Merseyside Quiz Leagues

The World's Largest Independent Quiz Leagues

NOTES FOR THE GUIDANCE OF QUESTION setters: LEAGUe SETS

To assist teams in the completion of sets of questions, the following guidelines are given.

Firstly, the system of question control, printing and distribution should be understood. Each team is required by the Rules to provide at least one set of questions and answers: a set consists of eight rounds of eight questions each round, plus a minimum of three spare questions at the end.

A setter should therefore ensure that the questions

  • are accurate,

Ensure that the spelling, grammar and formatting makes the quiz understandable and fit for use throughout the MQL and, if necessary, elsewhere.

  • are correct,

Ensure that each question is phrased in such a way as to yield only one correct answer that will not become out of date and that the answer is checked against a reputable source so that it is correct.

  • have breadth,

Ensure that the distribution of topics is such that

    • there is not a disproportionate number of questions on one subject
    • subjects are shared evenly between the teams
    • subjects are shared evenly between the players.
  • reflect the fact that there could be up to 3 attempts at a question and so the answer should not get significantly easier, the more attempts that are made.

This set is delivered to the League Secretary. The questions are then scrutinised by a vetting committee for correctness of answers and general suitability.  Among other things they will check that the set is

  • balanced

Ensure that when played by a number of teams, the final score does not significantly favour one team.  If this balance is achieved by pairs of questions on a similar subject then one answer should not “lead” to the answer of the other.  Pairs, if used, should be thoughtfully placed so as to not help the team asked the second question.

  • accessible.

Ensure that when played by a number of teams, the aggregate score lies within an acceptable range.  This range should be between 60 and 90 using the usual scoring method.

The vetting committee or the League Secretary then forwards the questions to a non-playing question distributor for distribution to the various teams.

To facilitate the work of the vetting committees and to improve the standard of quizzes, the following should must be read carefully and borne in mind.

  1. Set papers in good time. If left to the last minute they are often found to contain errors and this inevitably leads to an imbalance.
  2. Produce the questions electronically, use font Arial, and create each round of questions as a three column by eight row table in Microsoft Word (the template is available on the MQL website) and send them via email.
  3. Questions should be evenly balanced with regard to severity. 
  4. Play the questions as a friendly between two comparable teams, during this exercise comments and constructive criticism should be encouraged and the set should be amended accordingly. Remember that the order of answering changes at half-time.
  5. Questions containing YES/NO answers must not be used
  6. Avoid questions with long-winded answers. Questions with one word answers are usually the most suitable.
  7. Do not use trick questions.
  8. Do not set questions involving mental arithmetic or spelling.
  9.  Avoid setting more than one question that has the same answer.
  10. Do not copy sets directly from published quiz books, or old sets.
  11. Pay close attention to the phrasing of questions to ensure that there is only one possible answer. For example, there are a number of equally correct answers to the question "Where are the Karakorums?" but there is only one possible answer to the question, "Of which mountain range are the Karakorums a part?"
  12. Questions requiring multi-part answers must not be set.  In questions involving the meaning of abbreviations, select one of the words as the answer.
  13. Questions involving innovations brought about by Act of Parliament need consideration, as often the Act is passed in a year before it is implemented. The question should make clear which is required.
  14. Questions involving awards also need consideration, as sometimes the award is made in the year after the achievement or production. The question should make clear which is required.
  15. The most important question is to ask yourself “Would I enjoy playing a match on this set?” If not then amend it.

 

December 2018

 

A template for an 8 Round set can be downloaded here.

 


NOTES FOR THE GUIDANCE OF QUESTION setters: KNOCK-OUT SETS

To assist teams in the completion of sets of questions, the following guidelines are given.

Firstly, the system of question control, printing and distribution should be understood. Each team is required by the Rules to provide at least one set of questions and answers: a set consists of ten rounds of eight questions each round, plus a minimum of three spare questions at the end.  There should also be a tie breaker question that can be asked to both teams.  This should yield a numerical answer, such that the team nearest can be easily judged (e.g. a number or a year).  Teams will be able to confer and write down their answer. 

A setter should therefore ensure that the questions

  • are accurate,

Ensure that the spelling, grammar and formatting makes the quiz understandable and fit for use throughout the MQL and, if necessary, elsewhere.

  • are correct,

Ensure that each question is phrased in such a way as to yield only one correct answer that will not become out of date and that the answer is checked against a reputable source so that it is correct.

  • have breadth,

Ensure that the distribution of topics is such that

    • there is not a disproportionate number of questions on one subject
    • subjects are shared evenly between the teams
    • subjects are shared evenly between the players.
  • reflect the fact that there could be up to 3 attempts at a question and so the answer should not get significantly easier, the more attempts that are made.

This set is delivered to the League Secretary. The questions are then scrutinised by a vetting committee for correctness of answers and general suitability.  Among other things they will check that the set is

  • balanced

Ensure that when played by a number of teams, the final score does not significantly favour one team.  If this balance is achieved by pairs of questions on a similar subject then one answer should not “lead” to the answer of the other.  Pairs, if used, should be thoughtfully placed so as to not help the team asked the second question.

  • accessible.

