Without a duel or streak going on, the Countdown Screen has the same elements as the ones shown in the following screenshot:
Tapping on this button always takes you back to the home screen. If you are playing a duel, you shouldn't use the home button: in that scenario, you'll get 0 points on that particular duel question. That's because interrupting the match at this point could result in an unfair advantage.
This button brings up a popup with information that is specific to the question type of the upcoming question: how the user interface works for that type, how your input is evaluated at the scoring stage, and which boosters you can use.
Unless you are playing a duel, the Countdown Screen also gives you one last chance to halt the game before a question comes up. (Alternatively, you can always wait before hitting a Continue button and pause the game that way.)
After the Pause button has been used, it turns into a Play button. With that one, you can resume the countdown.
If you don't like the next question based on whatever the Countdown Screen tells you about it (topic(s), type, winnable points), you can skip it. What it costs (literally and figuratively speaking) to skip questions is explained on a separate page.
Any Quizcover question can be assigned to any number of topics. On the Countdown Screen, up to three of those topics are listed (typically the most relevant ones), and an icon relating to one of them is shown on the left side:
The Countdown Screen displays the (upcoming) question type at the bottom:
The Countdown Screen tells you how many points you will get if you answer the question 100% correctly. You might also get some percentage of the total winnable points in the end if parts of your answer are correct but others aren't. The winnable-points display is found in the bottom third of the screen:
The number of winnable points shown on the Countdown Screen includes the level bonus. The level bonus counts for everything (rankings, streaks, achievements, records), but not for duels since it would give the player with the higher level an unfair advantage.
Whatever may be in the middle of the Countdown Screen (question type animation, duel image, or streak animation), a shrinking circle will appear around that part of the screen. When it disappears completely, the game moves on to the next screen, which dsplays the Enlarged Question Text.
You can save time by tapping on the green Continue button at the very bottom: