The idea of holding a quiz session is to entertain, educate and challenge members. It is recommended that a quiz session not be the sole purpose of an evening (although there are a number of societies that have run annual quiz competitions between two clubs where the quiz is a major component of the evening’s entertainment).

Set a time limit for the quiz
  • This should be between 5 and 45 minutes and will depend on the format chosen.
Establish the quiz format
  • Will the questions be given in written form or verbally?
  • Will the questions be given to individuals, to small teams, to large teams, to everyone with the first hand up getting the first chance to answer? How many questions will be used?
  • If the responses are to be written ensure any necessary paper and pens for writing down the answers are available for the members.
Select a ‘quiz master’
  • The quiz master should be one of your more philatelically knowledgeable members. This will enable them to be better able to respond to any challenges. Also, with that person posing the questions rather than in answering them others may feel they have a better chance of winning.
  • If you intend holding regular quiz sessions an option to consider is to appoint the winner as the quiz master of the next quiz.
Choice of questions
  • The quiz master must select the level of questions suitable for your club members, bearing in mind the indisputable golden rule for this particular activity “If a person knows the answer, the question was easy. If a person does not know the answer, the question was impossible.
  • It is a good practice to set questions across a reasonable breadth of philatelic knowledge aiming to give everyone a chance to get at least half the answers correct. This will help ensure frustration is kept to a minimum and encourage involvement. There are of course “impossible” questions as well as theoretically “easy” questions but the quiz master who quotes the above golden rule at regular intervals will ease the criticism which is often levelled by quiz participants.
Deciding the results
  • In most cases self-assessment (ie the members mark their own responses against the correct answer) will suffice.
  • Ensure the numbers of points assigned to any answer is clearly stated. For example, does a question with multiple responses gain a point for each correct response (eg the question “name three of the animals shown on the designs in the New Zealand 1994 Wild animal set” could receive only 1 point for three correct names, or 1 point for each of up to 3 correct answers).
  • In case you end up with several members on the same score make sure the quiz master has some tie-breaker questions ready to ask.
Footnote: Inter-club quiz

There are at least two regular inter-club quizzes we are aware of where the clubs alternate the hosting :

  • the “Wooden Spoon” between Hastings and Hawkes Bay;
  • the ‘”Battle of the Hills” between Waikato and North Shore.

This is a great way of getting to know other stamp collectors.