Jeopardy questions are designed to be intellectually stimulating while also entertaining the viewers at the same time. Respondents on the game must phrase their answers in the form of a question, and the questions get more difficult as the game progresses.
All About Jeopardy Questions
Are Jeopardy Questions Really Hard?
Not all Jeopardy questions are designed for intellectual elitists. Contestants choose which questions they want to answer based on the topic and the difficulty of the question. The general assumption is that the more the reward for answering a particular question, the harder the question will be to answer. If a contestant has vast knowledge within a particular field, even the most valuable questions on the board in that subject may not be difficult for the contestant.
Jeopardy questions are not supposed to be easily answered by the general public because they are designed to be relatively difficult. If the questions were incredibly easy to answer, the game wouldn’t be a challenge, and no one would watch the show.
Who Writes Jeopardy Questions?
Jeopardy has a staff of question writers and fact checkers who work together to come up with questions that are entertaining for the audience, but that also test the knowledge of the contestants. The trick is to ask questions which have a definitive answer. Writers do not want to present questions to contestants on the show and then later have the answers disputed. This is why it is so important for the questions to be checked and double checked by fact checkers before they are featured on the show.
What Categories Are on Jeopardy?
Categories on Jeopardy vary from show to show, but generally fall into recurring themes that refer to various pop culture and academic topics. Contestants can expect to face questions that reference any number of topics, many of which are common knowledge only to current students and intellectuals.
What Happens if a Question Isn’t Answered?
If no contestants are able to correctly answer a question, the host reveals the correct answer to the audience prior to moving along with the game.
Sometimes a question might be answered by a contestant yet need elaboration, and in this case the host will give the contestant the opportunity to answer the question with a more complete answer. If the contestant is unable to answer the question completely, the response is considered incorrect.
Can I Study Before Trying Out for Jeopardy?
Potential contestants are asked to take a knowledge quiz prior to participating in an interview to land a spot on the show. Although there is no way to know what questions will be asked on the knowledge quiz, practice can increase confidence and therefore may give you an advantage. Watching the Jeopardy show on television is a great way to review questions, and you can also download a computer version of the game through the Internet using the Jeopardy website.
Prior Jeopardy contestants have authored books which are purported to better prepare a person to be a contestant than merely studying alone:
- Prisoner of Tribekistan: A Decade in Jeopardy by Bob Harris
- Adventures in the Curious, Competitive, Compulsive World of Trivia Buffs by Ken Jennings
Do I Have to be Smart to Answer Questions on Jeopardy?
This game is not a game that tests physical strength, agility, or charisma. It is widely accepted as a game that puts knowledge to the test. Theories vary as to whether pure “book smarts” will suffice when answering questions on Jeopardy, or if it takes more cognitive ability to become a champion. It is unlikely, however, that a person without much schooling or education in some form could walk away a winner in this game. The questions aren’t designed to test logic or an intellectual potential; they are designed to test what the contestants already know.
Can I Find Sample Questions Online?
Sample questions for Jeopardy can be found abundantly online. Check out the official Jeopardy website or conduct an Internet search for more resources.