early rounds on a pub quiz machine are usually designed to be easy which means if you're getting stumped, it's worth taking a moment to consider the answer before rushing to use your lifeline.


Tip Four: It's All in the Graphics!

When questions are being asked on a pub quiz machine or TV quiz shows, the clues can sometimes be in the graphics. If the answers appear in boxes, check to see if any of the answers look uncomfortable squished into the box. If an answer is squished into a box, it may well be the right answer - as question setters will more likely choose a shorter answer to suit the graphics if they are wrong answers.


Tip Five: Hypnopaedia

Hypnopaedia or sleep-learning has become increasingly popular with people wanting to learn another language. This is no doubt because of its depiction in the Aldous Huxley novel, Brave New World, where a young Polish boy recites word-for-word an English radio broadcast which was playing while he slept.

A study in 1952 seemed to verify hypnopaedia, when test subjects showed increased Chinese comprehension after being played recordings in their sleep.

The actual effectiveness of sleep-learning is disputed - but worth considering. One way to test whether it's for you is to make a recording of trivia facts and listen to it on your MP3 player when you sleep.


Tip Six: Don't Waste Time!

Today's lifestyles may be busier but today's technology has made it so much easier to lean a lot in a less time!

Podcasts and audiobooks can be listened to when you're travelling to work, exercising and doing the household chores. And with a Kindle, you don't have to waste time flicking the find the right page.

Search-engines and online encyclopaedias help us check facts straight away, and online quiz games mean you can constantly revise your trivia whenever you're waiting for a website to load! (Ok, maybe that last tip is a bit dated with the speed of broadband internet these days!)

How To Become A Quizzing Genius was recently #15 on one of the Lulu best-sellers chart
How To Become A Quizzing Genius was recently #15 on one of the Lulu best-sellers chart

The Book

These tips have hopefully given you a head-start on how you can tweak your quizzing performance - and possibly been a fun read too!

The next question most people have is whether they can expand and develop their existing general knowledge?

From business people to students to just about anyone, people are rightfully asking whether they can improve their overall general knowledge. It is my opinion, based on working with people to improve their general knowledge in record time, that anyone can.

Now if you hate shameless plugging as much as me, feel free to ignore the next part! But if you're interested, my book is called 'How To Become A Quizzing Genius' and is available now. It teaches readers some of the secret techniques that have helped many seasoned quiz players make a living out of quizzing! With illustrations, case studies and guided examples, readers learn the methods and 'mind tricks' that will change the way they learn trivia forever and help them in becomng a quizzing genius!

The book is available to both UK and US customers, and the e-book is currently only £4.99 and available from the reputable The links are directly below.

Buy The Book

To purchase the book securely from Lulu, or find out more about the book, visit the following links.

Free Quiz Questions & Answers

If you're looking for questions to use in your own quizzes, feel free to check out the free questions and answers on my site. They are great for a pub quiz and are completely free for you to use.

Other Quiz Books

Here are some other great quiz books to check out!

Quiz DVDs

A great way of practising your quizzing is to play on a DVD quiz. Here are some suggestions.

Did you enjoy this article? Let me know what you think!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Tip Six: Don't Waste Time!

      Today's lifestyles may be busier but today's technology has made it so much easier to lean a lot in a less time!

      Errm.... 'Lean a lot'?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)