'Jeopardy!' producer reveals how to ace the game's online audition test

jeopardy-alex-trebek

Is your brain bursting with fun facts about everything from aardvarks to the Zhou Dynasty? Does your trigger finger itch every time you watch a game show on TV? Have you always yearned to say the words “anal bum cover” to Alex Trebek himself?

If so, this is your lucky week. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Jeopardy‘s official website will host its annual online test — the ten-minute, 50-clue quiz that serves as the first hurdle for anyone who wants to become a Jeopardy! contestant. Participants don’t have to phrase their responses in the form of a question or even spell everything correctly — so no sweat if “Quetzalcoatl” ends up being one of the answers — but they do have to snag a high score if they want to make it to the next round of the audition process.

So how can you ensure victory over this trivial pursuit? There’s no secret formula — but Jeopardy! contestant producer Maggie Speak was kind enough to share a list of online test tips and tricks with EW. Read on to see her advice — and don’t forget to register before the test date of your choice. Your time begins… now.

1. Watch the show. It’s your best way to get a sense of the things we ask about.

2. Don’t overthink things. If we are asking about an Egyptian queen, it’s more than likely one of the more famous ones (like Cleopatra or Nefertiti).

3. BUT, take your time … go ahead and consider your responses after you’ve typed them in. There’s no reason to rush through the test; it goes by fast enough, and there’s no “reward” for finishing early. You might come up with a better, correct answer if you think a little more.

4. This is the one time on Jeopardy! that you will not be penalized for an incorrect response, so go ahead and guess. On the test, we only add up the number of correct responses you provide. If you’re right, we’ll never know that it was a guess. If you’re wrong, it just won’t be added into your total.

5. Don’t forget the category headings. If it says “Russian Literature,” or “Countries That Begin With A,” make sure your response fits that category.

Any test vets out there have something to add to this list?

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