1. Familiarize Yourself With Facts That Commonly Appear in Trivia Questions
When it comes to Trivia, not all factoids are created equal. Some information can come in handy both by directly answering questions and by providing a point of reference for making an educated guess when needed. Familiarize yourself with, or even try to memorize, facts that commonly come up in Trivia questions, like the list of US Presidents, state capitals, or the elements of the periodic table. For example, let’s say you run into this Trivia question, “First used in the Oval Office by JFK, the Resolute Desk was a gift from Queen Victoria to which president in 1880?” If you had previously studied up on the list of US Presidents, you could use that information to guess which President you think — or know, depending on how many details you memorized — was in office in 1880. This tip could help you find the correct answer: Rutherford B. Hayes.
2. Stay Up-To-Date On Current Events
Being in the know about newsworthy topics can give you a big leg up in answering Trivia questions. It can be helpful for nearly every category, including movies, television, sports, companies, and government, to name a few. Even just keeping an eye on the headlines can help steer you in the right direction. For example, if you get a Trivia question about this year’s Academy Awards, having a baseline knowledge of which movies were getting Oscar buzz can give you a shortlist of possible answers to choose from. The same logic applies to other common topics like sports championships, new products, scientific developments, and more.
3. Look For Context Clues in Questions
Let’s say you’re playing Trivia and get a question you don’t know the answer to. Is your only choice to take a wild guess? Maybe not… Trivia questions often include context clues that can point you towards the correct answer. You can decide on a solid guess by finding those little hints and using logic to determine the most likely possibility. It might not always be correct, but it will give you a better starting place than a random guess. Let’s test the theory with this question, “What U.S. state has more miles of the U.S. Interstate Highway System than any other?” Instead of cutting your losses and picking a random state, look for clues in the question. It’s likely a large state, right? The largest state by area is Alaska, but given its unique geography, it probably doesn’t have as many highways as other mainland states. The second largest state by area is Texas, and it isn’t isolated like Alaska is. With that in mind, you might choose Texas as your guess. And if you did, congrats, you’re correct!
4. Pull From a Variety of Experiences
Sometimes, you might get a Trivia question that just isn’t clicking based on your mental collection of facts and figures. If you’re coming up blank on a particular question, think outside the box by calling on life experiences or stories that could give you a starting place. Take this question, “Though Georgia might be famous for peaches, what U.S. state actually leads the nation in peach production?” Even if you aren’t at all familiar with the agricultural trends of different states, try to think of other entry points to the question. Have you noticed any particular states listed on produce stickers while grocery shopping? Have you ever come across travel site reviews of peach orchards while researching vacation activities? See if there are any seemingly mundane experiences that you can call upon to lead you to the correct answer: California.
5. Build a Trivia Team with Diverse Strengths
If you’re playing Trivia in a setting that allows for teams, this tip will be the strongest tool at your disposal. Sometimes people can get overwhelmed by Trivia because they feel like they need to know everything. But in our experience, the strongest Trivia teams aren’t made up of people who know everything. They’re made up of people who each have their own unique set of strengths and interests. Figure out what categories you and the other members of your team excel in, and fill in the gaps from there. Do you seem to miss every question about movies, celebrities, and entertainment? Instead of trying to learn the entire history of cinema, invite a friend that’s a total movie buff to join your team. Building a Trivia team with a wide range of interests is a major hack for improving your score.