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Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
As some of you know, the NNU (Northwest) Regional quiz was this past weekend, up in Nampa Idaho! And before anything else, I just want to give a huge congratulations to everyone who quizzed, because there was some really great competition, and as always, some really great camaraderie, and sportsmanship displayed!
So today, I just wanted to go through some of the big takeaways for me, that I got from this tournament. I usually make a mental note of things I learn at all of the quizzes, but if I've ever talked with you about the four other regional tournaments I've been to, chances are I've probably had a lot to say :P. That's because it's at these quizzes, that I usually am the most focused, the most prepared for, and the most competitive (nationals are very close, though :P).
And after I explain each takeaway, I'll share with you guys a little bit of what I hope to do between now and the national tournament, in order to improve in those specific areas (if they are a more negative takeaway). It'll be fun :P.
The first few takeaways I'm going to share with you guys, are going to be competition-oriented, and the last few are going to be more on the spiritual side, so stay tuned for that! And with no further ado, lets go ahead and get started...
Number One - The need for better recall/review practice
At regionals, I was jumping on According To's both to help my team, and of course to help my own individual score (in addition to other types). At the time of the quiz, I had memorized all of 1-2 Corinthians except for the final chapter. However, for reasons that I will include in a later takeaway, I didn't end up reviewing or practicing fast recall as much as I could/should have.
For According To's, especially if you are jumping right after the reference (I've learned that this is referred to as a "blind according to"), you should ideally be able to think of the verse right off the bat, or only take up to 5 seconds to think of it. This includes thinking of the whole verse, and the correct words used in the verse.
However, since I didn't do as much/as thorough preparation as I would have liked, I often would fall into one of the three following mistakes: 1) Not being able to think of the verse at all, 2) Remembering inaccurate words or phrases, or 3) Not being able to think of the whole verse, and missing the part that included the actual question.
Plan to improve:
In the next month, I hope to solidify my knowledge of the material for jumping on According To's. I'll probably be doing this by quoting the chapters forwards and backwards, simply reading through the material, and using the Reference tool on QuizMaster to practice my thought process to a quick/quicker recall time.
Number Two - Cramming can't make up for studying like a boss all season
I really should know this... I really should :P But have I corrected this? Apparently not, or at least not completely haha!
I gotta admit, I did do a good amount of cramming for this tournament, in the 1-3 weeks before (increasing intensity as it got closer, of course LOL). And, as ashamed as I am to say it, I don't think that I would have ended up making a Regional Team if I hadn't crammed like I did. So, in that sense, cramming did help me, but here's why it was negative and detrimental...
Like I mentioned briefly earlier, I didn't have a lot of good reviewing/recall practice, and that's because I was cramming. I was trying and working so hard to make sure that I had everything (or nearly everything) memorized, that I ended up just putting everything into short-term memory - and if you fast-forward to a week after learning that material, you'll find that a lot of it is harder to reach.
That's why, with according to's and everything else, it's a really really really good idea to be learning it and practicing it and remembering it all season long, so that the tracks in your brain are easy, fast, and accurate. I didn't end up doing that this season, I regret to say.
There's not a ton that I can do, with the time we have left, to really correct this, but here's my plan anyway :P...
Plan to improve:
I'll be making a conscious effort to invest time into studying at least 1-3 hours a day, hopefully 5ish days a week. By doing this, studying more consistently, I hope to not only move all of this new knowledge to long-term memory, and improve the recall time/accuracy, but to actually get a deeper understanding of the material that we'll be quizzing over at Q2018.
Number Three - Studying for According To's actually really helps with Generals too!
This is something that I was actually a little concerned about, going into Regionals. In the past, I've actually leaned heavily on jumping on Generals. They were the question type that I started out with, they're what got me on and helped me compete on the other two Regional Teams I've had the privilege of being on, and they're just a ton of fun! :P
Because of that, and because I didn't study Generals, study for Generals, or really focus on jumping on Generals all that much this past season, I was worried that this "secondary" weapon for scoring points might prove to be unusable.
