Astronomy (1): This is my favorite event, so perhaps I'm biased, but this was my favorite test from nationals. The physics section could have been a little harder, but that's not to say that the test wasn't hard enough. I can't speak for the DSO questions - that's my partner's job - but I'm sure they were fantastic questions too. Overall, definitely an A for this event.
Compound Machines (8): The test was super easy; guessing from what I normally score on the build section and the top 6 scores posted by chalker, I doubt I lost more than 2 points on it. My partner and I finished the entire thing in ~12 minutes and turned it in with 20 minutes left in the set. After a while, my partner started timing other teams on the build section to see how our competition was doing
. It all came down to the build section for the top teams. While an easy test is certainly disappointing, I honestly can't say that the rules for this event ask for a much more difficult test. The build section was run fairly well, except for one instance where the proctor walked away from a team in the middle of their run and wasn't there to stop their time. Overall, I'd give this a B.
Chemistry Lab (22): I have to agree with some other people's thoughts on this event; the test was on the whole unsatisfactory. It came down to who could plug and chug numbers fast enough, and who could execute simple lab procedure and in a crazy short amount of time. There was little critical thinking and little advanced chemistry. I feel as though a nationals test should, instead of being a lot of mundane questions, be very high level questions that push competitors to learn beyond what they learn in school and advanced labs that require knowledgeable and precise lab procedure. Additionally, I believe that some of the stoich was copied straight from last year's test! It's always frustrating to see recycled tests, especially at nationals. Overall, I'd give this event a D.
It's About Time (8): Absolutely loved the test! I though the focus on physics was great because it avoided so-called "derpy" questions, which I feel detract from the integrity of this event. The timekeeping questions were also good and helped sort out teams who hadn't studied/didn't have a good binder, but weren't exceedingly obscure. More questions on calendars would have been cool, but that's just another facet the event proctors could have focused on but chose not to. Overall, definitely an A.
TPS (25): The good news on this event was that it followed the spirit of the rules well and the test was well-written. The downside, as mentioned before, was that it was essentially a repurposing of the ti case files and that the lab materials were somewhat sketchy. Personally, I couldn't get data for the colorimeter part that made much sense, and I wonder if that had something to do with that. Overall, I think this event was a B. On a side note, does anybody who placed well in this event remember what they got for their final results? We got a rather short suspect at 5'4" and a very quick death of 7.5 minutes. I suspect the latter value wasn't even close.