Lizard Point Quizzes

...discovering the world we live in

Introducing Super Strict Mode - there's no help for you here!

Sep 222018

 

We've had a handful of requests from teachers recently, who want the Start Over Button removed from strict test mode, because when students are taking a test, they might be inclined to Start Over when they see it isn't going so well... 

To address this concern, we've created the new Super Strict Mode that has the following properties:

  • no Start Over (or Skip) button
  • no scoring information is shown until the quiz is over
  • no feedback whatsoever during the quiz... ie "Correct" and "Sorry, that's incorrect" are not shown
  • no list of places included in the quiz... you won't see what questions will be asked before the quiz starts

Some important notes about Super Strict mode:

  • It is only available on customizable quizzes, and only to Teacher Plus and Individual supporter accounts.
  • There is nothing to stop the student from reloading the page or re-navigating to the quiz in order to start again. But by removing all feedback on the results, the student will have less reason to suspect he is not doing well and want to start over.

 What a Super Strict quiz looks like

We have set up a sample Super Strict quiz for you to try: Canada Provinces and Territories - Super Strict Mode example (link opens in a new window)

When you try the sample quiz, take note of the following differences, which are circled in the screen capture:

Customize quiz mode options
 screenshot showing the help that has been removed from the quiz
 

 

  1. The list of places ("This quiz asks about...") is not shown. (But if you create the quiz, you and you alone will still see the list, because it will help you to see what you included in the quiz without having to either do the quiz or go back to edit mode.)
  2. The usual scoring information is not displayed - you'll no longer see how many points you've earned as you do the quiz
  3. There's no feedback. A superstrict quiz does NOT tell you "Correct", or "Sorry, that's incorrect".

     

    How to create a Super Strict quiz

Just go to the "customize a quiz page", and look for the Quiz Mode buttons, and pick Force Super Strict mode:

Customize quiz mode options
 screenshot showing the Quiz Mode options



As with all forced modes, forcing a quiz into Super Strict mode is only available to those with Teacher Plus accounts or Individual Supporter accounts. So, if you see the forced mode options but you can't click on them, it probably means you're not signed in, or your account isn't eligible for this feature. 

Customize quiz mode options not available
 screenshot showing the Quiz Mode options are not available

 

Where the results are saved

If you're looking at your own results, or the results of your students, please note that the scores for Super Strict mode are labeled as Strict scores. The strict score in the screenshot below is the score from the sample quiz of the Canada provinces and territories, in super strict mode.

Customize quiz mode options not available
 screenshot showing the superstrict score in the Strict column

 

Why are the scores for Super Strict mode labeled as Strict mode? Because it's not really a new mode - it's more of a mode upgrade, like getting fancy rims on your car. We didn't want to FORCE everyone to use the new features of super strict, so we've left it as an option. At some point in the future, we may be asking our users, do you even want the old-style strict mode? Or should we make Super Strict the standard for strict testing?  

Forcing a quiz into Test mode - new option for customized quizzes

Aug 122018

Customizing a quiz gives you the option of selecting whether a quiz is forced into Strict Test mode (with the other modes completely turned off). This is a great feature for testing your students - they don't get hints (like "No, that's France") and they can't click a button to see the labeled map. They also can't switch the mode, or misunderstand in what mode you wanted them to take the test.

At the request of a teacher, we now offer another option: to force the quiz into Test mode.  Test mode is similar to Strict Test mode, except in Test mode, you still get three tries to answer - but still, no help or hints. This is a good testing option for younger students, beginners, or to prepare for the Strict test at a later date.

Forcing a quiz into test mode or strict test mode is done on the quiz customization screen. The following screenshot of customizing the US state capitals quiz shows, circled in red, where you would select the quiz mode you want. 

Note: Forcing a quiz into test mode or strict test mode is only available to premium users (those with a Teacher Plus account or an Individual supporter account)

 Screenshot of the quiz customization screen showing where you select a mode to force Screenshot of the quiz customization screen showing where you select a mode to force


For comparison of the options, have a look at these 3 US state capital quizzes that have been customized with different mode options:

If you come across a quiz that has a forced mode, you can see what mode it is in, as in the following screenshot. The Quiz mode below the buttons shows that it is test mode. If you hold your mouse over (or tap on) the question mark icon, you will see an explanation of test mode.

 Example screenshot of a forced quiz with the mode displayed Example screenshot of a forced quiz with the mode displayed


All quizzes that are customizable (found on this listing) have the new option to force the quiz into Test mode.  Happy testing!

Russia - that big, confusing country : simplified!

Feb 162017

Russia has been in the news a fair bit lately, and perhaps you have decided it is time to learn a little bit more about Russia. Perhaps you noticed the news recently - that over a course of several days (February 6 - 15, 2017), five Russian heads resigned... heads of the the  republics of Karelia and Buryatia, and the governors of  Novgorod and Ryazan oblasts, as well as the governor of Perm krai. And then your next thought, without a doubt, was, "Wait, what are these oblasts, republics and krais anyway?"

So here you are, about to find out. 

Russia, officially known as the Russian Federation, is made up of 85 federal subjects - republics, krais, oblasts, autonomous okrugs,  federal cities and an autonomous oblast. It can be pretty confusing to understand the differences, and keep straight what's what and where.

