Andddd action! The cameras are rolling and the teams get together to think about the answer. The studio is quiet, until one of the team members raise a hand and looks in the camera, “Done!”. No, this is not the latest reality show involving stranded celebrities, this is the national university quiz which sees eight universities competing for the title of smartest students in the Netherlands. Erasmus University managed to place a team in the top eight after the all-males EUR line-up passed the ‘selection round’ which took place last Friday.

Patrick Aarnoudse (20) is one of the three students who represent EUR in the TV- quiz. A student of Public Administration, Patrick fulfills his role in the team as “expert” in the gamma sciences. This means that his competence areas are sciences which handle and study people, such as psychology, economics and so forth. Accordingly, the other two team members, Kevin Bruggeman who studies Economics and Law and Ymro Hoogendoorn who studies Econometrics, supposedly cover, alpha and beta subjects respectively. Patrick’s competitive-drive and desire to represent the university is what pushed him to be part of the team, plus he loves quizzes.

From left to right: Patrick Aaroudse, Kevin Bruggeman and Ymro Hoogendoorn Image credit: Capital Images / Chris Gorzeman Fotografie

Final eight

Patrick TV quiz
Patrick Aarnoudse (20)

Patrick affirms that they expected to pass to the final round “The same day we took the test we got the news we made it through. It was more of a confirmation than a surprise.” During the selection phase, ten universities from all over the Netherlands were represented, only two had to be eliminated. This first round consisted in sixty multiple choice questions and twenty logic games, such as riddles. The teams had two hours in total to complete the whole test. “The multiple choice questions were very specific, for instance “what is Michelangelo’s last name?”. However, I found them easier compared to the open questions. The latter one earns you more points though. In general, I found the broadness of the topics to be rather challenging. ”

Patrick shrugs his shoulders when asked about preparations for the final test, “We are not going to sit hours in the library. I don’t think I am going to study. I believe Kevin might prepare for the ‘alpha’ subjects (religion, history, languages etc.) as those are our weakest spot.” According to Patrick, alpha is a sore spot for the majority of the universities, as none of them exhibit a strong curriculum when it comes to alpha subjects. Erasmus University included. However, Patrick is not concerned, “There are a few strategies one can adopt, for instance you can place more points on the topics/questions your team feels most knowledgeable in. I would say gamma subjects are our stronger suit.”

On the other hand, beta questions could also represent a problem for the EUR team. Patrick points out “Ymro is not really a beta student either. Unfortunately, within Erasmus University we could not find one.” One is left to wonder where were Erasmus MC students at? Unfortunately, it seems that EUR could not provide a diverse enough fauna to satisfy the team’s needs. Let’s hope that the versatile talent of our three gamma students will be enough to take the trophy home.