However, in my studying for According To's (mostly those last three weeks....) I involuntarily equipped myself to jump/answer well on Generals. I was very surprised with this, to say the least.
Plan to improve:
I guess this isn't really a takeaway that I need to "improve on" necessarily, because it's just a piece of information that I gained about myself, my habits, and my techniques. But, nevertheless, I guess I can say how I hope to capitalize on it. What this tells/confirms for me, is that I don't have to completely separate my studying for different question types. I know that studying for one type, also helps the other types. So I hope to really focus my attention and effort in a more specific direction, instead of spreading out my energy over several different types of studying.
Number Four - Studying in the car (avoid distractions like the plague)
Ugh... prior to leaving for Idaho for this tournament, I had been planning on studying very heavily in the car on the 16-18 hour drive. Did that happen? Not in the least!
Being distracted by audio books, napping, thinking about different projects or things, or really anything besides actually studying, somehow filled up the whole car ride there. And still, I'm really not quite sure how that happened (but that's how procrastination/distractions work most of the time -.-).
Anyways, I had kind of forgotten how hard it is to actually stay focused in the car, and I feel like I could have performed much better, and been much less nervous beforehand, if I would have studied in the car as much as I had intended.
Plan to improve:
On our next quizzing car trip, from Colorado Springs to Olathe Kansas, I hope to be intentional and mindful about my time management, and ask for accountability from those who will be riding with me. I will block out my time wisely, giving myself breaks to nap, think, or listen to audio books, and to study for the quiz we're driving to.
Number Five - Bouncing back is SO important (either from an error, or an error-out)
Man, did I have to put this to work a few times this past weekend :P. A few times, I either got an error, got two errors, or errored out. In those moments, I knew that I didn't have any time to waste on being discouraged or to lose my confidence or determination (as cleche and dumb as that sounds). Because I really didn't have the time for that - the weekend is only so long, and there's only so many quiz questions and quiz rounds to make up for it.
I had learned this to a smaller extent in my previous years, but this past weekend, it was something that I had to first re-learn, and then take a step farther than I had before. Here are a few things that are included in that:
1.) Having the courage to risk being wrong (failing) again
2.) Knowing that you can't lose your confidence over one mistake
3.) Failing doesn't make you a failure
4.) You still have the potential to succeed
Number Six - Realizing my acute need to revisit humility
I don't remember if it was in quizzing, in hanging out with other quizzers, or during one of the services this weekend - it was probably all three - but I had a realization of my huge need to revisit this. Humility.
I am, to an extent, disappointed that I have to do this, and that I got to a place where it was necessary. I realized, that in myself, and in everything that I'm doing and who I am and what I've accomplished, I have allowed myself to become prideful, arrogant, and self-confident to an extent, when I should just be working through Christ-confidence and humility because of what He's done for me.
I had forgotten that everything good in me, everything good that "I've" done, is actually just Christ in me. It has nothing to do with who I am in my flesh, but it has everything to do with how Christ has redeemed me and started to give me a new heart.
I never wanted to be that person who lets the good work that God is doing in them, turn into selfish gain, that puffs them up in worldly, carnal ways. I want to be the person who knows that everything good is from God and God alone, and that in myself I CAN DO NOTHING.
Since this just happened this last weekend, I'm obviously just starting to walk this out in my relationship with God right now, but I can already tell that it's something that He's been wanting to work on with me. I'm just a little sad that it took the regional tournament to make me realize it.
Well guys, that's just about it for today! I hope that you enjoyed hearing my takeaways from my quizzing Regionals 2018, and that they may have even inspired you to look into your takeaways from this season a little closer!
I'm SO SO SO excited for Q2018 coming up in just a few short weeks, and I know that all of us will be studying our rear-ends off trying to get as ready as possible for the stiff competition in all three divisions! I'm very much looking forward to seeing all of you wonderful, lovely people again, and to spending an entire week quizzing, worshiping, learning, playing, and doing activities with you.
