National Test Discussion

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Unome
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby Unome » May 21st, 2017, 5:32 pm

Case in point: LASA, who placed 1st at MIT, got 41st in the event.
Just to add on: not just 1st at MIT, but also 1st at Golden Gate (with competition like Troy and Mira Loma), 1st at UT Regionals, and 2nd at State
RIP my FantaSO predictions (and probably everyone else's too). At least I finally managed to predict a winner correctly somewhere (gg Ashernoel).
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dxu46
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby dxu46 » May 21st, 2017, 6:41 pm

Road Scholar B- This test was amazing. By far the best Road test I have ever taken. It was funny and creative and really tested your knowledge, separating the good teams from the rest of the competition. The only negative thing I have to say is that it was a long test (which can be good) but most teams still had a few questions left when time ran out. The Event Supervisors obviously knew what they were doing and were very helpful 9/10
IKR? Our team didn't finish (only 1 more question!!!) but that was probably to differentiate places. If everyone finished, chances would be that we would go to the 3rd or 4th tiebreaker and it would be as complicated as MO hovercraft (the one that sent Wydown - 1st in that event - to nationals). Only complaint is that the maps weren't laminated, so you couldn't slide the azimuths around.

P.S. Trohans
Are you from Daniel Wright JHS? If so, congrats on the first place finish!!!

Edit: I heard from my friend that Scrambler was bad. It supposedly got delayed because the ES was playing Clash Royale on a phone (correct me if I'm wrong) and delayed the event by 2 hours. Also, our team got placed on a track with a dent on the floor, and...well...BOOM. What's sad is that it was a national level car. At States, it stopped less than a millimeter away from the barrier, and it could've done better!
Last edited by dxu46 on May 21st, 2017, 6:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

superpenguin666
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby superpenguin666 » May 21st, 2017, 6:46 pm

Ecology (3) -- A bit too easy for my liking, but a decent test nonetheless. The competition was split into 11 stations, with 4 minutes each, but to break ties, there were tiebreaker questions on the back. It was hard to decide whether or not to check over the actual station or work on the tiebreaker questions, but at the end, we managed to get both of them finished.
Grade: B+
Small fact: I pronounce Ecology like E-caw-logy.

Invasive Species (12) -- Good test, with fast stations (20, 2 minutes each, same as last year), but I'm particularly mad at my placement. I studied mainly for this event, and went into competition, and at the end, we we sure that we got about 90-95/100 of them. Last year, there were some specimens I wasn't sure about and some sketchy laws, but this year I knew all of the best methods of control for each Invasive, laws, vocab, ID, and how to work fast. But yet, I still got 12th (7th last year). This makes me wonder how this test was graded, as I know for sure the questions were hard enough that a 90 would definitely net top 3, maybe 1st (last year I got a 60/100, and still got 7th). If the grader only accepted exact answers, then this event is ran in the wrong way, as multiple answers should be accepted in a binder event, especially one of the ID events. Now, I'm not sure if I'm going to do Herpetology next year if it's a binder event, but we will see. :x
Grade: A for Test, F for Grading

Optics (36) -- Test was a bit too easy (why should I be saying this when I got such a low rank you might ask), but what tripped our team up was the Laser Shoot. Now, we practiced a lot, but we made one of the stupidest mistakes -- we draw a line, but forgot to put down the mirror :cry:. I don't understand why neither of us realized that, as we would've got 45-50 points (it perfectly follow the template and bounced off the barrier mirror before hitting the side wall) and instead got 20, and could possibly have jumped 20-25 places. But shoutout to my brother, for getting 1st place in C division Optics :D!
Grade: B

Since no one has asked for scores yet, I'll guess I'll start (sorry chalker, but I really want to know what happened in Invasives)!

Invasive Species -- How many points out of 100, points away from 6th, points away from 1st, how it was graded (possibly), and is Herpetology a binder event?
Ecology -- How many points out of total score, points away from 6th, points away from 1st.
Optics -- How many points out of total score, points away from 6th, points away from 1st. And how LHWHS did (same thing, excluding points away from 1st).
2017-2018 Season: Thermo :P , Ecology, Optics
Goals: Win nats in Optics and Thermo... wait a minute... :cry:
State: Not scored/1/1

efeng
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby efeng » May 21st, 2017, 7:42 pm

If we can start asking, I have questions only for Disease Detectives B

Disease Detectives B (1st place): How many points did we get, and how many points was it out of? What was the point difference between 1st and 2nd place? What was the point difference between 1st and 6th place? What was the point difference between 6th and 7th place?

