As candidates prepared to sit down for Gecko’s version of the GCSEs, the mood was perhaps less nerve-wracking and more light-hearted than ones actual GCSEs. But that’s not to deny the keen sense of competition between the 14 teams competing for pub quiz supremacy at Liverpool Street’s Railway Tavern on 27th January. The format was simple; 8 rounds of 10 questions each, with bonus questions in between each round. There was also a picture section with teams having to guess the famous faces. And of course we had to sneak in a Sri Lankan-themed question into each round!
To give you a taster, here is a question from each of the rounds.
1. Geography: Put these mountains in descending order of height A) Popocatepetl, B) Kilimanjaro, C) K2, D) Fuji
2. TV & Film: Which book by Michael Morpurgo has been turned into a successful West End production and film?
3. Sport: Who was the only non-Olympian to be nominated in top 12 for the 2012 Sports Personality of the Year award?
4. History & Culture: Decipher the following images to name this famous piece of music…
5. Music: Which song features this lyric? “Pennies and dimes for a kiss…”
6. 2012: Why did the English version of Wikipedia ‘go dark’ last January?
7. Science: What was found in Switzerland between 125 and 127 Giga electron volts?
8. Who Said It? Who said, “The play’s the thing wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the King.”?
Answers: 1-CBAD 2-War Horse, 3-Rory McIlroy, 4-Beethoven’s 5th Symphony 5-Carly Rae Jepsen (Call Me Maybe) 6-Protest at US Anti-Piracy laws 7-The Higgs Boson 8-Hamlet
Quiz master Ham had also fashioned some particularly memorable bonus rounds, including spelling, anagrams and mental maths. Perhaps most interactive was the ‘heads or tails’ round: Ham would repeatedly flip a coin, candidates had to successively place their hands on either their head or bottom to predict ‘heads’ or ‘tails’, sitting down if they guessed wrong. The last man standing was Andy Shakespeare (pictured), who took the spoils for his team. There was also a spin on the classic ‘quick-fire’ round, with contestants having to use their phones to text Hemita the answer to the question. The first correct text received was then rung from Hemita’s phone to determine its sender. Having a slow network provider has rarely been more infuriating!
The competition was remarkably close in the end, and all the exam question-setters were impressed by the high range of scores, with multiple teams scoring in the high 70s. Now some will say its because exams are getting easier these days, but really that undersells the efforts put in by these candidates. Scoring 84 points in total, the team which referred to themselves as ‘The Quizraeli Defence Force’ ultimately prevailed by a slim margin of 3 points, spearheaded by their team mascot Super Matty Henshaw. For their efforts, and prodigious knowledge, they were rewarded with a bottle of wine and beautifully crafted Gecko-inspired GCSE certificates (which no doubt have since been framed and proudly displayed as the landmark achievement they represent). The prize for best team name went to “Les Quizerables”, who won themselves a box of chocolates.
In the end, unlike real exams, it wasn’t about winning or doing well, but just a great chance for everyone to get together, have a good time, and raise money for a very worthy cause. On these counts the event was a definite success, with over 90 guests (a record attendance for a Gecko event; stretching the capacity of the room!) and profits of £455. The money will be going to projects such as the YBSL (Youth Business Sri Lanka) initiative, about which there will be a blog post shortly.
Thank you all for your support of the event, we’re sure there will be many more in the future, and we will be sure to notify you about any resits!