National test discussion

Jaol
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National test discussion

Postby Jaol » May 17th, 2015, 8:00 pm

This is a thread for the discussion of the national tests their length, level of difficulty, and general discussion.
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watermydoing14
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Re: National test discussion

Postby watermydoing14 » May 17th, 2015, 8:19 pm

For events that have "nationals only" topics, how much of the test was focused on those topics?
2013~Designer Genes~Disease Detectives~Forensics~Remote Sensing
2014~Anatomy~Experimental Design~Mission Possible
2015~Anatomy~Cell Biology~Experimental Design~Mission Possible
2016~Air Trajectory~Anatomy~Cell Biology~Experimental Design~Protein Modeling~Robot Arm~Wright Stuff
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Re: National test discussion

Postby awesome90220 » May 18th, 2015, 8:50 am

For events that have "nationals only" topics, how much of the test was focused on those topics?
Hmm. Actually, for Crave th Wave, there was actually absolutely nothing on the test about tsunamis or boundary effects on waves
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Wind Power:9/1/1/11
Experimental Design:5/1/1/16
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Re: National test discussion

Postby sciolyboy123 » May 18th, 2015, 11:31 am

For Bio-Process Lab, the test was based on reading the test and comprehending the text. All the questions were located in the context and the questions were pretty easy if you knew anything about biology. Although the questions were easy, there was 10-12 questions per station and each "question" had 2-3 parts to it, so the test was basically long but easy. You had 4 minutes each station, and about 20 questions on the station. There was 10 stations, but essentially 100 questions. It was one of those tests, where if you answered all the questions, you got top 10. I didn't answer 9 of the 100 because of the time, but I got 14th.

For Disease Detectives, the test was only 24 pages long (I think, no entirely sure). Same as noted before, if you finished the test correctly, you got top 20ish. The test was two parts, but unlike last year they didn't tell you the two topics beforehand. Ebola and Lead. I did Ebola and partner did Lead, we finished the test, and knew everything on it. Somehow we got 10th :D

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Bio-Process Lab(3rd,5th,-,3rd,14th ;) )
Disease Detectives (1st,5th,1st,1st,10th 8-) )
Crave The Wave (2nd,-,-,-,-)
Experimental Design (-,1st, 4th,-,-)
Picture This (4th,6th, 1st, 4th,48th :oops: )
Simple Machines (1st,n/a, 1st, n/a)

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Re: National test discussion

Postby sciolycoach » May 18th, 2015, 12:28 pm

Hello,

On Crave the Wave, I'll add some general statistics about the event forum thread. On your statement above, note that there was actually an entire station on boundary effects on waves, it was station 10 and involved making a graph. Many teams struggled with this activity.

Also, for the person who claimed earlier that there was little to no math, I actually thought that there was plenty of mathematics involved. I am against very high level mathematics, especially at the Div B level in Science Olympiad, as that can unnecessarily put some teams at a disadvantage when they may actually have a very strong understanding of the concepts. There were questions and activities using the wave equation, energy of photons, and graphing/equations of best fit for ocean waves and boundary effects. I hope that everyone found it a challenging but fair competitive opportunity. Thank you to all of you who participated in this event all year!

Andy Hamm
Crave the Wave 2015 National Event Supervisor
Andy Hamm
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Re: National test discussion

Postby Adi1008 » May 18th, 2015, 12:42 pm

Picture This (2): The words list was extremely easy, but next year I'd expect it to get significantly more difficult. We got 24/25 words in about 2:40(?) minutes. We spent over 30 seconds on one super easy word (amphibian) before passing it T_T, which likely was what kept us from winning it. The proctors were understanding (had some problems with scheduling because walk in building events =_=) and knew what they were doing. I liked the decision to have the competitors draw with felt tips markers as opposed to normal pens - too often do the pens seem to not work while illustrating a word. I'd give this an A. Congratulations to AMC for winning first

