JV Academic Games teams hard at work for Kuwait tournament

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Photographer: Omar A.

The ASD JV Academics Games team practices most days after school, sharpening their question-answering and buzzer-buzzing skills in a spirit of healthy academic competition.

Ishwar K., Reporter

Two teams of four students each will soon represent ASD in an Academic Games tournament hosted by American International School-Kuwait. 

Every school day except on PACT Tuesdays, the nine selected students practice for an hour after school by simulating a tournament game between two teams using questions from past years’ tournaments. 

Typical practice sessions include multiple competitions

During each afternoon practice session, the nine students are split up into two teams. Each student has a buzzer. Coaches read out the questions, and any student can activate their buzzer at any time. 

When a student activates their buzzer, their team has 15 seconds to answer the question to earn five points. If they answer incorrectly, then the other team has a chance to steal the points.

At the end, the team with more points is declared the winner. The coaches usually assign the students “homework” for the next practice, which generally consists of studying topics in which the students were weak during the session. The questions are usually related to a school subject; English grammar, geography, and history commonly feature in these questions.

A team discusses the answer to a question after buzzing. People in the photo from left to right: I. Karthik, S. Ali, H. Ghanime, M. Middleton-Shelton, A. Aziz, H. Garcha. Photographer: Omar A.

Team draws ambitious students for fun and mental exercise

ASD’s Academic Games students often have different reasons for wanting to participate and travel with the team.

Middleton-Shelton (‘23) said she joined because it was “something fun to do” to “exercise the brain.” Aziz (‘23) said that she joined because she heard that another student had done it “and he made it sound really fun, so yay… I joined in!” 

This year’s JV team, all freshmen and sophomores, have set high goals for themselves. Middleton-Shelton said, “We better at least get second place.” She said that “lots of practice and hard work and learning about explorers through the greatest song ever!” will help them achieve a good result.

Specialization usually plays a key role in Academic Games teams’ strategies. Each student specializes in the subject material they are most familiar with, and coaches structure teams so that there is someone good at every subject on each. 

The hope is that each team includes individuals confident enough to activate a buzzer and answer most questions. Aziz thinks that this approach will serve ASD’s JV program well this year.  She said that AG students will be “covering different things so we can come together and cover each other’s weaknesses.”

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