Friday, April 02, 2004

A paper on Necessities of Conducting a FAIR quiz.(main round only)

4. Scope of Questions & 5.Setting a quiz

I feel that the scope of questions is heavily influenced by the quiz setter's personal likings and therefore tends to be biased on few particular sets of subjects. I do not say that this is an error as such and no one is to be blamed. Also if the setter goes out of the way to set a question which he thinks must be included, but since he himself does not have any in depth knowledge of it, then many a times the quality of the question is compromised.

(for eg: if someone is setting a sports quiz and is damn good at say cricket,football,basketball but does not know a lot of golf. If he makes it a point to include a question on golf then he might end up setting a sitter in golf and thus lower the quality of the quiz --- that someone once happened to be me :-) )

Also heavily biased questions give an unfair advantage to teams having the same liking as the setter. Thus evenly distributed topics are desired.

To achieve this aim it is absolutely necessary therefore that a consortium of people set the quiz. There are some disadvantages in this method notably that the quality of questioning is compromised(i.e some questions really good some not so, inconsistent quality). However if the group is carefully chosen with certain factors like,
a)different areas of personal interest b)good camraderie c)two people handling the same topic(acts like a cross check) d)some final authority / combined discussion on including a question. e)not too large

The last point i feel is not followed and is the major reason for inconsistencies. The question setting must be preferably done together. If this is not possible then atleast the finalization of quiz question must be done together.Many times the QM may say A will set the sports round, B will set the music round ....This must be avoided and a general discussion must be held before finalizing the questions. This is absolutely necessary to ensure equal quality. Also it is important that the QM is comfortable with the question.(However i feel that a the actual quiz must be done by 1 person only, no two QMs)

The actual process of setting a quiz takes a lot of time and should ideally be started quite early and by the time the headaches of other on the ground factors troubles the organizers i.e sponsorship etc. the questions should be
ready. Last minute scrambling for questions lowers the quality of many a quizzes and even though the intention is noble it is not translated into reality. Therefore one must give a fair bit of time to set the questions and therefore ensure the quality of the quiz (notable example INQUIZZITION '03)

Thus i have tried to discuss in brief a few issue regarding necessities/factors of conducting/organizing/setting a fair quiz.A short point to note is that the above text is only a guideline and are i feel the general rules regarding setting a fair quiz. Also it may give us a few points regarding what might make a quiz unfair. So strictly adhering to them in all respects is not possible in the true sense. These are only general guidelines and my thoughts on the issue.A fruitful discussion may lead us to conclude a general summary and modifications if any.


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