I'd really appreciate it if you answered these questions. Thanks!
Mounds View HS, Minnesota

2017 Nationals Disease Detectives 1st (Div B)
2018 Nationals WiFi Lab 3rd (Div C)
2019 Nationals :(

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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby chalker » May 21st, 2017, 7:58 pm

Hi all.. I don't know when, or even if, I'll get around to responding to questions. I was in committee meetings from ~8AM until 10:30PM today (Sunday) and have another full day tomorrow. As a result of these I have a lot of work to do on rules changes for next year, which will be my priority.

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JonB
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby JonB » May 21st, 2017, 8:12 pm

Hi all.. I don't know when, or even if, I'll get around to responding to questions. I was in committee meetings from ~8AM until 10:30PM today (Sunday) and have another full day tomorrow. As a result of these I have a lot of work to do on rules changes for next year, which will be my priority.
No problem, thank you in advance for always being open about scoring and results. Was anything noteworthy for next year discussed at the meeting? I know that optics and splitting the beam was going to be brought up at some point and was curious how that discussion was. Thanks again!

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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby a boy » May 21st, 2017, 9:31 pm

Dynamic Planet C - this was the hardest test I've ever taken, and was pretty surprised with the result. I really enjoyed the fact that it had little to no random trivia and rather focused on application of theory/concepts and practical knowledge. Overall a very good test and well run event overall!

Robot Arm - fast check in, efficient proctors, no complaints

Towers - again well run, I thought the stream of the towers on the projector was cool

Helicopters - the scale was kind of wonky and fluctuated +/- 0.03g every now and then, otherwise well run. I really appreciated the flat ceiling racquetball courts, since ceilings with obstructions makes the event super luck based
Clements '17
working on scoresheets.io

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Unome
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby Unome » May 22nd, 2017, 5:32 am

Astronomy (6th) - For the most part this was the same as usual. It might be just us getting better, but the test seemed significantly shorter and easier than usual - we had time to check over our work, and ended up just sitting around for the last 4 minutes. Either of us could probably have completed the test alone and finished top 15. Besides that it was of course very good, as expected. Random thing I noticed: 3 of the 7 people in the room when I was there (at least) graduated from Harriton HS. Overall 9/10

Disease Detectives (32nd) - Also the same as usual. A strong g focus on case studies, interpretation, etc. which is how the event seems to be intended to be run (despite all of the Microbes clones at lower levels). I heard from others that the test was shorter than usual, and while it was difficult for us I can see how it would be a bit easy for people better at the event and experienced with the format. Also as someone noted before the ES did in fact state the OR and RR formulas during his opening notes as examples of some sort (I believe something about showing work). Overall 9/10

Dynamic Planet (3rd) - This is a good example of why I pay so much attention to who the event supervisors are. Had I not heard beforehand that Enrica Quartini was going to be the event supervisors, I wouldn't have spent so much time learning gravity anomalies and other geophysical concepts and likely wouldn't have medaled. Since Quartini works in geophysics I expected the test to involve a lot of that stuff and wasn't disappointed. However some parts of the test, especially near the beginning, seemed a little bit like trivia, and the test didn't seem to completely cover the full range of topics. Overall 9/10

Microbe Mission (26th) - A good test overall, though again it seemed a little short. I definitely wasn't as prepared as I could have been for this event (hadn't touched it since state in fact) but it went alright considering we basically BS'ed the gram stain, the microscope images section, parts of the diseases section, etc. It also seemed a little easier than I would have expected, wouldn't be surprised if the top score was in the range of 85%. Overall 9/10

Remote Sensing (18th) - I was unsure of what to expect going in, since I didn't know much about the ES and couldn't find any tests that he had written. However I wasn't pleasantly surprised by the test, which was rather long and challenging, and adequately covered the full scope of the event. The test focused more on interpretation and understand in rather than spitting out facts - the opposite of what I had prepared for unfortunately, but a good thing. For example, instead of asking about satellite/instrument properties directly, the test had as apply knowledge of different satellites/instruments in different ways (e.g. the question asking why GOES was a better fit for some type of observation even though MODIS has a better resolution, though I didn't know that one). Looking forward to (hopefully) seeing the same ES next year. Overall 10/10

