Jumping is another personal preference area, but one constant remains: Have the least amount of weight possible on your pad. (ask quizzers like Lawrence Kim, Jesse MacKinnon or Daniel Small to show you their jumps. They barely move when they jump.)
Quizmasters are not simply robots spewing bible verses, they are humans with mouths (that's my favorite thing I wrote on this website). And all humans form words pretty much the same. By concentrating on the quizmaster's mouth you can gain clues to the next word or syllable. This will help you sit back longer when you see a "W" shape. This will help you gain an extra syllable on every jump. For reference questions know that 1 and 12, 4 and 5, and 6 and 7 look similar. Speak the text out loud when studying. You'll find cool things. For example, the word "has" is not always pronounced the same. In the phrase "He has appeared" it sounds like "hazz" while in the phrase "He has to offer" it sounds like "hass." Little things like that go a long way, especially in faster quizzes.
This applies to reference questions. Just as quizmasters form words with similar mouth shapes, they also read with similar inflection. We like to conclude reading a question on a "down" note, and "down" notes are always preceded by "up" notes. (have you ever heard someone talk who always ends on an "up" note?-- it's the most annoying thing possible!). For example, "Quote Hebrews Chapter 4 Verse 6" and "Quote Hebrews Chapter 4 Verse 16" are different in that the word "verse" is an "up" note in the first example and a "down" note in the second example. Listening for inflection can give you these clues.
Context Unique Words
Often times a word may not be a global unique word, but occurs multiple times only within the five verse context rule. In effect this is now a global unique word for study purposes (not for question writing purposes).
Benches are the gold standard of jumping equipment, more sophisticated than the pads. Benches are four seat-sized pads attached to a bench. The whole bench is the quizzing apparatus. The seat pad is hinged at the rear and depresses a button when sat on. Coming off the seat releases the pressure on the button and triggers the light, just like pads. The benches are different and take a moderate degree of getting used to. After a quiz or two though, you'll wish you could quiz on benches always!
Yearly Meet Averages Ebb and Flow
Because of basic human traits, meet timing, and growing scope of material, the level of quizzing follows a similar path every year.
- Meet #1: Everyone is excited for quizzing and has been studying all summer. The amount of material is the shortest. Averages are high.
- Meet #2: The high level of knowledge from the first meet carries over, but already some quizzers have lost drive. Averages are a bit lower.
- Meet #3: Since quizzers may drop the lowest of their first 3 meets, this meet creates a divide. Some quizzers, who already have 2 good meets under their belt, take it a bit easier. Other quizzers, who have a low meet they want to drop, study hard and do very well. Also, the long December layoff helps some (gives more study time) and hurts others (it's vacation!). Overall, the averages at this meet are similar to Meet #2.
- Meet #4: Without fail this is the lowest meet of the year. It's a fairly quick turnaround from Meet #3 and the amount of material has reached a level that some quizzers are not able to keep up with. For those that do keep studying hard, this meet is target #1 to raise your average in a big way.
- Meet #5: Counter-intuitively, this meet is a fairly good meet. This stems from A) Quizzers wanting to help their team qualify for District Championships, and B) Quizzers wanting to qualify individually for Great West Invitational. Add in the 25% weight of this meet and averages are usually quite good.
- Great West Invitational: Because of the drastically increased level of competition, averages for this meet are usually less than 1/2 of Year-To- Date individual averages. This meet does not count towards District individual averages. Quizzers that succeed at GWI are those that have been to GWI or Internationals before, or are often in tough quizzes in the District (e.g. Quiz D, and Finals).
- District Championships: Common logic would think that a meet including only the best 18 teams would make things tougher for everyone. However, this meet has traditionally seen most of the better quizzers raise their average. This is because there are a large number of good quizzers who, because they do no have a shot at Internationals individually, and do not have a shot at a high District Championships Team Placement, let their studying lapse. Also, the 35% weight encourages the best quizzers to study extremely hard in a final push to make Internationals. Additionally, there has been no new material since District Meet #5.
In your pursuit of quizzing excellence, you will encounter adversity. You may forget a seemingly easy answer. You may get barely beat on jump after jump. You may have a tough ruling go against you. You may be thrown off by a quizmaster's accent, pace, or pause. You may run into a very very strong team. Through all of this, the ability to forget the past while remaining mentally strong is extremely important. If the matter is in your hands, figure out to make sure it doesn't happen again. If the matter is out of your hands, figure out how to best deal with the current situation. Above all, focus on your own state of mind, staying positive so you are in the best position to excel in the very next quiz. The ability to follow an error with a correct answer and a bad quiz with a good quiz is a trait of the very best quizzers.