General Knowledge Test

The General Knowledge Test given to triallists is designed to test knowledge of current events in the news, basic history and political concepts. Not all of the questions have ‘right or wrong’ answers sometimes we’re just interested to hear your thoughts!

The best preparation is to follow the news, read widely, be inquisitive about the world and look things up on Wikipedia.

The test is intentionally very challenging, and most students score less than 50%, although it’s not uncommon for some to score over 90%.

If you feel your general knowledge needs work, you shouldn’t be discouraged from trialing. Part of the coaching process in debating is helping students develop better general knowledge. We administer the test so that we have a starting point to measure improvement.
Here are some sample questions given at the trials and callbacks in previous years (some of these questions are period specific and may be out of date):

  1. What are the names of the two disputed leaders of Venezuela?
  2. What is the ‘Good Friday Agreement’? Why is it in the news?
  3. Who is Michelle Guthrie?
  4. Other than ISIS, name 3 terrorist organisations.
  5. What is a non-disclosure agreement?
  6. What is CRISPR?
  7. What does UNHCR stand for?
  8. Why has Greece traditionally vetoed the application of the Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia into NATO and the EU?
  9. Which country produces the most films each year?
  10. Explain what conditions must be fulfilled for a person to be a genuine refugee.
  11. Name a country in Asia that was never formally colonised
  12. What are the Bretton-Woods institutions? What are some common criticisms made against them?
  13. Name two major policy achievements of:The Rudd/Gillard Governments; The Howard Government; The Hawke/Keating Governments.
  14. Name 3 films about political movements eg. feminism, civil rights in the US, gay rights.
  15. The electoral college is the voting system that determines the US President. Which states are given more power by the electoral college system than they would under a popular vote? Which states are given less power by the electoral college system than they would under a popular vote? Give one reason for, and one reason against the electoral college.