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Top Tips On How To Write A Great Quiz

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns and isolations, quizzes have been one of the most popular forms of entertainment and a brilliant reason for families and friends to catch up on Zoom. While quizzes have always been popular and once the pandemic is over people will be flocking back to the pub to participate in their local quiz, they have been particularly wonderful over the last year because they are so accessible and something that can be done online, they can be personalized, they’re free to do and anyone can do them. So, if you’re tasked with creating a quiz for your next video chat with your loved ones, then here are some tips on how to create a really good quiz!

Make Sure The Questions Are The Right Length

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If your questions are too long then this can make your quiz long and become boring and they can also be confusing for your participants. At the same time though, questions that are too short and don’t have any details are pretty boring too. Add context and a bit of background to your questions, for example, if you wanted to know something about Strictly Come Dancing, you could start your question with “Last week saw the final of Strictly Come Dancing, can you name the four judges?’ The question is simple enough but it just adds a little bit of detail to make it more interesting and you’re highlighting that it’s a topical question. 

Be Specific

If your question is vague then it might be that there are too many possible answers. Make sure you word your question and structure it well so that it is clear what you are asking and so that there is only one answer. For example, if you’re asking a question about the musical Les Miserables, then make sure you state if you are referring to the film or the theatre production. Specify a year if you need to or a version. Just make sure that no one can argue another answer is correct. 

Know Your Audience

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While you can’t cater to everyone and you don’t want everyone to know all the answers, it’s also important to make sure that your quiz is enjoyed by everyone you’re writing it for. Don’t write it for yourself either, so if you are a huge sports fan then yes you might know how much money certain football teams have spent on transfers in the last twenty years and that Manchester City – €2.05bn, but your Grandma is unlikely to know this. You should include some sports questions but if you’re writing a quiz for people you know then try to keep it broad and varied but also gear at least one question to each person. Another good thing about writing a quiz for people you know is that you can ask niche and personal questions about them too such as when their birthdays are or who has a middle name.  

Don’t Have Too Many Questions Or Rounds

No one likes it when a quiz is dragging on, but it is a very common problem because on paper 20 questions might not seem a lot but when you’re asking the questions it takes time and can be long. According to a pub quiz expert, their regular format is a 40 question quiz with a half-time break which normally lasts for about two hours. This won’t be the same for everyone but it is a good guideline to go off. 

Mix It Up

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Different rounds are a great way to keep a quiz interesting. Having a picture round can be a lot of fun and this can be something that people do in the break or you can give it to them at the beginning and then they can do it throughout the quiz. You can do anything for a picture round from dog breeds to Christmas number ones. Another good round to mix things up is either a music round or an audio round. This could be a ‘name that tune’ and all the tunes you pick could follow a theme, or it could be ‘name the artist’ or if just going for an audio round it could be familiar sounds that people have to guess such as the Windows start-up or the Netflix sound.

Have Different Types Of Questions

Just as above, it’s a good idea to mix things up so instead of all your questions just being ‘who did this and who did that?’ then add the following types of questions into your quiz and you’ll be sure to create something truly fun and interesting

1. The Amazing Fact

Find an amazing fact and ask about this. Here’s a fact that you may not know, Lego is the largest tire manufacturer. So your question could be ‘Who is the largest tire manufacturer?’ and because it’s not actually a tire manufacturer then this is not only a little bit of a trick question but it’s also an interesting fact. Google some amazing facts and turn them into questions. 

2. The 50-50

A 50-50 question is always a good one because it gets people thinking. If you offer them two answers which could both be right, but only one is, then this can be fun. So, you could ask ‘which is bigger, France or Spain?’ 

3. Kim’s Game

Think about famous images that most people can picture in their heads, then ask them a question about that. For example, most people can imagine the famous picture of the painters on the Brooklyn Bridge, but would they know how many men are sat there? Ask them details about things they know well and you’ll see them struggle. 

4. The Great Leveller

It’s always good when you have a question that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are or how many qualifications you have, it makes no difference. Something like types of chocolates is there is a box of Roses is a really good one. 

5. Tip of the tongue

It’s so annoying when the answer is just on the tip of your tongue and the best way to find these questions is by using recent news events to create them. 

6. D’oh!

Always make sure you have a straightforward-seeming question in there but one that can make people’s minds go blank, so for example, who is the vice-president of the United States?

7. What links…Linking questions are always fun. Find three or four completely different and dull things and ask what links them. There’s a great board game called Linkee you can use to get inspiration for this.

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