The Book of John contains 878 verses, which is 18% fewer than Matthew (1,071 verses) and 24% fewer than Luke (1,151 verses). Also, of the 18,635 words in John, 3.7% of them (697 words) are used only once. Called unique or key words, they give quizzers the edge needed to be the first to jump and know from exactly where in the scripture the question was taken. For example, if a question began with “Who confessed…”, you would know that the question could only be: “Who confessed freely?” The word confessed is only found in John 1:20, so you know the answer is “John”. If you know these unique words and enough of the associated verse, you will be able to jump well before the complete question is read.
You can find a list of these words on the YouthQuiz web site or in the concordance at the back of your spiral-bound scripture portion. They are also in bold italics in the Nazarene Youth Bible Quizzing pocket scripture portion. A good study technique would be to highlight these words as well in your scripture portion so they will stand even more out as you read and re-read the material.
While I'm not a rocket surgeon, as you can tell I like to pretend I am one. So here is a brief statistical analysis of the Memory Verses for the upcoming quiz season covering the Gospel of John:
RISK AND REWARD
Compared to last season, there are more Memory Verses in John that have a unique beginning (38% vs 33% last year). On the other hand, there are more than double the number of Memory Verses that are not unique until the 3rd or 4th word (21% vs 10% last year).
So while you will have more success this year jumping on the first word of a Memory Verse question, you’ll need to hear at least the beginning of the second word to have a 78% chance of knowing which verse to complete.
What are the odds that none of the three memory verse questions in a game start with a unique word? Only 23%. So, go ahead and jump on the first word as many of you normally do. The odds are in your favor to be able to get at least one of the three correct.
MEMORY VERSE STUDY PLANS
Or you can wait 23 days from now and learn 1 verse every day until the first quiz meet. Either way, you will have all of the verses memorized before the season even begins!
On the Study page of this blog, I created an Excel-driven Memory Verse Study Plan for John. Based on the date of your first quiz meet, it will create three study plans for you to choose:
The 2-Week Study Plan
The most aggressive of the plans, this regimen guides you to learn all 87 memory verses in 14 days. Most likely this will require 2-3 hours a day to learn the new verses and review those you previously learned.
The 1-Month Study Plan
Most people can set aside at least 1 hour a day for personal time during the summer months. That is all you need to learn all 87 memory verses in just one month.
The "Learn-As-You-Go" Study Plan
If you have a busy summer planned, then this is the Memory Verse study plan for you. While you only need to spend about 30 minutes studying every two or three days, be reminded that school and holiday activities will simultaneously be demanding a significant portion of your time and attention.
A good way to be sure you have time to study is to review your Memory Verse list or flash cards in those 30-minute blocks of time as you are riding to and from school, soccer practice, or whatever. I even heard about a quizzer that hung the Memory Verse list in a Ziploc bag on the wall of her shower! So if you take really long showers, you could give that a try.
As I am not aware of any Memory Verse audio product (CD or download) available for purchase, a good idea is to record yourself reading the memory verses and listen to it as often as you can. You learn the lyrics to hundreds of songs this way, so I'm confident you can learn just 87 memory verses this way, too.
By the way, these 87 Memory Verses contain 2,636 words, or 30.3 words per verse. At a normal conversation speaking rate of 130 words per minute, you can say all of the verses in 20 minutes, 17 seconds.
The longest verse is John 14:2-3 at 56 words. At the normal 130 words per minute speaking rate, it will take 26 seconds to recite that verse. So, be ready to start right away or talk fast if you start late!
At just 9 words, the shortest verses are John 7:24 and John 17:17. You can enunciate those clearly in just 4 seconds!