Aniruddha Deb

TCS IT Wiz - an Experience

Anyone who is in college or in high school and is interested in quizzing will know about the TCS IT Wiz - one of the most prestigious high school quizzes, sponsored by Tata Consultancy Services and hosted by Greycaps CEO Giri ‘Pickbrain’ Balasubramaniam.

I got my first taste of this quiz when I was in eighth standard. I sheepishly went up to the head of department of computers and said that I was interested in participating in the TCS IT Wiz. After an announcement in class about the quiz, all the scholars in the class soon followed suit. Looking back, I barely knew anything about IT then. Around 30 of us were put in a bus and taken to the venue, where we managed to get a balcony seat. I couldn’t answer more than 8 questions correctly. It was a complete disaster

Fast forward a year, and I was ready to tackle the quiz head-on another time. However, a science exhibition was held on the same day as that of the quiz, and I chose (and won) the science exhibition. Fast forward another year, and I am now Pune champion. How time flies!

This year, I was well aware of the quiz and did a moderate amount of preparation before the regionals. TCS uploads the regional finals of every city, so going through them and getting a feel of the questions and the rounds is essential. Preparation time also needs to be devoted to TCS itself - There is a round dedicated completely to it. Going over their website (thoroughly) and their wikipedia page should be adequate for the regionals.

We were among the first to reach the venue and were seated pretty far ahead. This time, when Pickbrain came on stage in his usual kurta, I was well prepared. With a score of 12 in the prelims, I successfully managed to get on stage along with my teammate, Rasesh. Well acquainted with the format of the quiz, we played along well and managed to top the quiz with a score of 40. UWC Mahindra college were runners up, with a score of 35.

Right after the quiz was over, the very next day, we drew up a schedule of preparation. Going over last year’s regional finals was top priority, followed by researching about companies and new technology trends. Close observation of our competitors was also on the back of our minds as we continued researching.

The quiz finals are held on 10th December every year, at Taj Lands End in Mumbai. This was the first time I was in a TCS National final, up against stiff competition from last time’s winners. Due to hasty decisions, we were knocked out of the quiz during the semifinal stage, getting a +1 and then a -1, bringing our score to 0. Delhi and Ahmedabad got 4 or 5 and Kochi got 1. The finals were a close contested battle between Delhi and Ahmedabad up till the fifth round. In the fifth round, Delhi built up an unassailable 30 point lead and went on to win the quiz again, with a score of 80 to Ahmedabad’s 40.

Tata Consultancy Services are very generous with prizes. All national finalists got 35,000 rupees in Amazon gift vouchers, whereas the runner up got 1,00,000 and the winners received 1,50,000. Even though I lost, the experience in Mumbai will be unforgettable. Hope to come back next year and give the contestants some stiff competition!

Watch the 2017 national finals here

EDIT Late Oct 2023: The URL is broken, and the YouTube video has become private.

Best of luck for next year’s quiz! I’d wish you luck, but the quiz is online now so anything goes :’)

- Deb