SINGAPORE - Pupils from Tampines Junior College (TPJC) revealed how preparation was the key behind their second round triumph in the annual Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz - also called The Big Quiz.
While other teams played it too safe or took risks in Wednesday's choice segment, TPJC's approach to sticking to a mix of easy to medium difficulty questions, kept them in the lead throughout.
"We prepared for the competition by reading up on world issues such as the conflict in the South China Sea," said Ronnie Lai, 19, of the winning team. "However, we were still stumped by the question asking for the kind of creature recently discovered off Hawaii and nicknamed 'Casper the Friendly Ghost'."
The win gives them $600 worth of shopping vouchers in the current affairs competition which is jointly organised by The Straits Times and the Ministry of Education, with Singapore Press Holdings Foundation as the presenting sponsor.
Meanwhile, a team from Victoria Junior College (VJC) opted for higher point questions which put them in second place early in the game. But they could not sustain it when faced with back-to-back "Sabo King" cards from Meridian Junior College (MJC) and Temasek Junior College (TJC). The card forces an opposing team to answer a question, which could give the sabotaged team a chance to earn more points by answering correctly or get points deducted for answering wrongly.
TJC, conservative from start to finish, wound up in second place while Meridian Junior College (MJC's) similar approach placed them in third.
The audience, most of whom were from host school VJC, were joined by enthusiastic counterparts from MJC, TPJC and TJC. Before the quiz round, they heard from Mr Goh Eng Yeow, The Straits Times' senior markets correspondent, who spoke on the topic "In Gold We Trust", and addressed how its price affected the value of Singapore's currency.
Two weeks ago, Yishun Junior College won the first quiz round at Innova Junior College. The next three quiz rounds will be conducted on April 27 at Anglo-Chinese Junior College, May 18 at River Valley High School and July 20 at Raffles Institution. Up to 24 schools will take part in this year's competition, its fifth edition.
For more information, see www.straitstimes.com/tags/the-big-quiz
Correction note: An earlier version of this article mentioned that TPJC and TJC used "Sabo King" cards on VJC, when it was MJC and TJC. We are sorry for the error.