A banner that says, "Trivia Night."

One of the things I miss most right now is being able to go to Trivia Nights or Pub Quizzes with my friends. We’d gather around a table, come up with a witty team name, and let the competitive energy course through our veins.

While replicating that exact scenario right now isn’t feasible because of coronavirus, there’s a fun way to adapt it into a digital format so you and your friends can enjoy a challenging and fun night of trivia! *Note this format and set of instructions positions you as the host of trivia rather than a participant. If you would rather participate than host, give these instructions to one of your friends*

Step 1: Choose your date and time.

Once you’ve decided on a date and time for your trivia extravaganza, you should decide on a method of notifying and inviting your friends. You can do this a couple different ways, but I decided to make a Facebook event and invite people to it. Make sure you list what time zone the event will be in, so your pals in other time zones don’t get confused. 

Step 2: Create a Zoom link for the event! 

NYU gives us all premium Zoom access, so make sure you’re logged in. The Breakout Rooms feature on premium Zoom is crucial to a successful trivia night. Once you’ve made the Zoom event, make sure you send the link to all your friends! 

A picture of the "Zoom" logo.

Step 3: Write your questions.

If you’re feeling fancy like me, you can even theme your trivia night! Let’s go with an NYU theme for this example. I’ve decided to make this game last 5 rounds, with 10 questions per round. My rounds will be NYU History, NYU in Pop Culture, a Photo Round, a Music Round, and a Violet themed round. Here are some sample questions (one for each round):

  • In what year was the famous arch in Washington Square Park constructed?

  • Which NYU alum starred in a comedy series called Broad City?

  • Name the NYU building pictured here:

  • Which NYU Alum sings this song? (See Step 5.5 for how to create the music round).

  • Violets are the state flower of how many US states?


A picture of NYU's Kimmel Center for University Life.

Step 4: Make an answer key.

This part is pretty simple, so write down the answers to all the questions. Look up the answers if you don’t already know them. 

Step 5: Create Google forms.

Once you have all your questions and answers set, you’re going to make 5 different Google forms -- one for each round. Make sure the first question on each form asks for the team’s name so you can keep track of whose form is whose. Create it so each question requires a short typed answer or you can choose a multiple choice option if you’d like (Just remember that you also have to come up with the wrong answers if you choose MC). Google forms allows you to integrate photos into the questions, so that makes the image round super easy. For the music round, however, we have to get a little creative. 

Step 5.5: Creating the music round.

After I picked out my songs, I used my phone to record 30 second clips of each, then uploaded those files to a Google folder. I named each file “Trivia Song [number of question]” so the clips would correspond numerically with the Google form. It should look something like this once you’ve uploaded some files.

A screenshot of Naveen's trivia songs.

Step 6: The Event! 

Once you’ve done all the prep work and have awarded yourself a prize for being the best quizmaster in all the land, the day has arrived! Once all the participants have joined the Zoom call, ask everyone to choose their teammates (some may have joined as individuals, while others may have joined with a group in mind). Once teams have been established, create Breakout Rooms on Zoom and sort the participants accordingly. Do a test run for a 2 minutes breakout room and have teams decide on their team names. Once the 2 minutes is up, the participants will all be prompted to return the main Zoom call. If everything worked smoothly, you’re officially ready to start the game! 

Step 7: Send the first Google form in the chat.

Once you send the link, then put the participants into their respective breakout rooms (Zoom remembers the rooms from the first time you assign them, so you don’t have to manually assign everyone each time) and set the breakout room timer for 10 minutes. Since only one form needs to be submitted per team, one participant from each team should pull up the Google form and share their screen. That participant will type and submit the answers on the form while conferring with their teammates. During the first round, you, the host, won’t have much to do, but in each subsequent round, you will be scoring the answers from the previous round.

Step 8: Rinse and repeat.

Once you’ve welcomed all the participants back to the main Zoom after Round 1, share the answers with everyone! Then send out the Google form for Round 2. Continue until you’ve finished all the rounds. At the very end, tally up the points for each team to find the winner!