AND HEY - If I haven't actually met you in person yet, or if we don't know each other very well, then come find me! I would absolutely love to meet you, and to chat for a bit!
Love you guys so much, but as you already know, God loves you so much more than I ever could. He has set you apart, put unique and special and powerful gifts, dreams, and purposes inside of you, and He has got awesome things in store for you in your future.
With that, keep quizzing and living victoriously!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
Today I'm going to be talking a little bit about something that a lot of quizzers have trouble with, and that I've had trouble with, too!
It's a very common issue, something that stunts a quizzer's progress, and/or their motivation to keep working hard - and it's especially common around this time of the season.
So what is this thing we'll be talking about? Well I guess you can see from the title, that it is none other than... REVIEWING! :P Yeah, yeah, big surprise, I know. But it is actually one of the most (if not the most) important things to learn how to do, if you want to be the best quizzer that you possibly can.
But before we hop right into that, I just wanted to mention really briefly, about something that happened this past weekend, that has never happened before, in the history of TBQJ....
I posted THREE SEPARATE YOUTUBE VIDEOS in two days!
These three videos were, in order, "Vlog #12 - The Aspects of God", "My Testimony, Part 1", and finally, "My Testimony, Part 2". And I'm so excited for you guys to see them!
If you haven't seen them yet, you can check out my YouTube Channel ("Mallory Leake"), scroll down to the previous two posts, or click/tap on the "Vlogs (Season 1)" category, in the sidebar.
I really hope that you enjoyed them if you have already seen them, and that you will enjoy them, when you watch them after reading this post :P LOL
BUT ANYWAYS, lets get into the awesome topic, of REVIEWING.....
First of all, if you didn't know, reviewing is really important. Often, it's the single stepping stone between 20th place, and placing in the top ten, or even the top five (or higher ;)).
Also, it saves you a TON of time, especially if you're memorizing any amount of the material. Why? Because you won't have to go through the process of re-memorizing a bunch of stuff. And that's usually not much fun :P.
And for something that important, and something that vital to your success as a quizzer, it's actually pretty darn simple, and easy! So I'm going to be showing you a few different ways that you can learn how to review like a pro in no time.
Kinds of review:
Basically, a quizzer learns the material in one of two ways; memorized, or learned-in-essence. This generally depends both on how competitive the quizzer is, and what question type(s) they specialize in (and sometimes, even what kind of studying they've done in past years, and what kind of studying they learned to do first, when they first started quizzing).
Here are a few of the main ways that you can actually go about reviewing the material, for each of these ways:
Three extra tips about reviewing:
Like I mentioned in a previous post, I think it was 10 Result-Focused Study Hacks, a super fun post by the way (:P), doing recall/review FIRST is extremely effective - probably a lot more than you think.
It's like doing cardio first thing in the morning, before breakfast - it's really hard and it sucks, but you'll be surprised by how big, and rewarding, the results will be.
Doing review, especially recall practice, when you haven't seen/thought about the material since the previous day (or a few days ago :P), then your brain will have to think a lot harder, and eventually, your recall speed and accuracy will be really, really good!
Learning it in your spirit, and learning it in regard to how it actually pertains to you and your life, and the people around you, is the absolute best way that you can go about really remembering something. Why? Because it will mean something to you on a whole different level.
If we study our quiz material, whatever it might be, like a textbook in school, then it will only penetrate our intellectual side. But, if we look at it, study it, and quiz over it like it's supposed to be (as the Word of God), then it will penetrate into our spirit. And only then, will God be able to teach us about something that's in our quiz material - and only then, will quizzing begin to have an affect on the rest of our lives.
There's no need to have a whole, elaborate reviewing plan - that just gets confusing and discouraging, most of the time :P. Instead, we can go about it in a super simple, straight forward way, and still reap a ton of great results from it!
