How to Prepare for the NBBC Qualifying Test

August 9, 2023

It is that time of year again! The National Bible Bee Summer Study has ended, and anticipation for the upcoming Qualifying Test is rising. Participants have been journeying through the first six chapters of John by studying content from their Discovery Journals, learning Greek Words, and discovering cross-references for the last eight weeks. As this test-taking date draws nigh, you might wonder, “What exactly is the Qualifying Test?” Or “How can I know I am well prepared for the Qualifying Test?” Maybe even “What do other NBB participants have to say about this test?” Let’s take a look at each of those questions!

What is the Qualifying Test?

The NBB Qualifying Test is an online, multiple-choice test that covers material participants studied during the Summer Study. It will contain 100 questions for the participant to complete in a set time – 60 minutes for Primaries, 50 minutes for Juniors, and 40 minutes for Seniors. Although it will be open from August 11 (8 am CT) to August 14 (3 pm CT), it is preferable to take the Qualifying Test during business hours in case technical support is needed. There will be no appeals available for this test. While participants are always welcome to contact National Bible Bee Headquarters with questions and concerns, this will not be considered an appeal. The results of this test determine who will be invited to compete at the National Bible Bee Competition. The 120 participants with the highest score in each age division will be qualified to participate at the National level. If any of the qualifiers are unable to attend, alternates will be invited to compete beginning at the highest non-qualifying score. Further information about the Qualifying Test rules and procedures can be found on pages 11-20 of the NBB Summer Study Guidebook located on your family dashboard. 

How can I prepare for the Qualifying Test?

Now that you know the basics of the Qualifying Test, let’s dive into the content of the test and how to prepare for it. Over the past few months, participants have been completing a multi-faceted Summer Study. Correlating to the summer study, the content covered on the Qualifying Test will be segmented into questions about information found in the Discovery Journal, memory passages, cross-references, and original language (Greek words). Sixty percent of the test will come from the ‘Believe’ Discovery Journal and memory passages. According to the NBBC Qualifying Test Study Document found on your dashboard, questions will be based on “written content within the Discovery Journal (including Navigate, Explore, Memory Passages, and Study Passage)” as well as “memory passage material not included in Discovery Journal which immediately precedes and/or follows a word or passage to clarify its meaning.” Additionally, thirty percent of the test will cover the cross-reference list. This content will include information found in the Discovery Journal and the context of these passages. The final ten percent of the Qualifying Test will be on the original language (Greek Words) content found in the ‘Believe’ Discovery Journal. Keeping this overall breakdown in mind, participants will best be prepared for taking the Qualifying Test by completing their Discovery Journal, memorizing their Memory Passages and knowing the context of them, studying the cross-references in context from the provided Cross-Reference List, and reviewing their Greek Words.

Advice from National Bible Bee participants

As you process all of this information, the thought of taking the Qualifying Test can be daunting. Know that you are not alone. Thousands of participants, both first-year and veterans, can relate to varying levels of stress as the test date draws near. When surveying participants recently about how they relieve stress before the qualifying test, the responses had an overwhelming theme – praying and focusing on the true goal of knowing God’s Word and glorifying Him through our studies!

“My top way to relieve stress before the QT each year is to spend lots of time in prayer. This helps so much with keeping my focus where it belongs: on Christ — rejoicing in all that He has taught me and seeking to glorify His Name. Last year, when I was stressing out and cramming before the QT, one of my NBB friends reminded me that I would never be able to study enough to satisfy myself (there will always be something that I feel like I don’t know quite well enough!), and that God was going to be glorified no matter how much more I was able to learn because I had spent time studying His living Word. That’s what is truly important. If our focus is on taking this test as a way to glorify God, instead of on whatever goals we may have been aiming to meet, it takes off so much of the excess pressure that we tend to put on ourselves.” – Sierra Ruga

“Every year, without fail, I end up getting super stressed out about the test because I’m worried about not qualifying, not doing well on the test, etc. Some years it’s bad enough to the point where I wonder if it’s even worth it to take the test because I’m so stressed. That’s the point when I have to surrender it all to God and say “This is in Your hands, not mine; if it is Your will for me to qualify, great, but if it isn’t, so be it, and help me to have peace about it. And no matter what happens, help me bring glory to You.” – Jordan Tabor

Written by NBB Alumna: Rachel Sheppard

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