About Buzzword

    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.

    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 50 questions in most 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 for four days, 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 regular seasonal play (eight-week seasons at each of three difficulty levels, one new game per week) and sometimes for special events.

    Who can play Buzzword?

    Players play Buzzword in one of four divisions based on their school enrollment status:

    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).

    You can play Buzzword at any combination of division and difficulty, including multiple difficulty levels (but not multiple divisions, regardless of education/enrollment status).

    Buzzword requires an NAQT website account, and is therefore limited to players who are at least 13 years old.

    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 seasonal play occurs in eight-week seasons. You can start playing at any point in a season.

    Each season, there will be one 50-question game per week (at each difficulty level).

    All of the gameplay days are based on midnight Central time (with daylight saving time when applicable). For example, if you’re registered to play a Level A game and 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’ five 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 five best games).

    In addition to that form of seasonal play, special events are sometimes available.

    How much does Buzzword cost?

    In regular seasonal play, each 50-question game (week) costs $5, or $35 for an eight-game season. 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

    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