If you already have an account, you can log in and go to your Buzzword Foyer to see your results and upcoming events.
What is Buzzword?
Buzzword is an exciting online game of knowledge and recall from NAQT, the leading provider of quiz bowl questions. Buzzword will challenge the depth and breadth of your knowledge in an engaging, audio-based format and let you compare your results with those of players at your level from around the world.
Buzzword is played on questions by NAQT. In most games, the questions are all-new. Sample games use questions from past games. Occasionally, we may re-run previous questions or games so that players who missed them the first time can have a chance to play; in such cases, the latter game(s) will be clearly marked and limited so that players who have already heard the questions cannot play. We also sometimes offer Practice Buzzword, which uses tossups from past years’ quiz bowl question sets and does not have public results.
What games are currently available?
- 2023 Popular Culture (48 weeks; Thursday, January 19, 2023 – Tuesday, December 19, 2023 — going on right now!)
- 2023 Sports (48 weeks; Thursday, January 19, 2023 – Tuesday, December 19, 2023 — going on right now!)
- 60 Songs That Explain the '90s (with Rob Harvilla) (one game; Thursday, December 14, 2023 – Tuesday, December 19, 2023 — open for registration)
- 2023 Buzzword Holiday Extravaganza (one game; Thursday, December 21, 2023 – Tuesday, December 26, 2023 — open for registration)
- 2023 Year in Review (with Yu Oughta Know) (one game; Thursday, December 28, 2023 – Tuesday, January 2, 2024 — open for registration)
- 2024 Popular Culture (48 weeks; Thursday, January 18, 2024 – Tuesday, December 17, 2024 — open for registration)
- 2024 Sports (48 weeks; Thursday, January 18, 2024 – Tuesday, December 17, 2024 — open for registration)
- Practice Level A (MS-36) (five weeks; Thursday, January 18, 2024 – Tuesday, February 20, 2024 — open for registration)
- Practice Level B (IS-193A) (six weeks; Thursday, January 18, 2024 – Tuesday, February 27, 2024 — open for registration)
- Practice Level C (IS-195) (six weeks; Thursday, January 18, 2024 – Tuesday, February 27, 2024 — open for registration)
(Level A is the easiest available level; Level C is the hardest.)
You’ll need to create an naqt.com account (or log in to your account) to register.
How does a Buzzword game work?
When you’re ready, you’ll hear an audio recording of a question. There will be multiple clues that all point to the same answer, arranged from most difficult to easiest—in other words, an ordinary quiz bowl tossup question.
As soon as you know the answer, buzz in by pressing the button. The audio file will stop and you’ll be able to enter your answer. If your answer is correct, you’ll receive 10 points plus up to 10 additional points depending on how early in the question you buzzed. If you get to the end of the question, you might as well take a guess; there is no penalty for wrong answers.
There are 10 questions in weekly Popular Culture and Sports games, 48 questions in Practice Buzzword games, and 50 questions in most other games, though some games may have other lengths.
At the end of the game, you’ll see your score. In regular seasonal play, each game is available Thursday through Tuesday, so keep checking the standings to see how your score holds up against the competition. You’ll be able to dig into rich statistics showing scoring statistics for each question, who buzzed fastest, who’s performing the best in each category, and more.
Buzzword is available in Popular Culture and Sports seasonal play (short ten-question weekly games), Practice Buzzword (five- or six-game seasons of 48-question games made from previous all-subject quiz bowl question sets), and sometimes for special events (often themed).
Who can play Buzzword?
Everyone who is at least 13 years old can play Buzzword.
Some competitions occur in four divisions based on school enrollment status:
- Middle School, for players who are eligible under the NAQT Middle School Eligibility Rules.
- High School, for players who are eligible under the NAQT High School Eligibility Rules and are not eligible under the NAQT Middle School Eligibility Rules (i.e., middle schoolers cannot “play up”).
- College, for players who are eligible under the NAQT Collegiate Eligibility Rules (including community college students and graduate students) and are not eligible under the NAQT Middle School Eligibility Rules nor the NAQT High School Eligibility Rules.
- Open, for players who are not eligible for any of the other three divisions.
Although the first three divisions require enrollment in a school or homeschool for eligibility, Buzzword is not a school-based competition and players do not represent their schools.
Buzzword is available at four difficulty levels: Level A (easiest) through Level D (hardest). Not all levels are always offered at the same time. There are also Popular Culture and Sports seasons whose difficulty levels are intended to be fun and appropriate for fans of those subjects.
You can play Buzzword at any combination of division and difficulty, including multiple difficulty levels (but not multiple divisions, regardless of education/enrollment status).
The above is just an overview of Buzzword eligibility; if you’re planning to play, please read the details.
How are Buzzword events structured?
Buzzword Popular Culture and Sports seasons have weekly games. You can start playing at any point in a season. The current seasons lasts from September through December 2022, and we hope to launch year-long weekly seasons in those subjects in January 2023. Each season, there is one ten-question game per week (separately in the two areas, Popular Culture and Sports).
Games are available Thursday through Tuesday based on midnight Central time (with daylight saving time when observed in the United States). For example, if you’re in the Pacific time zone, you can play starting at 10 p.m. Wednesday (because that’s midnight Wednesday Central time) and you must finish playing by Sunday night at 10 p.m. (because that’s the midnight that ends Sunday in Central time).
After each game (week), players will be ranked overall, by region, by grade (except in the Open Division), and (after the first Buzzword season) among new players (players who had not competed in that division before).
After each season, players’ best scores will be used to rank them in the same ways. Players will also be ranked in individual subject areas (based on all questions, not just their best games). The fall 2022 Popular Culture and Sports seasons will rank players based on their best eight out of the thirteen games.
Practice Buzzword consists of five- or six-week seasons (depending on difficulty level). Each week of the season is one 48-question game. There are multiple difficulty levels available, A (easiest) through C (hardest). These are also available Thursday through Tuesday in the same fashion, but there are no rankings.
In addition to the above-described forms of seasonal play, special events are sometimes available and may work slightly differently.
How much does Buzzword cost?
Each standard 50-question game costs $5, each standard 10-question game costs $1, and each standard 48-question Practice Buzzword game costs $3. In seasonal play, there are discounts for full-season registrations. Sometimes special games are offered at other lengths and/or prices.
Not sure if you’re ready for that kind of commitment? Try a sample game.
What do I need?
Most computers and mobile devices can play Buzzword! You’ll need speakers or headphones to hear the questions, and you’ll need to be able to type answers.
You can test your equipment on a sample game.
For technical help, write to email@example.com.
How can Buzzword help my team improve and have fun?
We have so much to say about that, we wrote a whole page about it!
Am I allowed to look things up?
Buzzword is about testing your knowledge and recall, not your search-engine skills. You may not use any resources outside of your brain (such as reference material or other people).
How can I compare my results to my friends?
Leagues let you compare your results to those of other players who join the same league as you. You can join an existing league or create your own (public or private).
What else should I know about Buzzword?
We wrote up some frequently asked questions and answers (well, questions we guessed would be frequently asked). There’s also a formal rules document. If you have a question that’s not addressed there, ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org.