So I've brought you a couple of resources that might help you out a bit. 

First up, a youtube video by VanDeGraph:  Russian Federation Explained. Watch this video to learn the history of how the various federal subjects came to be, and what their primary differences are in terms of powers.

 

 

If you want to memorize the names of the federal subjects and where they are, you could watch this next video. It's cheesy and annoying, and you probably STILL won't know where all the federal subjects are, but you will hear how to pronounce their names... and the chorus is catchy. 

 


If you prefer reading to watching videos, this Wikipedia article explains the federal subjects

Chances are, you still can't name them all or place them on a map... 'cause c'mon, there are 85 of them and it's no easy task. So we've turned our Russian: federal subjects quiz into a customizable quiz.  This way, you can pick which ones you want to start with, and learn at your own pace. The Russian: federal subjects quiz can be customized by anyone with a free account on Lizard Point Quizzes.

Or you could try one of these quizzes to start off:

Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 

New map-flag quizzes

Jan 162016

We've just launched two new quizzes to test your country flag knowledge. We'll show you a flag, you have to find the country on the map. The Africa and Europe versions have been around a long time: now we've got an Americas flag quiz as well as an Asia flag quiz

As promised, our supporters get early access to new quizzes and features. For everyone else, the new quizzes will open up to you on February 1, 2016.

screenthot of the Americas flag quiz

 

 

The making of the weekly geography trivia quiz

Nov 182015

We just got a nice email from a trivia fan telling us how much he and his kids enjoyed the quizzes. It reminded me that I'd been meaning to do a blog post on the making of the quizzes.

We started publishing them last summer, and we now have about 66 available. Our overall average score comes in at around 60% (remember, though, that we only record completed quizzes - and I have a feeling that some of the really tough ones don't get completed). You can see from the chart below that our all-time high average score was 80%. That was on April 19th, 2015. Pretty well every question on that quiz was answered smartly. The toughest ones score an average of about 45%.

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The question that you all found the easiest (97%) was identifying the pictured G20 leader on Jan 25th, 2015 (but then, he is a fairly well known politician). And the toughest (23%) was this: Which of the following cities is most populous (metro population)? Seoul, Mumbai, Calcutta, Mexico City. That question was asked on November 16th, 2014.

By the way, we always state the average score on the quiz after you complete it, so you can compare your score to other Lizard Point quiz-takers. The quizzes are published at midnight EST on Sunday mornings. Real early birds won't see the average score since we collect a few hundred before publishing the average.

We try to make the questions engaging - and we do take any feedback we get to heart. So you'll see we've reduced some of the unpopular questions (like distances between cities). We try to focus on geography - but you will also see a sprinkling of questions on astronomy, geology, history, climate etc... We'd love to hear more from you about types of questions you'd like to see (comment, comment).

Click here for this week's quiz

90% of Lizard Point followers would have done better on UK quiz

Nov 112015

We think our American friends take a lot of teasing in the press every now and then when a survey comes out revealing gaps in geography knowledge. So we thought it only fair to report on a story out of Northampton in the UK.

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The recent Travelodge survey reveals some shocking facts:

  • about 1 in 10 (11%) believe the UK is made up of more than 6 countries,
  • Almost the same (9%) believe that England alone makes up the UK,
  • Over half (54%) think that the UK has a bigger island than Great Britain,
  • In fact, over one third didn't know the difference between the UK and Great Britain, and
  • None of the respondents knew how many islands surround the mainland.

Well, to be honest, the answer to that last one (over 6,000) surprised us. However, look for that question to be in an upcoming Trivia quiz.  But we do expect all our viewers to get perfect on this quiz.

Now, if you really want to to understand the British Isles a little better, we heartedly recommend the following video (watch until about 2:15 = although the rest is interesting too).

The quest for a quiz of the whole world

Oct 192015

NOTE: Since publishing this, we came up with an even better world quiz! Go to our blog entry to read about it.

We get a lot of requests for a quiz of the whole world. And we've struggled with this for over a year. Why? Two reasons - would anybody REALLY have the patience to answer over 190 questions? And how would this really work, technically speaking, because many of the countries would be too small to click on.  And no, we can't implement a zoom in/out technology like Google maps uses... it just flat out won't work with the way our quizzes are coded.

We tried a whole world quiz a while back that incorporates a slide bar to move yourself through the world, thus avoiding the difficulty of clicking on something really small. But it doesn't work on touch screens.

But we might be getting close to a solution, and we'd like your feedback.

We've created two quizzes you can try out - one is a 197-question quiz of the sovereign countries, the other is a more manageable 30-question quiz on the countries with the greatest population

There's a bit of extra navigation that happens with this style of quiz: you start at a map of the continents, and you must select one before you answer the question.  Sometimes, after you've answered a question, the next random question is conveniently in the same continent. Often, it's not, and you have to navigate back to the world map to pick another continent.

There are 3 ways to get back to the world map:

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We'd love your feedback... try one or both of the quizzes and leave us a comment below, or send us an email. Just, please, don't suggest that we use zoom in/out maps, because technically, it's not going to work. 

If all goes well and people like this style of quiz well enough, we'll make it customizable, and you'll be able to create world quizzes with the countries of your choosing.