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Studying is the process of learning information which appears in quiz bowl questions (the canon), allowing a player to improve by various metrics (converting more bonuses, powering more tossups, etc.). It is usually understood to indicate active, dedicated work akin to the studying done for academic coursework, rather than the passive accumulation of knowledge from playing the game or simply existing in society.

Studying is an answer to the question "how do I get good at quiz bowl?", along with things like "attending tournaments" and "going to practice."


At their core, all study methods rely on obtaining and retaining information for the purposes of answering quiz bowl questions. Most "study methods" are specific approaches to these tasks and not standalone processes - as such, it is typically the case that a player will employ many of these methods at the same time while studying.

This section is incomplete.


Main page: osmosis

Osmosis is a term for the gradual improvement that a player experiences from playing more, even in the absence of intentional studying. As they hear clues multiple times, a player learns that they correspond to specific answers without consciously intending to gain that information due to mere exposure.

Packet studying

Main page: packet study

Packet study is a quizbowl study method that involves reading packets to learn the canon of quizbowl as well as specific clues for various answerlines. Since many topics and answerlines recur from tournament to tournament (even though the questions in "good quizbowl" events are always new at each tournament), reading old packets is an excellent way to learn clues and be alerted to topics that might come up at future tournaments.

The key resource involved is the packet archive, which retains all non-NAQT sets written since the late 90's, but also useful are the numerous question databases which allow for search and filtering functionality. The growth of online packet archives has contributed to the popularity of this study method.


Main page: flashcarding

Flashcards are used by some quizbowl players for studying. A flashcard is an index card with one piece of information on the front side (e.g. a clue pointing towards a potential answer, a title) and a related piece on the other (i.e. the answer corresponding to said clue, the author of that title). The use of flashcards for study, or the writing of information on such devices, is sometimes referred to as flashcarding or carding.

Though flashcarding is often described as a study technique, this is not strictly correct - instead, it is a method of improving retention. Flashcarding is associated with rote and mechanical forms of studying like list studying and with fake knowledge, but can be used in conjunction with any method to improve results.

Study guides

Raj Bahn's guide on improving at quiz bowl has been preserved here: How to Get Good at This Game.

There is a dedicated page for becoming a good science player, which describes resources and methods for studying science.