Top 10 Jeopardy Tips from Someone Who Didn't Expect to Become an Expert

Trebek_Connery It's a big month in the Jeopardy! world. Later this week I'll post my interview with Stephen Baker, the author of Final Jeopardy: Man Vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything, an inside account of IBM's building of Watson, the Jeopardy!-playing computer that takes on all-time J! champs Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in a three-day battle February 14-16. And this week is the big one for Jeopardy! aspirants: the once-a-year window for taking the online test that begins the qualification process for the show is February 8-10. (You have to register ahead of time to take the test, but there's still time.)

As I've tried not to bore you with too much (although those who know me might feel differently by now), I somehow won a lot of times on Jeopardy! in December. So for those who might be considering trying out this year (see #1 below), and for those who manage to make it past that round, I'm taking the liberty of offering my top 10 Jeopardy! pointers. Take these not as the diligently planned and executed maneuvers of a master Jeopardy! strategist, but as some things a player who didn't really have much of a plan at all learned along the way. (For more systematic advice, I recommend Bob Harris's Prisoner of Trebekistan and Jennings's Brainiac (which I have to confess I still haven't read!), as well as Karl Coryat's classic advice page and these two pages by a contestant who lost a close game a couple days after me but clearly had the chops to go much further if the breaks had gone differently (see #10 below). And Final Jeopardy turns out to be very useful as well, revealing the strategies that Watson's creators used, as well as the surprisingly similar, data-driven preparation of Roger Craig, who had a record-breaking run in September.)

Apologies for this not-directly-book-related material, but I figure there are a few other Omnivores out there who might like to test their knowledge, and perhaps this will help (I know a few of the pointers below helped me):


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Comments (6)

Thanks

Posted by: film izle | Tuesday July 16, 2013 at 4:23 AM

Thank you for the information.

Posted by: cati | Sunday February 17, 2013 at 10:18 AM

How refreshing to read your ten tips, Tom. I serendipitously clicked on your name alongside the Omnivoracious posting today, and found your interesting article. I've often toyed with the idea of trying out for Jeopardy! but have never taken the plunge. What you've written has given me much to ponder. Who knows ... perhaps I'll find the courage to give it a try.

Posted by: boyaci | Sunday February 17, 2013 at 10:17 AM

A momentous to me.. You were giving me a courage to pursue my dreams. I'll follow your Top 10 Jeopardy Tips..Thanks

Posted by: CPAP supplies | Wednesday April 6, 2011 at 12:41 AM

This is good, Tom, especially since my wife is forcing me to audition after your experience.

Posted by: Mike Smith | Tuesday February 8, 2011 at 11:04 AM

How refreshing to read your ten tips, Tom. I serendipitously clicked on your name alongside the Omnivoracious posting today, and found your interesting article. I've often toyed with the idea of trying out for Jeopardy! but have never taken the plunge. What you've written has given me much to ponder. Who knows ... perhaps I'll find the courage to give it a try.

Posted by: Western Reader | Monday February 7, 2011 at 8:37 PM

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