How to Learn Trivia and Prepare for Trivia Night

How to Learn Trivia and Prepare for Trivia Night

Trivia is exceptionally broad and can cover just about anything. It would be impossible to learn it all. But thankfully, there are certain steps you can take to both learn trivia, and to practice it. In this post, we’ve outlined a few of these strategies.

How to Learn Trivia

1. Be Curious

Most people who are good a trivia are naturally curious about the world around them. Trivia knowledge won’t come automatically – you have to want to learn. As you stay curious and pick up bits of knowledge here and there, over time, you’ll find yourself able to start making connections to other pieces of knowledge you already had. Once you can start linking together different things you’ve learned, remembering trivia becomes much easier.

2. Start with What You Like

When it comes to learning trivia, you have to start somewhere. And so why not start by learning things you are interested in? Do you like to travel? Perhaps you can start off by learning the countries of the world. Do you love Harry Potter? Then spend time learning as much as you can about all the different characters. Remember, you can’t learn it all, but starting with topics of genuine interest will not only make learning trivia easier, but it will make trivia more fun.

3. Keep up with the World

One of the best ways to learn trivia is by simply keeping up with what is going on in the world. Watch or read the news, and do your best to stay up-to-date with pop culture and the latest trends. Challenge yourself to read more books, both fiction and non. You don’t need to spend hours a day doing these things to learn trivia. Instead, try to make them short daily habits you can stick to. As you stay informed, you’ll find yourself gradually learning about various people, places, and things around the world, adding to the bank of knowledge you already have.  

4. Focus on Trivia

Truly learning trivia requires a degree of focus. Think about a successful musician. They didn’t just pick up an instrument and know how to play immediately. They had to work at their craft, and the same is true for trivia. To really gain trivia knowledge, you have to put in some work. Practice trivia as much as you can, either by playing trivia games or following along with a trivia game show. Make pub trivia outings a weekly event. The more work you put into anything, the better results you’ll get.

5. Go Beyond Memorizing Facts

Have you ever spent all night cramming for an exam, only to do poorly on it anyway? Trying to memorize many things all at once doesn’t work for most people. In fact, you’ll probably find that method of learning frustrating. So when setting off to try and get better at trivia, don’t focus just on memorizing facts, dates, and details. Find ways to make learning fun. Instead of staring at a list of MLB teams trying to memorize them, go to a ball game and take in as much as you can. You’ll need to find ways to engage with knowledge beyond just rote memorization, otherwise you’ll find yourself burnt out from learning real quick.

How to Prepare for Trivia Night

1. Watch Trivia Game Shows

They say “practice makes perfect”, and that is especially true for trivia. Before testing your skills at a pub trivia show or any other sort of trivia night, you’ll want to make sure you’re prepared. One of the best ways to practice trivia is to simply follow along while watching a trivia game show, like Jeopardy! As you watch, see if you can answer before the other contestants, make note of any areas you struggle with, and try to learn something new. You wouldn’t play in a basketball game without putting in a little practice first. Why would trivia be any different?

2. Study Trivia Online or with Games

Watching game shows isn’t the only way to prepare for trivia night. There are countless trivia websites and apps you can use to help learn, and practice, trivia. Sporcle is the world’s largest online trivia website. It is free to use and a great resource for finding trivia quizzes on virtually every topic. Reading online articles is also great way to keep in prime trivia shape. Read about current events, or take yourself down a Wikipedia rabbit hole and learn about things that are interesting to you. Of course, there are always classic trivia board games, like Trivial Pursuit.

3. Know the Venue

Before heading out for a trivia show, you’ll want to do a little research about the venue itself. Many trivia shows like to focus on certain themes or topics, and you’ll want to make sure you know about these in advance so you can properly prepare. Any other show information you can gather will only help. Does the bar like to ask a lot of sports trivia? Do they have bonus questions that need to be researched prior to the show? How does the bar format their trivia shows? The more you can know about the show heading in, the greater chances of success you will have.

4. No Trivia on an Empty Stomach

Teachers will tell you not to take a test or exam on an empty stomach, and being hungry at trivia night will only make focusing on the trivia harder (and will make the effects of those beers you’re drinking that much stronger). So having a bite to eat before heading out for trivia night might not be the worst idea. You don’t need to gorge yourself either. Just make sure you’ve properly taken care of yourself. Remember, your brain is part of your body, and keeping your body well-fueled is important if you’re going to have success at trivia night.

5. Pick Your Squad

Okay, so you’ve put in the practice and preparation, and now you’re ready for a pub trivia outing. The last thing you need to do is assemble the perfect team. Balance is the key here. It won’t help you to have a team of four movie savants that know nothing about literature or sports or history. At the same time, however, remember that having the best players doesn’t always make for a winning team. You’ll also need to pick a team that can work together towards a common goal. And it helps if they are people you actually like. After all, trivia is meant to be fun.

Hopefully these strategies will help as you try to learn trivia or prepare for trivia night. There is no one secret to trivia mastery, but the more you can do to continually learn and practice trivia, the more success you’ll have.


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Mark Heald
About Mark Heald 174 Articles
Mark Heald is the Managing Editor of Sporcle.com. He enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and bemoaning the fact the Sonics left Seattle.