Quizzes and trivia games can make a nice change from more typical EFL style activities and it may give students who aren’t the best at English a chance to shine in another area.

Jo Budden

It can be the case that some of the least able English students are really good at general knowledge, so tasks using trivia can help to boost their confidence and increase their motivation levels.

Preparing trivia quizzes can be quite time consuming, unless you have a wealth of facts, figures and dates stored in your head and can create questions on the spot, which some people seem able to do! However, if you’re not a walking wealth of knowledge the internet is the most obvious source of trivia if you want to prepare a quiz. These links would be good starting points:

There are many ways you can set up class quizzes but I’m going to outline the format we tend to use for end of term quizzes and competitions. The format is similar to a Pub Quiz and if appropriate tell the students that they are going to do a British Pub Quiz and explain that they are quite popular in the UK.

The categories can vary but here are some suggestions:

  • Geography
  • Science and nature
  • History
  • The news  - use a mix of national and international news from current news stories 
  • Films - If you have access to a TV and video a nice way to do the film round is to show clips of five different films and ask students to write the title and the name of the director.
  • Music - Playing clips of a selection of songs for students to identify the artist and the name of the song.
  • Famous people-  Show a selection of photos of famous people for students to say who it is.


  • Put students into teams and get them to think of a team name. Prepare answer sheets in advance or get students to do this at the beginning. The answer sheet should have space for the group name, the title of the category and ten spaces for students to write the answers. At the end of each round, ask the teams to pass their answer sheets to the next group and go through the answers for the other teams to mark. Keep a record of the running total on the board as you go through the quiz. This will help to keep students interested and following the progress of the teams.
  • At the end of the quiz it would be good for the winning team to get a prize of some sort, even if it’s something small, like a certificate, to acknowledge their achievement.
  • If your students are into trivia and quizzes you could involve them in preparing the questions. This will obviously save you preparation time and give your students valuable practice in forming questions. Quizzes work really well with big groups so if you only have a small class it can be nice to team teach with another teacher and involve their class too.
Language level
Language Level: 
Pre-intermediate: A2

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