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The Big Quiz hots up

SINGAPORE, 21 August 2012 - The heat is on this week. Six teams of pre-university students from different institutions and colleges will compete in the semi-finals of The Straits Times - Ministry of Education National Current Affairs Quiz, or The Big Quiz, in short.

The six teams are: Anglo-Chinese Junior College, Hwa Chong Institution, NUS High School of Mathematics and Science, Raffles Institution, River Valley High School and Pioneer Junior College.

They earned a spot in the semi-finals after clearing a qualifying paper quiz in the preliminary round on 25 July, and the quarter-finals on 1 August.

This week's decisive round, which will narrow the contest to just four teams for the final showdown, will take place at the Singapore Press Holdings News Centre Auditorium on 22 August from 3pm.

The semi-finalists, to be divided into three groups of two teams, will compete in three segments:

  • Buzz In: Teams in each group will buzz in to answer a slate of 20 questions (10 Multiple Choice Questions, 10 Open-Ended Questions)
  • Mystery Box: Teams will be each given five minutes to formulate the answer to an open-ended question. They have three minutes to present their answers to the judges. The scores will be based on how sound and comprehensive their presentations are.
  • Teams' Choice: Teams will each get five turns to pick questions from a question board. They will not see the questions beforehand but will pick questions based on only the point value of questions (10 points, 20 points, 30 points). The higher the points, the more challenging the questions will be.

The top four scoring teams - the winner of each of the three groups plus the team with the best score among the remaining three - will go into the final round on 24 August, to be held at the Raffles City Convention Centre.

In the final round, the four finalists will each get a game ladder with 20 steps. They will answer questions in round-robin fashion and also in buzz in format.

For every correct answer, they will move one step up the ladder. The first team to make it to the top of their ladder or the team at the highest position at the end of the gameplay will be the winner.

The champion team of The Big Quiz will get a challenge trophy and $5,000 cash prize, while the second prize winner will take home a $3,000 cash prize and the third prize winner, a $1,000 cash prize. The fourth team will receive a $500 cash prize. 

Education Minister Mr Heng Swee Keat will present the prizes to the winners at the finals on 24 August. 

The presenting sponsor of the Big Quiz is the Singapore Press Holdings Foundation. 

All quiz questions are based on news reports published in The Straits Times over the past year.

About the Big Quiz

Co-organised by the Ministry of Education (MOE), the current affairs quiz started with a news outreach programme on 27 April to help develop students’ critical and communicative skills and deepen their knowledge of current affairs.

The outreach programme covered a weekly primer published in the Friday edition of The Straits Times. These primers, written by The Straits Times’ journalists covering beats such as education, housing, economics and sports, discuss the significance of the issues covered, elaborate on policies, and provide different perspectives on the subjects. 

The 13 primers, which run over 12 weeks, continued through to 17 August.

Every Pre-U 1 and Year 5 student receives a copy of The Straits Times on the days the primers are published. The newspapers are used in class discussions of the topics during General Paper (GP) lessons. MOE has also developed accompanying resources to the primers for GP teachers and students to generate discussion and for further reading.

As part of the engagement with students during the outreach segment, 12 journalists from The Straits Times gave talks at six schools in May and July. These talks covered a range of topics, from the value of a university degree to censorship in arts and the media. All talks were filmed and uploaded to The Straits Times’ multimedia news portal, RazorTV (, as well as The Big Quiz microsite (

For more information on the quiz, please go to

Media Invitation

We invite you and your photographer / videographer to cover the semi-final round and final round of the The Big Quiz.

Event: The Big Quiz (semi-final)
Venue: SPH News Centre Auditorium
Date: 22 Aug, Wednesday
Time: 2.30pm

Event: The Big Quiz (final)
Venue: Collyer Ballroom, Raffles City Convention Centre
Date: 24 Aug, Wednesday
Time: 2.30pm

To RSVP, please contact Mr Gary Yeo at or 6319 1225 latest by Tuesday 21 Aug, 5pm.

Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Ms Shahrena Hassan
Editorial Projects Unit
English and Malay Newspapers Division
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5097

Mr Khalid Khamis

Editorial Projects Unit
English and Malay Newspapers Division
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 5669

Mr Gary Yeo 
Corporate Communications
Singapore Press Holdings Limited
DID: 6319 1225

Ms Syahdina Hamzah
Corporate Communications Executive
Ministry of Education
DID: 6879 7604 

About The Straits Times

The Straits Times, the English flagship daily of SPH, has been serving readers for more than a century. Launched on July 15, 1845, its comprehensive coverage of world news, East Asian news, Southeast Asian news, home news, sports news, financial news and lifestyle updates makes The Straits Times the most-read newspaper in Singapore. 

Quality news, in-depth analyses, impactful commentaries and breaking stories are packaged to give readers riveting accounts of events in Singapore, the region, and beyond. 

The Straits Times' key strength is in its world class coverage of news outside Singapore. With 20 bureaus in major cities around the world, The Straits Times correspondents bring world news to readers on a Singapore platter, helping them appreciate world events from a Singaporean perspective. 

In keeping with the times, The Straits Times introduced weekly supplements such as Digital Life (DL), Urban and Mind Your Body (MYB) to complement The Straits Times as well as IN and Little Red Dot to cater to young readers in schools. 
In July (2012), The RHB-The Straits Times National Spelling Championship, which attracted 1,200 primary-school contestants here, has been presented a jury commendation in the World Young Reader Prize (Brand category) by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-Ifra).

The Straits Times also has an online presence at The site features top stories, blogs and an online forum threads. Also under The Straits Times' umbrella are citizen journalism site Stomp and online television service The Straits Times RazorTV.

About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is Southeast Asia's leading media organisation, engaging minds and enriching lives across multiple languages and platforms. It publishes 18 newspaper titles in four languages and over 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region. On an average day, – 2.92 million individuals or 74 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH’s internet editions of its major newspapers enjoy over 330 million page views with 18 million unique visitors each month. Other new media initiatives include AsiaOne,, ST701, Stomp and The Straits Times RazorTV. SPH has also ventured into book publishing, broadcasting, out-of-home advertising and properties. For more information, please

About the Ministry of Education

The Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE) formulates and implements education policies and programmes in consultation with its stakeholders. These policies and programmes aim to help all students discover their talents, realise their potential, and develop a passion for learning that lasts through life. MOE also oversees the development and management of the Government and Government-aided primary schools, secondary schools and junior colleges. Please visit for more information.