arv101 wrote:Thanks for your opinion but I was looking at past tests and there's usually like 20 stations so thats like 2-3 mins at each, how the heck are you supposed to both ID and answer like 5 follow up questions in that time? Also if you mess up the ID you're pretty much done for. How are you guys making sure your binder is "efficient"?
The trick to any ID event is to know your identification perfectly. You should be able to identify every specimen by sight; if you need to use your binder to ID, you've already lost.
There are a handful of specimens that are similar, so you should at least be able to narrow down to a couple of options.
Don't forget that you have two people doing the event. If time is an issue, practice working with your partner. Maybe one person will ID while the other writes down the answer and starts answering the questions.
As for binders, you want it to be well-tabbed so you're not wasting time flipping through. I strongly recommend typing out everything by hand, just copying and pasting from wikipedia will give you blocks of text that take forever to read. Bullet points are you friend, keep things concise.
For example, a paragraph like "Quartz is one of the most useful natural materials. Its usefulness can be linked to its physical and chemical properties. It has a hardness of seven on the Mohs Scale which makes it very durable. It is chemically inert in contact with most substances. It has electrical properties and heat resistance that make it valuable in electronic products. Its luster, color, and diaphaneity make it useful as a gemstone and also in the making of glass." (taken from geology.com) is MUCH more difficult to get information from than a bullet point like: "Uses: Electronics, gemstones, glass. Useful because of hardness and chemical properties."
Saves you a lot of time when it comes to finding that information.