The Battle of the Wits Comes Again

January 31, 2018

All year long PVHS students look forward to the fast paced academic competition: Scholar Quiz. This contest is a team-based academic challenge in which students race to win trivia questions. Scholar Quiz leaves students and faculty awed in surprise and astonishment of the in-depth analysis and facts the teams know off the top of their heads.  

Classmates organize into teams of four and are placed into a 64-team bracket. The advisor, social science teacher Tecia Barton, then seeds all the teams based upon the team members’ GPA and their rank from the previous year(s) if the team competed.

Each team is matched with a similar status team and plays to win, as each round is single-elimination.

The content of Scholar Quiz is very broad, ranging from general knowledge to school subjects to theme questions regarding that particular year’s topic. This year, the topic will be the Olympics, as the winter Olympics will be drawing to a close at the start of Scholar Quiz.

A member of last year’s winning team, senior Sachit Agrawal, described the anticipation of a sports topic rather than a movie subject.

“I’m interested to see how they will approach doing theme based questions just because, on one hand, there’s so much knowledge about the Olympics that they can use but on the other hand, it is kind of hard to centralize that and have people who learned that stuff and know it,” Agrawal said.

Senior Nico Abdo agreed. “I really like the theme, Olympics, more than previous years. I like it more because it’s a broad subject rather than how some people know Harry Potter and some don’t. The theme is more even, so I think it is going to attract more people, which is good.”

Abdo also described the excitement of a new year of competition and facing off with and against friends.

“Just make a team with your friends and have balance; have a math guy, have someone who’s good at sports, history, etc. Have a lot of balance while competing with your friends and you should have a lot of fun.”

Since Scholar Quiz covers such broad knowledge, students sometimes restrain from the competition out of fear from the uncertainty of competition.

“Don’t stress, it’s not like your getting a grade…You do not need to study for hours as you would for a test, it’s not really something you can prepare for since the questions are so random,” advised senior Brian Smalling.

Students often become inspired from watching thrilling matches and decide to sign up themselves.

“I am definitely open to competing this year because I saw how much fun everyone was having. It’s kind of like a game show which is enjoyable for everyone. The whole school gets together and sees how intelligent our peers are,” said sophomore Carli Will.

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