Quizzes - Time-Based Questions
Fun Trivia : Quizzes : General : Quiz Creation Guidelines : Time-Based Questions
Questions where the answer may change in the future.
Time Specific Questions
These are the most common errors after typos, spelling and punctuation. Time reference questions, where the answer may change as time goes by, are not acceptable. As quizzes will be online for months and years, these types of 'normal quiz questions' simply do not work in Quizzyland. Please draft your questions carefully so that the answer is fixed, and cannot change - the answer must be the same next week, next month, and next year - else correction notes will come in which say "please update your quiz". These errors generate the 2nd highest number of correction notes, after FITB questions. Some examples of time-based or time-specific questions:
When was the last time the 49ers won the Super Bowl?
Who is the Prime Minister of Canada?
Which parts of Afghanistan are controlled by the Taliban?
Who won the Nobel Peace prize last year?
Who's hosting next year's Grammies?
How many US Presidents have died in office?
How many children does she have?
Who won last week's match between Sampras and Agassi?
What album did they release last month?
Which city will host the next Summer Olympics?
Accordingly, please avoid using the following words or phrases anywhere in your quiz: now, at the moment, this year, last year, next year, currently, next season, last season, will be, recently, latest etc. The use of any of these words or phrases (in the introduction, in a question or answer, or in the field 'Interesting Information') will, in all likelihood, make your quiz time dependent. Similarly, questions written in the future tense are not acceptable.
Past Tense and Present Tense
The use of the present tense is one cause of time-based questions. If at all possible you should write the entire quiz in the past tense - and, if it then "doesn't make sense", the question is unsuitable for an online environment, where the quiz will be online for months and years to come.
Questions Phrased in the Negative
For example: "Have Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts ever starred in a movie together?" In 2002, this would be answered 'no', but it could very easily change in the future, and as it is worded, the question would become invalidated when or if they do star together i.e. the answer is not a constant. A simple way to fix this problem is to phrase the question in past tense, and add a mile marker: "When the film 'Erin Brockovich' was released, how many movies had Tom Cruise and Julia Roberts starred in together?" "When Tom Cruise did 'Minority Report', had he and Julia Roberts ever starred in a movie together?"
However, these "negative type questions" will, nonetheless, go stale as the mile marker is defacto date stamping. You are better off avoiding negative type questions with a mile marker e.g. this question is stale and/or difficult to "read" as it's abstract, or simply too trivial: "When "Ben Hur' was released, how many movies had Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton starred in together?"
Stale Questions and Date Stamping
Finally, please note that date stamping time-based questions by adding the words as of August 2001, so that the answer is a constant, is no longer acceptable. Questions which are date stamped in this manner will become stale. See Date Stamping of Questions.
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