22nd August 2008

Inter-School Social Sciences Quiz – Vasant Valley

On 22nd August 2008, Rohit and I went for the Annual Inter-School Social Sciences Quiz held at Vasant Valley School, Vasant Kunj. I have been participating in this Quiz for 4 years now (This was my 4th time at the Quiz). In Class 8th, we did not even qualify for the finals. In 9th, Sahil Kalra and I reached the finals and came 3rd. Then again in 10th, Piyush and I came 3rd. So I have had a lot of experience in this Quiz. Its one of the few quizzes in which the Prelims are to be given on a computer and your score is automatically calculated. Also, there is a time limit of 900 Seconds (15 Minutes). The Quiz is generally of good standard and though it is a Social Sciences Quiz, it usually encompasses questions from all spheres – History, Geography, Sports, Business, Tech, Current Affairs, Arts, Literature, Music and Movies etc. The Quiz is conducted by their Social Sciences Department and they usually get some ex-student as quizmaster for the finals. This year, there were 40 Questions in the Prelims and compared to previous years, some questions were absolutely weird and not quite the “workoutable-kinds”. (What does SHFJ stand for in SHFJ Manekshaw’s name, How many countries does Israel border to name a few). There is negative marking (+1,-1) so the cut-offs are usually very low. I had enough experience to realize that it was best to attempt only those questions which we were completely sure about. So we attempted only around 14-15 questions and our score was a dismal 6. But even then we managed to qualify for the finals alongwith DPS RK Puram, Vasant Valley and GD Goenka. The finals of this quiz are a bit heavy on questions regarding Geography, Indian Crafts, English Movies, etc. We had been unlucky to have missed out both the previous years on a merit position. (Only 1st and 2nd Positions are awarded). But I was determined to win it this time around. Only, it was not to be – First Round – (Olympics) and first 2 questions of this quiz – On the Buzzer and we got both of them right – A good start, eh? But then things changed soon with rounds like Trees of Delhi, Geographical Features, Indian Currency Notes etc. This year’s quiz surprisingly was extremely mis-managed and there was no balance in the questions. The Quizmaster in the finals (The earlier one was pretty good), had no clue about the answers (He kept asking the teachers), and he was not quite the best of quizmasters. There was a power blackout, buzzers did not work (Most of the rounds were buzzer ones) and this quiz seemed to me like some lottery of sorts. There was chaos all around. I expected better from Vasant Valley. Also, strangely, all the tough questions were answered by the host school, which really raised questions in my mind. They were maintaining a pretty good lead through the quiz after some rounds. I am not sure whether the quiz was “fixed” or not but it seemed to me it was. I have never seen these persons quizzing anywhere and even then they won the quiz so easily. At the end of the quiz, we finished 4th (Out of 4 finalists L. It was not the best of experiences. But the good part was that atleast our qualifying streak continued! I guess missing the Don Bosco Mensa General Quiz for this one was not quite the wisest decision. (This quiz was also on the 22nd).

My rating for the Quiz – 4/10