Here's a way that you can do that:
Take the material that you're studying right now, and count how many chapters you have in total. Next, take the total number of days THIS WEEK that you'll be able to study (be real, too - don't set unrealistic expectations or goals, if you have a super busy week! :)). Next, figure out how many chapters you'll be able to, and want to, work on really reviewing this week (remember to take into consideration any quizzes/tournaments you may have coming up!).
And finally, separate that many chapters into each of your studying days this week, and WRITE IT DOWN! You don't want to forget your plan, after all of the hard work you just did, to figure it out ;).
But of course, a plan is always just a plan, unless you put in the dirty work, and get it done during the week. You can do it!!!
Well, my friends, that is the post for today. I hope that this helps you in your quizzing journey, and that you are now better equipped to study and review more effectively, this week, this season, and in the seasons yet to be! :P
Don't forget to check out those new YouTube videos I just posted a few days ago, if you haven't seen them yet, and I will see you guys in our TBQJ Newsletter this Sunday, and then back again next Monday, for another exciting "God-centered, quizzing-oriented" blog post!
Keep quizzing and living victoriously, because it is your birthright that no one can take away. You're a beautiful, beloved and treasured, perfect, holy, strong, and courageous child of the Most High King of Glory, today!! I love you guys, but God loves you so much incredibly more <3.
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
This is the first post in our new 3-part series about question specialty!
In this new post series, we're going to be talking about pretty much everything that goes into this topic, including...
So I really hope that you guys enjoy this series, and that you get a lot of value from it.
By the end of this series, here are my hopes for you:
Are you ready to get into this today? Yeah you are :P Lets do it!
What is "question specialty"?
Question specialty is basically when a quizzer picks a type of question to focus on, and becomes really good at that type. They study for that question, practice jumping on that question, practice answering for that question - and reap huge benefits because of it.
When you commit yourself to spending your quizzing efforts on just one category, it's like condensing energy into a small, laser-like point - it's a lot more powerful. That's why the majority of the quizzing community participates in it.
Question specialty is a HUGE part of team strategy in quizzing. If you're a memory verse technician, and you've advanced in them, then you're giving your team 60 almost guaranteed points per round. 60 points is more than enough to win over even a tough round (most of the time).
For all of the other question types (besides context, situation, and book & chapter, of course) you can even get 80-90 nearly-guaranteed points per round for your team. But I'm getting ahead of myself!
Okay, let's go ahead and move on to the next section, which is why you should have a question specialty, or some of the benefits of having an established question specialty.
The benefits of having a question specialty:
This happens when you have a question specialty, because (like I said earlier) you make a transformation from a flashlight into a laser. If you don't have one, and you're not "moving beyond specialty" but rather just starting out, then you'll have a much harder time advancing in placements.
Since you're now a laser, suddenly your studying sessions are producing a ton more results. Now, just to be clear, there ARE hugely different ways to study for each question type - and we're going to be talking specifically about that in a future post here pretty soon.
But as you spend time in your question type, you'll even discover and develop new ways that you can study and practice for them.
This might seem like the same thing as the last one, but it's really not. What I mean when I say "practice", is your jumping, lipreading, and answering (for the most part). Just like with studying for a specific type of question, all different specialists jump, answer, and employ lipreading differently - whether that be just a little, or polar opposite.
For example, memory quizzers employ lipreading probably more than any other type. But they can't multiple, like all the other question types. General quizzers usually give fewer multiples than according to quizzers, but according to quizzers have to be really careful not to say anything outside the verse, while general quizzers can expand into the surrounding passage.
There are a lot of variables, but each question specialty group has (in my opinion) very nicely tuned the competition to where we are today. Not to say that I don't think that we've arrived at the best it can be ;).
If you focus on one question type, then you'll (eventually) know all of the ins and outs to it. This means that you will have advice and pointers to give other quizzers, so that they can do them better too.
I don't know about you, but I tend to lean towards learning from other people's mistakes, rather than go through the hassle of learning from my own :P. Let other quizzers do that! Try to be generous with the things that you've learned, and sow into the next generation of quizzers - that way, we can ensure that the quizzing world won't disappear in the future.
