A consistent strategy gave Tampines Junior College (TPJC) the game yesterday in the second quiz round of the annual The Straits Times-Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz.
While other teams were either too safe or too risky, TPJC stuck to a mix of easy- to medium-difficulty questions, which kept them in the lead throughout The Big Quiz.
The current affairs competition is jointly organised by The Straits Times and the Ministry of Education, with presenting sponsor Singapore Press Holdings Foundation.
"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 the team $600 worth of shopping vouchers.
Meanwhile, Victoria Junior College (VJC) were good sports about ending the game with zero. Its trio went for higher-point questions, which put them in second place early in the game, but fell back when presented with back-to-back "Sabo King" cards from Temasek Junior College (TJC) and Meridian Junior College (MJC).
The card forces the team under sabotage to answer a question that could see them earn points for answering correctly or get points deducted for answering wrongly.
"We deserved [being sabotaged] because we were the first to use the 'sabo' card, so we made ourselves a target," said VJC's Glenn Ng, 18.
TJC, playing safe from start to finish, came in second, while MJC, doing likewise, was third.
A lively audience, mostly from host school VJC, were joined by enthusiastic counterparts from MJC, TPJC and TJC. Before the quiz, they heard from Mr Goh Eng Yeow, this paper's senior markets correspondent, who spoke on In Gold We Trust.
Afterwards, they peppered him with questions about the economy, his worst investment decision, and even asked for investment advice.
His response: "The best investment that you can make at this point in your life, is to work hard and do well in your A-levels. Don't worry about money, because if you do well in your studies, money will find its way to you, either in the form of good jobs or scholarships."
The next three rounds are on: April 27 at Anglo-Chinese Junior College; May 18 at River Valley High School; and July 20 at Raffles Institution.
• For more information, see www.straitstimes.com/tags/the-big-quiz