Solar System (3): The test was slightly longer than last year, and considerably more difficult, but was not extremely hard overall. Length was what made this test difficult as opposed to the actual content of the questions. Although this is personal preference, I would have liked to see a couple free response/paragraph questions as opposed to a lot of normal identification ones that really require the students to understand the topic, but what ended up hurting my partner and I the most was that the answer sheet was only one page, so it would be tough to have both people working on it at the same time. This led to some problems towards the end, as we were transferring questions onto the answer sheet, but this can be attributed to us not taking enough tests with the same format as Dusty's and not having a better plan for things like this (although I'm not really sure if there is a better plan lol), even though it was the same as last year, where we should have learned our lesson. Last year, we got third, and this year, our goal was to get first. Although this did not happen, I'm not even that mad - both of us tried pretty hard and we still only got third; Piedmont and AMC just worked even harder than us and they deserved it. Congratulations to both of those teams.

Crave the Wave (5): Test was slightly on the easier side, but the time constraint was real, especially for the earthquake stations. I personally was not a fan of the station that was done together at the beginning, as my partner and I were sitting across the room from the proctor and we had a lot of trouble hearing what he said and the recordings for the doppler effect questions, which almost certainly cost us precious points. Aside from that, I though the test was really well. I personally am not a fan of station tests, as I feel as if they do not give students the time they need to construct well thought out answers that demonstrate a true understanding of the topic at hand, but I do see the appeal. The proctor was pretty nice and seemed to know what he was doing. The prism question confused me, as I didn't see any laser or anything, so I just tried to estimate what the angles would be by looking at the text on the answer sheet through the prism lol. Congratulations to Solon for winning. B+

Wheeled (13): RIP in pieces wheeled. I didn't think we did that bad but I guess we did. Although not a testing event just would like to say that the proctors all knew what they were doing and did a good job of running the event.
Last edited by Adi1008 on May 19th, 2015, 4:35 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: National test discussion

Postby awesome90220 » May 18th, 2015, 12:44 pm

For events that have "nationals only" topics, how much of the test was focused on those topics?
Hmm. Actually, for Crave th Wave, there was actually absolutely nothing on the test about tsunamis or boundary effects on waves
And now to add on to the rest of my events:

Crave the Wave- It was a good test, almost a perfect example of what a nationals test should be like. It wasn't too long, but the difficulty of the questions made the test seem challenging, and overall I thought it was almost a perfect nationals test.

Experimental Design- The experiment was, for us at least, a bit too easy, but that may be because we did an easy experiment. It's really hard to say for exp design, because, as a test, you can't really screw it up.

Road Scholar- This was a typical Road Scholar test. It's what you should expect every year, really, for those doing Road Scholar. The test had the easy and hard questions, and for a test where many questions involve searching a map, it was long enough.

Picture This- The words weren't exceedingly hard, but my team and I were so unprepared that I really can't comment on the picture this competition

Meteorology- This one was a bit(actually, extremely) disappointing. The test was barely a third of the length of the test we were given last year, and was far too easy to be considered a nationals test. In fact, many of the questions we got on the test were the exact same, word for word, as those on the state test. If I could describe the nationals test in comparison to our AL state test, it was essentially the same, but just with less questions. And this is Alabama. Makes you wonder how the questions for some of these tests are found...

Overall though, I thought my events were run pretty well. It really stings that I couldn't get a medal in my final B division competition, but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy this year's event.
2016 Season: BISOT/Reg/State/Nats
Wind Power:9/1/1/11
Experimental Design:5/1/1/16
It's About Time:-/1/1/20

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Re: National test discussion

Postby SOnerd » May 18th, 2015, 2:21 pm

I competed in the following events on Saturday:
Disease Detectives (43rd)- I thought the test was good and hard, but I haven't done Disease long enough to make an extremely educated statement about it. It seemed to follow the topic and have logical questions. (I was the one who pointed out the typo on the multiple choice question that had A and C as the same thing)

Experimental (23rd)- Much easier than last year, but they didn't let us use the rubric this time (which, in my opinion, was a good thing).