Think about this: what do all the very best teams have in common? Probably a lot of really committed individuals. Probably a really great coach. Probably a lot of friendship among the members. But what is the really big thing that they all share?
It's the fact that all - or almost all - of their members have a question specialty.
That way, the round's questions are already split up among the four-five team members, and each one has practiced, prepared, and perfected their questions. They know what their job is for the team, and they perform it to the best of their ability.
This is such a huge benefit, and I don't have a ton of room to continue talking about and explaining it. I'd really like to show you some ways that you can practically and purposefully benefit your team through your question specialty anyway, so I made you guys a simple freebie just on this:
This is a cheatsheet you can download (for free) of six easy and practical ways that you can start to put this stuff into action and see some results! I hope you guys like it!
But that is the post for today. Don't forget, this is just the beginning of this series - we're going to be having posts on lots of other awesome stuff, and I can't wait!
Remember guys; you are God's favorite. He is so proud of you. Not because of what you've done, necessarily, but because of who you are. You are highly favored in the Lord, and He loves you so much.
Can't wait to see you guys next week, and this Saturday for the TBQJ Vlog #5! Have an amazing week, overflowing with joy and success! Love you guys.
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
Today we're going to do a follow-up post to my previous "How To: Next Level Quizzing" post!
A few things I will be talking about, I'm going to try and make full posts out of in the future, so that's why I'm not going to go into super deep detail with them.
So let's get right into it!
Studying - Priority and Persistence
If we want to really get to our next level of quizzing, we have to make studying for it a priority - something I obviously still have trouble with :P. But in general, the things that you prioritize the highest, have the best chance at getting accomplished.
Once we make quizzing a priority, and we finish the hardest part of actually starting to study, we come to the point where we have to employ a good dish of persistence. To reach our studying goals (and ultimately our competition goals), we have to strengthen our persistence and focusing muscles.
This means sticking to our plans - whether that be long-term studying schedules, or just what we planned to do that one day. I can't tell you how many plans I've made that I haven't followed through with (quizzing or otherwise :P), but when I do manage to muscle through and finish it (or nearly finish it) the results are SO rewarding.
Jumping - Ideal Jump, Practicing it, and Training your Brain
Once you find your question specialty, you should find what the "ideal jump" is for that question type. Whether that be memory, generals, or any other type, find the best quizzers who specialize in them, and copy what they do.
(Here's an extra post on memory and according to's, and generals part 1 and part 2).
Once you figure out what that ideal jumping point is for your question specialty, the next step is to start practicing jumping at that point. Believe me, it's not a good idea to start jumping at that point at a tournament - start doing it at practices, and if you can, at home too. That leads me to the next one...
Train your brain to start answering the question at the "ideal jump" point. This comes naturally when you're practicing it, as we just discussed, but you have to remember to go into the jump with the mind set that you are going to answer it, and answer it correctly.
Question Specialty - Picking one, and Focusing on it
If you haven't already picked a question type to "specialize" in, I'm going to be doing a post about that very soon - so stay tuned! But for now, you can refer back to the predecessor of this post, for a little more information on that: "How To: Next Level Quizzing".
Of course, after you've decided on a question specialty, it's a good idea to just focus on that one type. Now, I'm kind of doing according to's (again) this year, for my team, but I still enjoy doing generals the best. But, when you focus all of your quizzing energy (haha is that a thing? :P) on one question type, you become a far more formidable opponent.
Bruce Lee said, "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who had practiced one kick 10,000 times" and that can apply to business, quizzing, anything!
That's all I have for y'all today - I hope you got something out of this week's post! Have an absolutely awesome week, you guys, and I will see you next time. Until then, keep quizzing and living victoriously!
Keep calm and quiz on (and out)!
Your fellow quizzer,
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Mallory is a sixth-year Teen Bible Quizzer originally from the Southern region, and now in the Northwest, quizzing over the book of John with her three younger siblings. <3
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