The National Quiz Bowl Intercollegiate Championship Tournament takes place on Saturday and Rutgers University is among the 32 teams in the field.

Rutgers will face off against some of the top-ranked schools in the nation in what has been described as a “Super Bowl of the mind," which is being held on Zoom this year because of the pandemic.

The National Academic Quiz Tournaments Quiz Bowl is a "Jeopardy!"-like game, where teams of four students are asked toss-up and bonus questions covering subjects from history, literature and science to fine arts and religion.

Rutgers senior Emmett Laurie, who’s from Middlesex County said the kinds of questions asked usually touch on important events and people.

“The Battle of Yorktown is more likely to come up than a minor skirmish in the Revolutionary War,” he said. "You’re unlikely to have a tournament with no mention of Shakespeare for instance just because of how important he is.”

Laurie, who’s studying English and political science at Rutgers, said he’s “super thrilled” about being in the Quiz Bowl.

“Individual tournaments are fun but you don’t really get like a competitive game-by-game competition against some of the best teams from all across the country,” he said. “Almost nothing is as fun as having a really close game against a team like the University of Kentucky or the University of Texas, a team we don’t see very often.”

Freshman Lexi Terman, who grew up in Bergen County, is studying history, mythology and literature at Rutgers. In the 5th grade, she enjoyed being in a geography bee and participated in many quiz competition ever since.

“It’s something that’s really fun for me to do so I wanted to keep it all the way up into college," she said.

She said in order to do well in Quiz Bowl it’s important to have a good memory.

Terman added COVID has been very isolating but thanks to the Quiz Bowl team, “I can count a bunch of people I wouldn’t have known otherwise, who I’m going to go to campus, already knowing and being friends with.”

Laurie said learning a lot about many subjects has always come naturally to him, adding that he enjoys reading history and reference books.

He said when he graduates from Rutgers, one of his goals is to appear on "Jeopardy!"

This year’s national Quiz Bowl will feature teams in Division 1 and a separate Division 2 competition for freshmen.

There are about 20 students in the Rutgers Quiz Bowl club, but not all of them compete in tournaments

You can contact reporter David Matthau at


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