For those who may be unfamiliar, every quiz match asks four According To questions. The preamble of these questions supply the quizzer with the chapter and verse for the subsequent question. The intent of this type of question is to direct the quizzer toward a certain passage of Scripture which may be similar to other passages being studied. While the answer does not have to be word-for-word from the verse, the answer must be contained to just that verse and be precise enough to distinguish it from other verses. An example would be: According to John chapter 5, verse 1, where did Jesus go? Answer: Up to Jerusalem. Jesus went to many places in the Book of John, but in John 5:1, he specifically went up to Jerusalem.
Since answering an According To question as a multiple is permissible, it is common for these quizzers to get the jump (pun intended) on everyone else by interrupting the reading of the question as – or before – the Quizmaster is announcing the verse number. The quizzer rattles off several possible questions and their respective answers within 30 seconds in the hopes that one of them was the intended question.
Seemingly, According To quizzers appear to have not only memorized the entire study scripture, but can recall a specific verse instantaneously. In awe of this apparent superpower, I asked three former According To quizzers who have competed multiple times at the national level to share their stories and study methods: Cole Hodge and Leah Augustine from the MidSouth District, and Lydia Hutchison from the Florida District.
Achievement and Influence
Similarly, Lydia excelled while quizzing on the Central Florida District (now the Florida District). She was the top quizzer at the St. Louis Top Ten Invitational 3 years in a row. At Nationals, she was the top quizzer two years in a row and finished 2nd and 10th in other years. “If you are a quizzer who wants to be great,” says Lydia, “you need to go to tournaments. Go to as many as you can. Tournaments help you to see where you are at and where you need to improve. Plus, they are a ton of fun!”
Leah agrees. Her teams traveled to invitational quizzes at Chicago Fest, St. Louis Top Ten, Indy Westside, and Sterling. “We also traveled to Q events where I would quiz pretty much all day with both my local and regional team.” She quizzed on her District team at the Field Tournament in all six of her quiz seasons. “I learned so much about my competition style,” says Leah. “If I am quizzing for glory, what is the point if God is not at the center of it?”
When you have other quizzers that look up to you and you’re their example and role model, you can’t beat that. It isn’t how you do in competition, but it’s the way you act and put into practice what you’re memorizing. - Cole Hodge
WHEN TO START STUDYING FOR ACCORDING TO QUESTIONS
“My dad always said that you made the regional team the summer before,” mentions Cole. “I usually took off two weeks after Nationals and then really studied hard before school started.” In Cole’s case, he would start studying the new material mid-July.
Leah also starts mid-July: “I start studying a couple of weeks before the rest of the team would start,” which is typically the beginning of August.
Conversely, Lydia proves to be the contrarian of this trio. “I always told myself I would wait a week or two before I would begin memorizing. However, I normally began right after Nationals.”
HOW TO STUDY FOR ACCORDING TO QUESTIONS
Cole shares that he “made a schedule in July and stuck to it. I always left wiggle room in case I was sick, but I typically had it to where I memorized anywhere from 5-12 verses a day, 4-5 days a week and had 2 days to review.”
For Lydia, index cards for the individual verses proved an indispensable tool in her studies. Using a product similar to Jingleseeds’ Quote Cards, Lydia would “either go through some of the pile each day or have someone ask me them.”
Prior to memorizing a chapter, Leah would listen to the Scripture CD or Bible Gateway audio many times.
Here is a side-by-side summary of each of their study methods. Perhaps one of these – or parts of each – will inspire your study of According To questions this season:
Tool: Make a study schedule and stick to it.
Memorize 5-12 verses a day, 4-5 days a week:
Time required: 5-15 hours a week (1-2 hours a day)
Tool: Listen to the audio version several times before memorizing.
Study: Read/Memorize 10 verses at a time:
Tool: Purchase or make individual verse cards.
Time required: 10-15 hours a week (1-2 hours a day)
The Gospel of John has 879 verses. If you learn 10 verses a day, 4 days per week, that would be 40 verses a week. If you start July 15, you could have John memorized by December 15. So, you could easily build in "review" time each week once you have memorized the material covered at your next quiz meet.
HOW TO ANSWER AN ACCORDING TO QUESTION
Regardless of your motivation, Leah sums up one of the main benefits of Quizzing in general and Scripture memorization in particular: “The verses I have memorized through Bible Quizzing have kept me calm in stressful and sometimes dark situations. In time of need, I would say verses like Matthew 11:28 where I would just fall into the arms of God and just be present with Him.” Amen.
The verses I have memorized through Bible Quizzing have kept me calm in stressful and sometimes dark situations.
WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Cole, I think that “other team” was mine. So, if I did not tell you then, thank you!