Entomology (3rd)- The test was very easy, much too easy to be a National level test. There were no problems with the way the test was run or written, and it would have worked fine as a Regional or State test. I thought 5 minutes was way too long for a station with ~6 questions, especially when said questions were not particularly difficult. If a team did not know what an ootheca was or how to tell the difference between a male/female grasshopper and praying mantis, they could have placed significantly lower than other teams of very similar ability level. The specimens we got to see were nice (none were live though :cry: ) and in tact (not broken), which was a plus. Sadly, the last Ento test I will ever take :cry: :cry:

Dynamic Planet (27th)- I kind of zoned out for the whole time while taking this test, but it didn't seem to me like there were any big problems with it. Of course, since I didn't prepare for it as much as my other events, I am in no position to make a judgement about it. I was expecting to see more about topographic features, but it was overall an okay test.

Fossils (12th)- Great test, very well-run and well-written. I enjoyed taking it and felt adequately prepared for it. It was probably the test that I was most pleased with throughout the day.

EDIT- yep, it was 43rd
Last edited by SOnerd on May 18th, 2015, 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: National test discussion

Postby RontgensWallaby » May 18th, 2015, 3:18 pm

Here are the events I competed in Saturday:
Entomology (10th): See above.
Simple Machines (18th): Like Ento, it was far too easy for a Nationals test. An 8th grade education in Simple Machines could have gotten you a 100 on the test. Because of this the entire competition was based upon the device testing part. Probably all of the top 30 teams and some others aced the test, and thus the top teams were those who spent the most time with their beam.
Crave (9th): Now, this test was good. Although a couple of key topics were left out (breaking ocean waves, tsunamis, standing waves, interference, diffraction, etc.), I thought it was a good test for separating the men from the boys. The only problem outside of the test that I encountered during the period was that the FSA kids in front of us took the optical instruments along with them a couple of times, but that was fine. Honestly, I could have done much better and without the couple of hindering mistakes I made, I could have possibly made top 3... If the coordinator for the event is reading this like he did for one of my earlier comments, I'd like to give a shout out to you for making Crave one of the standouts at the tournament.
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Re: National test discussion

Postby JoJoKeKe » May 18th, 2015, 3:47 pm

First of all, our team was from the state of Idaho so we don't really do that well... Plus, I got 2 of my events 1 month before the national competition.

Disease Detectives: (48th) SONerd - (Check what you got again, it says we got 48th...)
I started in January for this event. My partner and I were both working on the same questions until we had 5 minutes left, so that wasn't a very good idea. We knew how to solve almost every problem, but ultimately had to skip almost 3 full pages. Quite disappointing.

Green Generation: (41st) I started this event 1 month ago. However, the test seemed fairly easy if you knew the topic well. Since I started VERY late we didn't do so well, but overall it was fun. I'm not thinking of doing it next year, though.

Simple Machines: (So depressing I'm not going to even say...) The whole entire test went well... but only the test. We scored a 76 seconds for using the machine.... but I wrote both calculations on the wrong line. Such a big mess-up that I feel so embarrassed!

Fossils: (37th) I started this event in January. It was the event that I think I was most dedicated to, so I was really disappointed with this placement. I knew almost every question on the test, but to me the time was very restricting. (2 minutes) I've heard that a lot of people thought it was a perfect length, but for me it was quite difficult. Next year I'm definitely going to be taking more practice tests. The dinosaur station, at which you had to identify around 10 dinosaurs seemed very difficult for me and my partner.
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Since this was my first year at nationals I'm not too disappointed, but I really want to do better next year. I've self-trained in all my events, and where we really lack is the coaching.
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I'm definitely going to start in August of this year and rely on this site for my studying resources.
Tournaments (2016): State / Nationals
Fossils: 3 / 8
Disease: 7 / NA
Green Gen: NA / 37
Picture This: 1 / 17
Invasives: 1 / 24

Idaho State (2017):
Rocks - 2
Microbe 2
Ecology 3
Optics 4
Invasives: 1

Events 2019: Herpetology, Fossils, Dynamic Planet, Fermi Questions


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