Ensure that when played by a number of teams, the aggregate score lies within an acceptable range.  This range should be between 60 and 90 using the usual scoring method.

The vetting committee or the League Secretary then forwards the questions to the Competition Secretary for distribution to the various teams.

To facilitate the work of the vetting committees and to improve the standard of quizzes, the following should must be read carefully and borne in mind.

  1. Set papers in good time. If left to the last minute they are often found to contain errors and this inevitably leads to an imbalance.
  2. Produce the questions electronically, use font Arial, and create each round of questions as a three column by eight row table in Microsoft Word (the template is available on the MQL website) and send them via email.
  3. Questions should be evenly balanced with regard to severity. 
  4. Play the questions as a friendly between two comparable teams, during this exercise comments and constructive criticism should be encouraged and the set should be amended accordingly. Remember that the order of answering changes at half-time.
  5. Questions containing YES/NO answers must not be used
  6. Avoid questions with long-winded answers. Questions with one word answers are usually the most suitable.
  7. Do not use trick questions.
  8. Do not set questions involving mental arithmetic or spelling.
  9.  Avoid setting more than one question that has the same answer.
  10. Do not copy sets directly from published quiz books, or old sets.
  11. Pay close attention to the phrasing of questions to ensure that there is only one possible answer. For example, there are a number of equally correct answers to the question "Where are the Karakorums?" but there is only one possible answer to the question, "Of which mountain range are the Karakorums a part?"
  12. Questions requiring multi-part answers must not be set.  In questions involving the meaning of abbreviations, select one of the words as the answer.
  13. Questions involving innovations brought about by Act of Parliament need consideration, as often the Act is passed in a year before it is implemented. The question should make clear which is required.
  14. Questions involving awards also need consideration, as sometimes the award is made in the year after the achievement or production. The question should make clear which is required.
  15. The most important question is to ask yourself “Would I enjoy playing a match on this set?” If not then amend it.

 

December 2018

 

A template for a 10 Round Knock Out set can be downloaded here.

 


NOTES FOR THE GUIDANCE OF QUESTION setters:

MIMIR SETS

A Mimir set consists of 5 rounds of 12 questions.  In each round each of the 4 players will be asked a set of 3 questions.  Questions should be diverse in nature and as far as can be judged, the Local area sets should be of the same standard as a typical league set, while the MQL sets may be just a little more difficult.  There should also be two sets of 3 tie breaker questions that can be asked to competitors who finish on equal numbers of points.  These are designed to be asked in turn to the tied competitors.  In addition a final tie breaker should also be set.  This should yield a numerical answer, such that the player nearest can be easily judged (e.g. a number or a year).  Players will be asked to write down their answer. 

Each area is responsible for producing a number of Mimir style sets each season.  One (unless directed otherwise) for the Local Area heats and one for the MQL heats (this includes the Final)

A setter should therefore make certain that the questions

  • are accurate,

Ensure that the spelling, grammar and formatting makes the quiz understandable and fit for use in the Mimir Competition.

  • are correct,

Ensure that each question is phrased in such a way as to yield only one correct answer that will not become out of date and that the answer is checked against a reputable source so that it is correct.

  • have breadth,

Ensure that the distribution of topics is such that

    • there is not a disproportionate number of questions on one subject
    • subjects are shared evenly between the players
  • reflect the fact that there could be up to 4 attempts at a question and so the answer should not get significantly easier, the more attempts that are made
  • are general in nature

The temptation to share subjects evenly between the players can sometimes lead to 4 questions on a very narrow topic such that if one person is very familiar with the topic it gives them a significant advantage.   For example, 4 questions on Opera might be acceptable, 4 questions on Puccini operas would probably be too narrow and 4 questions on Turandot unacceptable!!

  • are accessible

Ensure that when tested by a number of quiz league players, the majority of the questions are answered

The following (based on guidelines for producing any quiz sets) should must be read carefully and borne in mind.

  1. Set papers in good time.  If left to the last minute they are often found to contain errors and this inevitably leads to problems.
  2. Produce the questions electronically, using the template that can be downloaded from the MQL site’s Mimir page and submitted  via email.
  3. Questions should be evenly balanced with regard to severity. 
  4. Play the questions as a friendly between a number of players, during this exercise comments and constructive criticism should be encouraged and the set should be amended accordingly.
  5. Questions containing YES/NO answers must not be used
  6. Avoid questions with long-winded answers. Questions with one word answers are usually the most suitable.
  7. Do not use trick questions.
  8. Do not set questions involving mental arithmetic or spelling.
  9. Avoid setting more than one question that has the same answer.
  10. Do not copy sets directly from published quiz books, or old sets.
  11. Questions requiring multi-part answers must not be set.  In questions involving the meaning of abbreviations, select one of the words as the answer.
  12. Questions involving innovations brought about by Act of Parliament need consideration, as often the Act is passed in a year before it is implemented. The question should make clear which is required.
  13. Questions involving awards also need to be precise, as sometimes the award is made in the year after the achievement or production. The question should make clear which is required.
  14. The most important question is to ask yourself, “Would I enjoy playing this set?”.  If not then amend it.

 

December 2018

 

A template for a Mimir set can be downloaded here.