At the state competition, Knight said that competitors are given eight questions in the preliminary round.
“Most of the time you have to get eight out of eight to qualify for the final round,” said Knight. “If you don’t get eight out of eight right you’re done.”
Knight said that in his three previous performances he has gotten seven out of eight right, five out of eight right and six out of eight right.
Knight also said that the state bee always features 10 finalists on stage for the finals.
“One thing I would really want to do is get on the stage for finals,” said Knight, when asked about his goals for this year’s state bee, should he qualify again.
The winner of the state bee gets $100 and the opportunity to compete in the national finals representing New York.
While Knight says that qualifying for nationals would be a great experience, he said that the kids who make it generally study three to four hours a day, while he generally devotes 45 minutes a day to practicing for competitions.
“I would say that’s sort of up to Tommy,” said Eric Knight, Knight’s father, who Knight describes as his main study partner, when asked if Knight was doing any special preparation for his upcoming geography test and possible fourth trip to the state competition.
Knight said that his son likes to learn in a social atmosphere, and picks up geography facts through contextual learning, rather than rote memorization.
“I think it’s pretty impressive,” said Susie Knight, Knight’s mother, when asked about her son’s performances in geography bees. “Especially when he knows so many things that I have no clue about.”
In addition to competing in geography bee, Knight participates in other academic sports.
Knight got fourth place in both this year’s and last year’s Cooperstown Middle School Scripps Spelling Bee, and is a member of the middle school quiz team.
“That’s going to be something that I’ll really enjoy,” said Knight, when asked about his plans to compete next year on the Cooperstown High School Quiz Team.
Knight plays non-academic sports as well, participating in basketball, track and soccer. He also cycles competitively.