Write It Do It (32nd) - The first thing I noticed was that the event supervisors didn't really take any precautions to prevent doers from seeing the model. Had any of them really wanted to, they could have simply glanced inside the writing room when the ESes opened the door to let the writers in; the models were plainly visible and uncovered. The model seemed a little simple compared to past Nationals (I heard the same from Solon) with I believe 25 pieces exactly. That said, it was a very good model with different sections varying in difficulty (for anyone who did it, what was the flat metal object alongside the striped straw and outside the lid?). Overall 8/10
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ampy1234567
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby ampy1234567 » May 22nd, 2017, 9:54 am

Disease Detectives (1st) - pretty typical stuff for nationals disease. It was a bit easier than normal (less free-response) and the first part wasn't really about food-borne illness, but I didn't have major problems with either of those things. I liked that it (the first part, which I did) didn't lead you straight to the outbreak's cause through the situation like most nationals tests. It gave you multiple possible candidates for what caused the outbreak and had you evaluate the evidence for each one by asking which one most likely was most likely the culprit. I also noticed that it included math that wasn't proportions or RR/OR (the questions about expected amounts of chemicals in the pool). 8/10

Dynamic Planet (2nd) - wow this test was hard. Barely "finished" (left blanks and guesses all over the place) and still got 2nd, in my opinion how all nationals tests should be. In particular, the section on volcanoes tested your knowledge at a level far beyond anything I would have ever imagined. It expected identification of volcanic hazards from real pictures and not diagrams (much, much harder than it sounds) and detailed interpretations of a topographic map of a lava flow. The earthquake section was also very good, involving a lot of understanding about seismic waves and using actual seismogram data to infer earthquake conditions. The Mark van Hecke challenge sections, the Wilson Cycle section, and the geologic cross-section section also pushed me over my limits for those subjects, even though I had studied the content of those sections hard. The only thing negative thing I have to say about this test is that the not all the topics were covered, but I don't see this as an issue when all the ones that were very important were included. 9.9/10

Optics (5th) - Laser shoot setups were nice, I liked that removing the coverings was easy to do without messing up mirror positions. I thought it was well-run in general, except for the fact that the test was quite easy (for nationals, anyways). Questions were only MC and ray diagrams; both sections were easy, but the ray diagram section especially was just a free 35 points. You could probably get away with not knowing a single bit of math. Don't get me wrong, what was in the test was fairly high quality, covered all the topics, and might have been perfect for something like regionals. I just feel it needed more to distinguish between the top ~10. As such, I think that the places were just based on laser shoot accuracies and the number of random mistakes made on the test. 5/10
Last edited by ampy1234567 on May 22nd, 2017, 8:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mounds View High School, 10th grade

2016 Nationals: Dynamic (2), Disease (6), Crave (8), Fossils (22)
2017 Nationals: Disease (1), Dynamic (2), Optics (5)

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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby The48thYoshi » May 22nd, 2017, 10:00 am

Division B

Ecology - This test was rather easy; it covered many aspects of the event. The ES was really nice and really funny about it. Overall, a good test. 7/10

Microbe- Again, ES is really nice. This test was easy as well. It was really similar to 2011 with the ph probe as well as the same stations and concepts. It covered the entirety of Microbe, although the were not enough questions, and no nationals topics. 6/10

Disease- Maybe it's just me, but this test is significantly shorter than both 2016 and 2015. Out of the 56 questions, a vast majority was multiple choice. Also, there were 4 total math questions, and all were on the first case study. The first case study was not focused on food borne, and seemed more like a case study that was designed for population growth. 3/10

Food- This event was run well. The ES clearly understood the rules, and knew what was and wasn't legal. They provided multiple scales for calorímetry unlike other competitions where they only had one. Also, they put in experiments for all the tests, including voltage, and provided each team with a hot plate and beaker for benedicts, whereas some competitions had one for all teams to share. The test was on topic and focused. It was rather difficult, and tested concepts that we didn't prepare for like preservation and components of baking powder and their individual qualities. 10/10


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