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The Categorical Imperative

Science is one of three major academic categories of quizbowl competitions. Science is a Big Three category along with literature and history, and usually takes up about 20 percent of the questions in a packet in ACF, NAQT, and similar formats.

Within science, biology, chemistry, and physics are usually treated as the three "major" sciences, which are each guaranteed representation in a given round, and the "minor" sciences of computer science, earth science, astronomy, etc. will appear several times across a tournament. Math questions are usually grouped in as a subcategory of science. Recent writing trends have seen a reduction in the amount of chemistry and an increased prevalence of math questions at lower difficulty levels, to account for the relative lack of difficulty-appropriate clues for chemistry questions.

Skilled science writers and specialist science players are in relatively short supply and high demand especially in college quizbowl. This is in part because the relative difficulty of teaching oneself meaningful science information is higher than almost any other category in quizbowl, and the rewards for doing so are large.

Many quizbowl players also play the National Science Bowl. Unlike the more recent National History Bee and Bowl, Science Bowl is not affiliated with any major quizbowl organizations and features many bad quizbowl hallmarks such as one-line tossups and multiple choice questions. This is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future.

See also