5 Ways to Study for a Game Show Appearance

Alex Trebek with Celebrity Jeopardy contestants Pat Sajak, Jane Curtin, and Harry Shearer

'Jeopardy' Productions, Inc.

One common aspect that many game shows share is trivia. From the kingpin of quiz shows, Jeopardy!, to the more lighthearted Cash Cab, many game shows require at least a basic stockpile of trivia knowledge in order to succeed. And you do want to succeed, of course!

If you have hours to spend online or buried in books that's great! On the other hand, many people find themselves too busy with everyday life to devote much time to studying. Fortunately, there are quite a few simple ways to sharpen your trivia skills, and most of them won't take much time at all.

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Read the News

Three people reading the newspaper on a train

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Reading the daily newspapers is one of the very best ways to keep up with what's going on in the world, and it's never been easier to access a multitude of sources. Take advantage of technology by checking out a variety of news sources from around the world. Reading the main news sections is imperative, but don't forget the sections that you might not otherwise pay attention to. At least skim headlines and opening paragraphs in sections like Sports, Entertainment, and Business.

Most trivia-based game shows will feature at least a few questions based on current events, so this is the easiest way to keep yourself up to date. Watching the news on television can also help, but seeing the names and locations of world events in print will help you retain them better than hearing them quickly spoken by your local TV news anchor.

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Crossword Puzzles

Man working on a newspaper crossword at home

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If you're already a fan of doing the daily crossword, you know how much trivia is involved with them. If not, well it's time to get started! Crossword puzzles are a great way to get your brain working on random bits of knowledge, and since you can find plenty of different puzzles online and in the daily newspaper, there's an unlimited supply of them for you to access. The good thing about crosswords is that, even if you end up having to look up the answer, you're still picking up new bits of trivia as you go.

If you're up for the challenge, make sure you try the standard of crosswords, the New York Times Sunday Crossword puzzle. You can also access classic puzzles at the New York Times online.

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Watch Game Shows on Television

Family watching TV together

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This one's a no-brainer. If you're going to be a game show contestant, you should be watching game shows. Not only will you learn more about how each show works and the rules of the games, but you'll also learn things.

Of course, it's especially important to watch the show(s) that you really want to be a contestant on, but for general trivia, make sure you catch the classics of trivia: Jeopardy!, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? (reruns available on GSN).

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Play Trivia Games Online

Woman sitting on a couch using a smartphone

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Sharpen your trivia skills, practice your buzzer finger, and have some fun all at the same time. Playing trivia-based games online is a great way to test your knowledge. There are many game-show based games available on Facebook (including Jeopardy, Millionaire, and 1 vs. 100), or try the GSN website for plenty of games. You can also give Sporcle a try, as well, for lots of quizzes on a wide variety of topics.

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Play Board Games

Game piece and cards from Trivial Pursuit
Morgue File

There are loads of great games that you can play with friends to hone your trivia mastery. Those based on game shows are a good place to start, like the Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? game or any one of the Jeopardy board games.

One of the best games to play, however, is Trivial Pursuit. The question/answer format if perfect for game show studying, and there are many different niche editions available as well, including topics like classic rock, the 80s, biographies, and book lovers. If you don't want to shell out for a bunch of different versions of the game itself, you can pick up card sets on subjects ranging from movies to sports to war and victory. The cards themselves also make great study tools.