Jeopardy Question

Any chance that the contestants on Jeopardy are given the categories in advance? That would explain how they have trivia on the tip of their tongues that I have never heard of before…

I shouldn’t think so. It is not, actually a particularly hard quiz. For someone who is generally good at quiz type questions, that hard part is going to be pressing the buzzer at the right moment, and remembering to answer in the form of a question. If I am watching at home, and concentrating, I can get a high proportion of teh questions right, and I do not claim to be the world’s greatest quizzer. (I have not been on Jeopardy, but I tried out, and passed the test and did a brief “mock” run through of a show. I have also been on a couple of other TV quiz shows, so I have some idea what it is like.)

I believe Round Britain Quiz does give out the questions to participants shortly before the show, but, unlike Jeopardy, it is a seriously hard quiz, and requires the making of connections as well as just remembering facts.

Another explanation is that you wouldn’t qualify as a contestant.

And no, they are not given the categories in advance. One of the contestants in the “Battle of the Decades” is an acquaintance of mine, and he’s very knowledgeable in so many categories, he doesn’t need any help. If he had help, he’d ALWAYS win, which he hasn’t.

I never suggested they were given the questions in advance. That would make the game pointless.

I am suggesting that the they are given the specific categories in advance. For example, if I know one of the categories is ‘State Capitals’ then I could study all of the state capitals in advance, which would give me a far better chance of knowing the answer…

^ Read the entire answer in the quote I provided.

You should already know many of these just from watching the show.

Except they don’t do that, so your conjecture isn’t relevant.

Or doing your research. Mental Floss has an interesting interview with current champion Arthur Chu, who has provoked the ire of some viewers by his statistical approach. He actually did a ton of prep work for the show, including looking up what categories are used most frequently.

A little research would certainly help, but I regularly answer 80%+ of the questions correctly just off the top of my head.

Occasionally I’m blown away by a question, and when someone answers it correctly. I was impressed this evening when that college student got “Phyllis Wheatley,” who I had never even heard of!

The Final Jeopardy question was tough, but I came up with the right answer after a few seconds’ thought.

She obviously has taken a “Female Lit” class or some other breadth requirement, since I don’t remember her being an English major. I’d heard of Wheatly, but I couldn’t have pulled the answer out of my skull for anything. I tanked on FJ though, going with Roget as well.

As for the OP - any reasonably well-studied person can often do quite well at Jeopardy! with no prep whatsoever other than watching the show religiously. The OP obviously isn’t one of those people.

Sometimes I get mad at the contestants for not knowing an answer.

“Code of Hammurabi !! How can you not know that ?!?”
Other times I get mad at the clues and categories…

“7th century Jewish poets?!? Who would possibly know THAT?”

I get two thirds of the right answers/questions on a fairly normal night, and some nights get almost all of them, depending on the categories. Less than half is a terrible night for me Some people just like trivia.

And of course to win the game you don’t need to get that many, or even close to it.

Giving the contestants information in advance would likely be illegal, under laws passed after the quiz show scandals of the 1950s. From everything I’ve read, the producers are understandably cautious about this, and avoid any situations which might even hint at impropriety.

I was on Jeopardy! back in the 80s, and unless things have changed dramatically since then, no, definitely not. They were very strict about any possibility of collusion. We were not even allowed to talk to Alex except on camera, and then afterwards when he does the final “talking as the credits roll” thing.

This happens to me all the time, especially in FJ, when I easily know the answer, and all the others guess wrong. That’s when I start screaming.

I wish I had auditioned a couple of decades ago. Now, my reflexes are dull, my recall is longer, and I can’t remember names. But hey, at least I’m not Wolf Blitzer.

What makes Jeopardy! quite excellent is the way the clues are written.

When I watch, I usually respond correctly to upwards of 85% of the clues that are revealed. Probably around half of those I know outright. Of the rest, a few are usually lucky guesses, but the vast majority I’m actually able to tease out based on clues within the clue: the way it’s worded, the category title (and perhaps even its place in the category), and other meta-information. That can be used in conjunction with a general, foundational knowledge of the topic, to arrive at a pretty good idea of what the correct response is.

And it’s done that way on purpose.

Why make everyone link chase? If you knew the answer is it that much harder to answer the OP with a simple “Yes” or “No” and then provide the link?

I see no point with answering with “yes” or “no” when I pasted a very short quote that provides the answer the OP is looking for. The link follows and is posted for verification if one chooses to. No “link chasing” necessary.