Trying out for Jeopardy

I’m going to be trying out January 12th in Philly PA, I need advice on what to bone up for, I know some dopers have done this before

I’ve passed the Jeopardy test and audition 6 or 7 times, but never got on the show. I haven’t tried out in several years, but here’s the format:

First, everybody sits at tables in a large auditorium. You’re given a sheet of paper with 50 blank spaces. They play a video of Alex Trebek, and Alex asks the group 50 questions from 50 different categories. You put the answer in the appropriate space (for the test, you do NOT have to write “who is” or “what is,” just put down the answer). You have 10-15 seconds for each question.

After the test, coordinators take the forms and grade them. That takes about 20 minutes to half an hour. They DON’T tell you what the right answers are, they don’t tell you what your score is- they just announce the names of the people who passed. Everyone else goes home at this point. Only the few who pass stick around.

As I recall, they didn’t say what the passing score was, but it seemed to be pretty common knowledge that 35 was the passing score.

In a typical session, 75 people take the written test and maybe 10 of them pass. At this point, the coordinators start to talk to everybody, asking for your vital statistics, your hobbies, your interests, your background, things like that. Later, the coordinators break those 10 people into groups of three, and put them through brief oral rounds of the game. THIS is a crucial part of the test- they want to see if you’re relaxed and personable, and whether you can think on your feet.

After that, the coordinators talk among themselves, then come back and say, “The following people, stick around. The rest of you, thanks for trying, and feel free to try again in the future.”

Those few remaining people are entered into a rotating file, and some of them will eventuially get called during the taping season, which runs from about September through March. But even if you reach that point (as I did), there are no promises or guarantees you’ll ever be on the show. At the end of the season, all names in the file are tossed, and they start again.

My only advice is, relax and have fun. There’s no point studying or cramming now, since you have no way of knowing what they’ll ask. If you’re good enough to pass, I urge you to stay loose, be friendly, and be personable. That makes all the difference. They don’t want stiffs, and they REALLY don’t want people who don’t speak loudly and clearly.

Good luck.