Are you really strong in a particular area of quiz? Perhaps you’re a sports specialist or you have a penchant for history? Then these are the events for you! There will be 12 quizzes each covering a different topic area.

Two Specialist Quizzes will be run simultaneously, one high brow (HB) and one populist (P), so you will be able to take part in a maximum of six.

The quizzes will each have 50 questions, in two halves of 25. With these shorter quizzes, there’s no room for mistakes! Each half will last for 15 minutes. We will announce the leaders at the end of the first half and then winners will be announced as soon as possible after each quiz finishes.

Olympiad medals will be awarded to the top three placed players in each quiz.

But that’s not all…


Your top five scoring papers (if you play in five or more Specialist Quizzes) will make up your Pentathlon score. In order to iron out any issues arising from one paper being easier than another, everyone’s scores will be worked out as a percentage of the highest score on that paper.

Olympiad medals will be awarded to the top three pentathletes.

And there’s more…

National Medals

The highest scores from each country on all of the 12 papers will be added together to effectively create national teams for this competition (calculated in the same way as for the Pentathlon). So, even if you’re not part of your official national team, you could still win an Olympiad medal for your country in this competition.

Olympiad medals will be awarded to all players whose scores contribute to a nation’s podium finish.

And there’s even more…

High Brow and Populist Medals

The 12 Specialist Quizzes are divided equally into two groups – high brow and populist. Should you complete four or more quizzes in either group, your best four of these (calculated in the same way as for the Pentathlon) will be aggregated to find your score in either the High Brow (HB) or Populist (P) groupings.

For the inaugural Quiz Olympiad, the following schedule has been decided for the 12 Specialist Quizzes. As each topic pair is played simultaneously, you will need to decide which you would prefer to take part in.

  • History (HB)/ Sport (P)
  • Literature (HB)/ Business (P)
  • Sciences (HB)/ Digital (P)
  • Visual Arts (HB)/ Television (P)
  • Geography (HB)/ Film (P)
  • Performing Arts (HB)/ Pop Music (P)

Olympiad medals will be awarded to the top three players in each of these groups.

Breakdown of Subjects

Business (P)

Business, commerce, economics, brands, marketing etc.

Digital and Technology (P)

Console, mobile and video games (inc. designers, voice artists, fan conventions, and music – themes, diegetic and non-diegetic), the Internet and world wide web (inc. web TV), digital music (inc. delivery and streaming services), new technology.

Film (P)

Movies and movie making, art house as well as populist. Awards, studios (majors and independents), producers, directors, cinematographers, performers, costume design, music (themes, diegetic and non-diegetic).

Geography (HB)

Physical geography, including mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, oceans, particular formations
Human geography, including cities, boundaries, canals, other man-made constructions, National Parks and their history
Historical geography.

History (HB)

Like the World Quizzing Championships, this covers pre-history to recent current affairs. Events, people, places.

Literature (HB)

Literature, novels, prose, poetry (N.B. includes graphic novels but NOT drama).

Performing Arts (HB)

Classical Music, opera, ballet, dance, jazz, drama, musical theatre. As well as composers and performers topics covered will include historic venues, conductors, choreographers, musical instruments, festivals and technical aspects of performance.

Pop Music (P)

Commercial (charts-based) popular music from 1950 onwards, performers, writers, producers, albums, record labels, notable recording studios, instruments, historic venues, concerts and festivals. This will include, for example, African and Asian pop but not jazz or stage musicals (for which see Performing Arts).

Sciences (HB)

Astronomy, Geoscience (inc. Geology), Chemistry, Physics, Life Science (inc. Cellular and Functional Biology) Logic, Mathematics (inc. Computer Science and Statistics).

Sport (P)

All sport – individual and team, occasions, competitions, trophies, sporting venues etc. Emphasis on the last 125 years but historical sport will also be included. (N.B. unlike the World Quizzing Championships, there’s no board or video games etc.).

Television (P)

TV programmes, performers, awards, music (themes, diegetic and non-diegetic), people making television – broadcasters, directors, writers etc. (not camera/studio technicians).

Visual Arts (HB)

Works of fine art: paintings, sculpture, ceramics, performance art, art galleries and museums, artists, art history, auction houses.