I took the Jeopardy contestant search test online last night. Apparently they do this once a year - you have to register and then take it at the same date/time as everyone in your time zone. The test is 50 short answer questions (or technically "answers") and you only have 15 seconds for each question before it automatically moves you on to the next question. Since it is short answer, they apparently grade them by hand. You have to answer 35 or more correct to be put into the pool from which they randomly call people in for the next stage of interview/testing. I didn't try and keep track mentally, but there is no way I hit 35. A few of them I just had brain freeze on, some I just plain didn't know, and some I would have gotten with a few more seconds (and of course some I got right). I got Stephen Colbert and Steve Carrell mixed up (I said Colbert played the lead on The Office - I of course confuse them because they were both on the Daily Show). I couldn't remember the name of the Chilean dictator that had just been all over the news (Pinochet). Didn't know who was elected President in 1896 (McKinley?), and didn't have enough time to come up with a Crossword Clue M (8 letters) for "Proverbially Slow Syrup" (molasses).
This is the second time I've tried and failed. The first time was much more exciting as I actually got to go to a hotel downtown and take the test with a bunch of other people. The test there was the same basic format, but hand written. Even there you only hear whether you pass or fail. I was fairly confident with that one that I was very close to getting 35. Not so much this time.
Though I'm still certain I could be the next Ken Jennings (without the Mormonism), I must say the test is pretty fair. Contestants on the show don't have time to mull things over. If you can't think fast sitting alone in front of your computer screen, how are you going to do in front of an audience with the lights and cameras and competition?