Jeopardy Try Outs Then and Now

Tonight was the first of three nights of try-outs for the normal adult Jeopardy. I think I did pretty well actually. Not sure how that makes me feel. It seemed easy enough that I wonder if everyone will do well and I’ll not do well enough. Not that I’ll never know. They’ll never tell you. But basically at this point since I have to wait and see if I get called in, I thought it’d be nice to reflect on the then and now.

My big try-out experience with Jeopardy dates back to 2000-2001 (gods this makes me feel old) when I tried out for the college version.

I sent in my postcard and was lucky enough to get an audition spot for Los Angeles. I went in and had to take the 50 question test. The paper test aimed to have questions at the $2000 level (which as hard as it is, is also nice – you don’t want to be embarrassed and they want good game) Like today you get a short period of time (probably 20 seconds since it was paper) per question and the category changed with every question. Like today, there’s no way you can study for it – someone actually was trying prior and missed the question she might have benefited from her last minute studying. When the test was finished you’re left to stew and compare answers as they graded the exams. They only kept the ones who did better than a certain percentage were kept. You’re not told what the cut off is and apparently it changes from exam to exam. You’ll also never find out how you scored. Ever. It kind of bites not know actually.

After the elation of making it past the first round wears off you’re down to the harder part. First you fill out a sheet with some info including 3 of those mini-conversation stories that they use in the middle of the Jeopardy round. Then you play a mock game and then they do a short interview. And that’s it. You’re dismissed and you wait your fate.

Unfortunately the year I applied the tournament was hosted at UCLA. That mean one UCLA kid was granted a spot. And you can’t have UCLA without USC …and that was it for the west coast kids. I feel like even had I done everything perfect I’m not sure I’d made it on, but c’est la vie!

Since then I’ve made a go of trying to get on the show again. Obviously they’ve gone digital since then. Usually I come out of it feeling like an idiot because the categories did not favor me that time. The process hasn’t changed much, but I do think it’s harder: now after you pass the exam they put you into a pool. IF you get pulled from the pool you get to take a SECOND 50 question test (guess they want to make sure you didn’t cheat!) and then do the interview and the mock-game. The wait is worse too. They have up to the next exam to call you!

Ugh. Well. Hopefully I’ll get a second chance at the in-person interview 🙂 *crosses fingers*

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