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6 Test Tips From The Jeopardy! Team

The Jeopardy! Test. It’s your first step toward getting on the show, but performing well on the test is also a skill all on its own. We’ve already given you a checklist of items to make sure you’re ready on the night of your test, but what about the test itself? We spoke to our producers, writers and contestant coordinators to bring you their best tips for taking the test. Heed them well!


1. “Always look first at the category title. Some people jump right to the clue instead and ignore it. That’s a big mistake.”  — Senior Contestant Coordinator Corina Nusu

If you’re feeling stumped on a clue, check the category again. It sometimes tells you exactly what the writers are looking for. It usually gives you a pretty good hint to the correct response, and it always gets you pointed in the right direction.


2. “Make sure you have a chance to feel comfortable with the response you’ve given. There are no extra points for speed, and no need to rush through it.”  — Producer Maggie Speak

You have 15 seconds to answer each question, so let the clock run down and take any extra time to consider your response. The test will capture all the text in the answer field automatically, even if you don’t press “submit.”


3. “Guess. You don’t get penalized for getting the wrong answer, unlike on the actual show. Type in something, and that way at least you’ve got a shot. If you change your mind, you can quickly change your answer.” — Supervising Producer Rocky Schmidt

A wrong answer is better than no answer! Great news for all of you good guessers out there.


4. “Don’t worry about spelling. The test is set up to allow for consideration of incomplete responses as well as misspelled words. Just get it as phonetically close as you can.”  — Senior Contestant Coordinator Glenn Kagan

The test is not a spelling test. It’s also not a typing test. Just do your best. And if you know you don’t type well, or have trouble typing, be sure to employ the assistance of a family member or friend.


5. “Don’t overthink things on the test. Test material tends to be more straightforward than game material, because we’re just testing general knowledge. Even more so than on the show, it’s better to go for the more obvious answer.” — Head Writer Billy Wisse

The Jeopardy! Test – as well as the follow-up in-person test that you’ll take if you’re invited to an audition – is designed to make sure that you can respond quickly to the wide range of material you might be presented with any day as a contestant. You won’t find a lot of hints or context here, so it’s usually best to go with your first instinct.


6. “It goes by so fast. So if you don’t pass the first time, don’t feel bad. Just keep at it. You’ll get better every time you take the online test.” — Writer Michele Loud

Believe it or not, many a Jeopardy! champion has taken the test more than once – and attended more than one audition – before being invited to appear on the show. The more familiar you are with the process, the more confidence you’ll have, so approach the test with that in mind.


Going through the practice test is the best way to help you prepare for the pacing and format of the online test. You’ll find that it’s quite a bit different from playing along with the show. You can take the practice test here, and remember: Keep breathing!

Good luck!

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