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Sample Questions






Sample High School Short Tossup Questions:

1. Find 4 consecutive integers whose sum is 130.
            31, 32, 33, 34

2. This civilization was very similar to the Hellenes. Name this group of people considered to have introduced the first gold and silver coins.

3. Considered by many to be the greatest dancer of the 20th century, name the Polish-Russian choreographer and dancer with the Ballets Russes who created important roles in Fokine's ballets, such as Petrouchka.
            (Vaslav) Nijinsky [ni-ZHIN-skee]

4. Whose second law states that the mass of an element deposited or liberated during electrolysis is proportional to the chemical equivalent of the element?
             (Michael) Faraday

5. The speakers in this poem are those who have died and they call upon those living to take up the fight for a better world. Name this John McCrae poem in which he acknowledges the bond of the living with the dead.
             "In Flanders Fields"

6.    Identify the small parasitic plant that is commonly hung over doorways during the Christmas season.

7.    The paintings of this group were spontaneous and made use of bold colors.  Name this early-20th century group of artists whose name comes from the French for "wild beasts."
            Fauves    (Accept: Fauvism)

8.    Identify the Constitutional amendment that prohibited the "manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors."
            18th (Amendment)

9.    Convert 2p/4 radians to degrees.
            90 degrees

10.    Dating from the late 15th century, name the allegorical drama that is the best preserved example of medieval morality plays.

Sample High School Pyramid-Style Tossup Questions

1.    Modeled after the conventions of Greek and Roman poetry, it was introduced into England from Italy in the 16th century by Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey.  The form was later utilized by Christopher Marlowe in his plays and by Alfred, Lord Tennyson in his Idylls of the King, but it is best known as the medium in which Shakespeare wrote his many famous dramas.  Name, for ten points, the type of unrhymed iambic pentameter verse in which each line is composed of ten syllables of alternating stress.

Answer:            _Blank Verse_

2.    A native of Syracuse, he made many original contributions to geometry in his work on the areas of plane figures and the areas and volumes of curved surfaces.  Ancient historians describe how he invented the catapult, the compound pulley, and a new type of burning-mirror for the defense of his hometown.  These, however, weren’t enough to stop the Romans, and he was killed when the city was captured in 212 B.C.  Identify this great mathematician who ran naked through the streets shouting, “Eureka,” after he discovered his famous principle while taking a bath.

Answer:            _Archimedes_

3.    It grew in importance during the Second World War as engineers sought help from psychologists and physiologists in designing military equipment adaptable to a wide variety of users.  In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the time and motion studies of Frederick W. Taylor and Frank and Lillian Gilbreth laid the groundwork for this field.  Health and safety features are the guiding principles of this field of technology that considers human capabilities and limitations in the design of machines, the work processes that people follow, and in the environments in which they operate.  What is the name for this “science of work”?

Answer:            _Ergonomics_

4.    One of the four official schools of philosophy in the Hellenistic and Roman period, its original aims were self-control and adherence to the laws of nature.  The form later espoused by the slave Epictetus [ep-ik-TEE-tuhs] had more of a religious emphasis.  The philosophy’s name derived from the painted porch in Athens on which its founder and his successors first lectured.  Identify this school of philosophy founded in the 3rd century B.C. by Zeno [ZEE-noh] of Citium [SISH-ee-uhm].  

Answer:            _Stoicism_

5.    The third son of a Mogul ruler, he left his father’s court in 1622.  Upon his father’s death, he returned to court, killed his male relatives, and became emperor.  During his reign, he expanded Indian territory, conquering Kandahar, northern Afghanistan, and Delhi.  His fame today rests largely on the splendid Mogul art and architecture completed during his rule.  Identify this Islamic emperor of India who is buried next to his wife, Mumtaz, in the Taj Mahal.

Answer:            _Shah Jahan_

Sample High School Bonus Questions:

1.  Identify the novel on a 30-20-10 point basis.

   1.  The hero of this novel encounters a race of immortal beings known as the Struldbrugs who, despite having the gift of eternal life, do not have the gift of eternal youth.

   2.  After being attacked by pirates, the main character, a ship’s physician, is rescued by the scholars who inhabit the flying island of Laputa.

   3.  On the first part of his voyage, the central character of the novel is surprised to find himself a giant who towers above the inhabitants of the island of Lilliput.

Answer: _Gulliver’s Travels_ or _Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World, By Lemuel Gulliver_

2.  Identify the authors of the following “colorful” works for ten points each.

   1.  “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Answer:  Charlotte Perkins _Gilman_

   2.  _Riders of the Purple Sage_

Answer:  Zane _Grey_

   3.  _A Study in Scarlet_

Answer:  Sir Arthur Conan _Doyle_

3.  Let’s see how much you know about world monarchs.  Answer the following questions to find out.

A)  She succeeded her brother to the throne in January of 1891 and reigned until U.S.-born sugar planters inspired a revolt that dethroned her in 1893.  Name this last reigning monarch of Hawaii.

A) Queen Liliuokalani [lee-lee-OO-oh-kah-LAHN-ee]

B) He killed his father, King Harold Bluetooth, in battle in 986.  Identify this Danish conqueror of England who was succeeded by his sons Canute and Harold.

B) Sweyn [SWAYN] (Forkbeard)

4.  Answer the following questions related to world mythologies.

A) His father was Odin and his wife was Idun, the goddess of youth.  Which Norse god presided over wisdom and poetry?

  A) Bragi

B) This legendary founder of China’s Xia [SHYAH] dynasty is said to have ridded the country of a great flood and to have originated the practice of working with bronze.  Name this Chinese hero who developed a limp from his exhausting labors. 

  B) Yu [YOO] (the Great)

Sample Middle Grades Short Tossup Questions:

1.    What number is 175% of 50?

2.    Complete the following nursery rhyme: "One flew east, One flew west..."
         "One flew over the Cuckoo’s nest"

3.    What April 1961 invasion tried unsuccessfully to remove Fidel Castro from power?
         Bay of Pigs Invasion

4.    The following question requires a multiple answer. What three composers are considered to be the "3 B’s of Classical Music"?
         Bach, Beethoven, Brahms (IN ANY ORDER)

5.    Of what nationality was the great scientist Marie Curie?

6.    He was raised in Hannibal, Missouri, on the Mississippi River.  Name this American author and humorist known for the novels The Innocents Abroad, The Prince and the Pauper, and A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court.
            (Mark) Twain    (Accept: Samuel Langhorne Clemens)

7.    The angles of a triangle are in the ratio 9 to 10 to 11. Find the measure in degrees of the largest angle.             
66 degrees

8.    Identify the Greek counterpart of the Roman goddess Minerva.

9.    What cell organelles digest food and expel excess water?

10.    The natives believed this conquistador to be the god Quetzalcoatl [ket-sahl-koh-AHT-ul]. Name this man who later conquered the Aztecs.
(Hernando) Cortez

Sample Sixty-Second Round:

Biology Terms
Given the definition of a term relating to biology, state the term.

1) Device for maintaining living organisms at a constant temperature

2) Cell formed by the fusion of the male and female gametes

3) The medical condition of being undersized

4) Amount of living material provided by a set area of the earth’s surface

5) Kingdom of primitive organisms such as bacteria and blue-green algae

6) Growth of an organism from an unfertilized sex cell

7) Principles that guide scientific research and experimentation
          Scientific Method

8) Breaking down of a substance or compound into smaller components

9) Most prevalent of the special blood pigments that transport oxygen

10) Scientific study of inland, freshwater systems


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Last modified: February 11, 2007