I actually think this is an unfair question, unless you were given some additional information, or you were specifically instructed to memorize specific ionization energies, rather than learning the trends. The trend for ionization energies is that they increase from left to right across rows, and from bottom to top in columns. Based on only that information, I can't see how one should distinguish between $O$ and $Br$ ... yes, it happens to be true that $O$ has a higher IP than $Br$, but how are you supposed to tell? Suppose the example had used $S$ instead of $O$, and $I$ instead of $Br$? Those elements have the same relative positions in the table, but in that case, it would be $I$ that has the larger ionization energy.
So, in this case I think your confusion was quite understandable .. I would never construct a test question like this unless the student had some additional information. It's not even true that you can always use the rule about them increasing from left to right along rows .. in the first row, $N$ actually has a slightly higher IP than $O$, because there is a penalty for disrupting the half-filled p-shell in $N$, which is anomalously stable. You can see the periodic trends here.