National Safety Science Quiz - an Experience

Posted on Sat 09 December 2017 in Quizzing

'Safety science' is a novel term. Googling it up reveals a few obscure links. It doesn't even have a Wikipedia page of it's own! Safety science is a new term that refers to the science of keeping oneself safe from dangers at home, at work, on the streets and so on. This concept of safety science is spearheaded in India by Underwriters Laboratories (whispers marketing) in association with NDTV (whispers TRP.).

I got the first taste of this quiz last year, when I was in ninth grade. It was the first 'web quiz' of sorts that I had given. I did not qualify from the school (top 2 qualify for regional finals) and ultimately stayed back. This year though, I somehow managed to top the school and got 24 out of 25.

By a stroke of luck, I had done minimal preparation for the quiz and managed to go on stage. Playing the stage round wisely and steadily, I amazingly managed to win this round. This was the typical 'what the hell, I was not expecting this to happen' moment. We then had to travel to Delhi from 29th of November to the 3rd of December, which was right in the thick of our exams. After juggling the exams out of the way, we were on our way to Delhi!

On reaching Delhi, a welcome dinner was hosted on the 29th. We then had a safety parliament shoot (read: TRP) on the 30th, when a panel of safety experts came on stage and we had to ask them questions on the state of safety in India. After a long night of preparation, we had our semifinals the following day. An aura of nervousness prevailed around all the participants as we got ready for the second semifinal, where we were pitted against the likes of winners and runner ups from Delhi, Jaipur, Bangalore and Calcutta. Ultimately, we managed to lose and dropped to last while the runner ups from Delhi managed to win.

It was a case of history repeating itself, as Chettinad Vidyaashram from Chennai, the winners of last year's national finals, won again this time. DAV Chennai, last year's runner ups, came runner up again.

If you have successfully survived my rambling about the quiz, this is a step by step guide on how I prepared: The first step is the web quiz. Make sure you get above 20 out of 25 in the quiz. The top four people from each school participate in teams of two. Make sure you tie up with a person whom you are comfortable with. For good strategy, inform your expected teammate to prepare and do his best in the web round, so that the two of you are in the top four people. The prelims of the regional finals are going to be the hardest questions in the entire journey. Prepare hard for the regional finals. The minute you qualify on stage, it is a cakewalk. On stage, three out of four rounds are on 'pounce', that is, if another person gets an easy question, any team on stage can pounce and answer that question and will get +10 for a right and -7 for a wrong. The question remains open after you pounce, so all other teams can still answer the question. It is confidence that will carry you through the stage rounds. The questions on stage are comparatively very easy. Do not be afraid to pounce on each and every question on stage. Pounce hard and victory will be yours. The national semifinals are a completely different game. Every question is on buzzer. There are 10 questions spread over 4 rounds. The rounds are arranged according to the table below:

No. Num Questions Points per question Notes
1 3 ±10 Single questions
1 normal question
2 anagram questions
2 3 ±20 Double questions
2 picture based questions
1 true/false question
3 3 ±50 5 part questions
1 true/false question
1 word maze
1 spot the safety hazards question
4 1 */2 Make or break question: can double or halve all your points
5 part question
All 5 parts need to be correct to double
Question type: Match the symbols to their meanings

Till now, nobody who has attempted a make or break question has won the quiz. Everyone gets four right and one wrong The right strategy for the semifinal and final is to be quick on the buzzer and make minimal mistakes. Attempt the make or break question only if you are in dire conditions.

A few important topics to prepare on are:

  • Fire extinguishers and their classes
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and their types and classes
  • Safety symbols (make or break question)
  • Terms related to safety (word maze)
  • Picture recognition (for safety hazards)
  • Safety news (products banned for dangerous chemicals etc.)

Best of luck for the quiz!

- Deb