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Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 3:19 pm
by Vrund
Anyone know what score placed in Remote Sensing ?

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 3:25 pm
by Unome
Anyone know what score placed in Remote Sensing ?
30% would have been sufficient to medal.

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 5:35 pm
by varunscs11
Rocks was god-tier and I wish every test was like that
Thank you for your kind words! Please tell Cole that I'm glad he enjoyed the exam and we appreciated his kind words on the answer sheet. :)
I liked the test (granted I did well on it so I'm a bit biased). My biggest struggle on the test was time, finding the specimen of the right letter (this isn't an issue that is easily fixed), and not having the standard context clues of questions due to the use of charts (also not really an issue with the test). The one station that offered points for providing the variety as well as the standard mineral I thought was creative and the specimens used and the questions asked were standard-difficult to ID and answer which is always nice to see. Questions such as the calculating the specific gravity are also ones I think should be used more often even if I don't get to answer them.

I have no comment on part A seeing as I handed that to my partner at the beginning of the test and pretty much only did stations for the entire time.

Overall a super high quality, fast-paced test that would have required at least 3 of me to finish. I look forward to taking the other 60% of the test when it is released :D
Any chance that pictures of the specimens will be accompanying the test when it is released?
I apologize for the difficulty in being able to find the specimens of the right letter. I thought about how to organize the specimens and label them for a long time and came to the conclusion that there isn't really a great way to do it. I'm just glad that the labels didn't fall off the specimens. (Also sorry for the confusion between H's and I's).

I think you might have been the only one to explicitly state one of the specimens as Hackmanite, which was impressive cause in my opinion, it doesn't even look like a standard Sodalite specimen so props to you! I think in total maybe 2 or 3 teams even identified that specimen correctly. Another common mistake was identifying the blue calcite as celestite (which is why I actually bought that specimen in the first place :) )

I had to use the charts because my exam was too long and I didn't wanna make MIT print way too much (which I might have already hit).

But I'm glad that you enjoyed the exam and that you found the specific varieties interesting and creative.

If I remember correctly, no teams even attempted the metamorphic facies section and the Knoop value calculation, graph, and extrapolation. I hope you find those sections challenging and useful.

Regarding pictures, I have pictures for some of the specimens (the nicer ones) but not all. If you want them, just shoot me an email (on the key and answer sheet) and I'd be glad to send them.

And in general, if anyone has any questions regarding content feel free to email me. I'm pretty responsive and would be happy to do so. I know a lot of people thought my exam was a bit excessive and I agree - I thought a lot of the questions were too easy so I ended up adding more to make it harder and harder and it got out of hand. It was painful to grade and without my amazing volunteers, I would probably have finished after the awards ceremony. If I end of doing Fossils next year (fingers crossed) it probably won't be as long. But in general, I wanted to create an exam that went beyond the standard, rote memorization of an ID event - I wanted to actually test geologic principles (which was the purpose of Part A and some of the more application based questions).

P.S. The tourmaline specimen in the back was actually verdelite, a variety from Brazil. I think only two teams even got close to the bonus (both teams guessed elbaite).

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 5:50 pm
by ScottMaurer19
Rocks was god-tier and I wish every test was like that
Thank you for your kind words! Please tell Cole that I'm glad he enjoyed the exam and we appreciated his kind words on the answer sheet. :)
I liked the test (granted I did well on it so I'm a bit biased). My biggest struggle on the test was time, finding the specimen of the right letter (this isn't an issue that is easily fixed), and not having the standard context clues of questions due to the use of charts (also not really an issue with the test). The one station that offered points for providing the variety as well as the standard mineral I thought was creative and the specimens used and the questions asked were standard-difficult to ID and answer which is always nice to see. Questions such as the calculating the specific gravity are also ones I think should be used more often even if I don't get to answer them.

I have no comment on part A seeing as I handed that to my partner at the beginning of the test and pretty much only did stations for the entire time.

Overall a super high quality, fast-paced test that would have required at least 3 of me to finish. I look forward to taking the other 60% of the test when it is released :D
Any chance that pictures of the specimens will be accompanying the test when it is released?
I apologize for the difficulty in being able to find the specimens of the right letter. I thought about how to organize the specimens and label them for a long time and came to the conclusion that there isn't really a great way to do it. I'm just glad that the labels didn't fall off the specimens. (Also sorry for the confusion between H's and I's).

I think you might have been the only one to explicitly state one of the specimens as Hackmanite, which was impressive cause in my opinion, it doesn't even look like a standard Sodalite specimen so props to you! I think in total maybe 2 or 3 teams even identified that specimen correctly. Another common mistake was identifying the blue calcite as celestite (which is why I actually bought that specimen in the first place :) )

I had to use the charts because my exam was too long and I didn't wanna make MIT print way too much (which I might have already hit).

But I'm glad that you enjoyed the exam and that you found the specific varieties interesting and creative.

If I remember correctly, no teams even attempted the metamorphic facies section and the Knoop value calculation, graph, and extrapolation. I hope you find those sections challenging and useful.

Regarding pictures, I have pictures for some of the specimens (the nicer ones) but not all. If you want them, just shoot me an email (on the key and answer sheet) and I'd be glad to send them.

And in general, if anyone has any questions regarding content feel free to email me. I'm pretty responsive and would be happy to do so. I know a lot of people thought my exam was a bit excessive and I agree - I thought a lot of the questions were too easy so I ended up adding more to make it harder and harder and it got out of hand. It was painful to grade and without my amazing volunteers, I would probably have finished after the awards ceremony. But in general, I wanted to create an exam that went beyond the standard, rote memorization of an ID event - I wanted to actually test geologic principles (which was the purpose of Part A and some of the more application based questions).

P.S. The tourmaline specimen in the back was actually verdelite, a variety from Brazil. I think only two teams even got close to the bonus (both teams guessed elbaite).
I thought is was elbaite too :o (the hackmanite I only got because of "tenebrescence" which gave it away for me) I figured that most people missed the calcite based on your comment on the test :)
There was nothing wrong with the charts it simply made it more challenging and less based on testing skills and more on actually being able to ID the specimens.
I will likely send an email at some point so that I can practice and/or use it for coaching Div B

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 6:21 pm
by jkang
What did you think of the rocks exam (I know I asked on the day of the competition)
PS: I made a huge doc with all the score breakdowns and it should hopefully come with the exam when MIT sends those out.
3long5MIT

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 6:56 pm
by alleycat03
On another note, I’ve kinda been awaiting some spicy event ratings, would anyone like to start?
Forensics (10): Pikachu, I absolutely loved your forensics test! It was extremely well written and I especially loved the Stranger Things theme. It was a very difficult test, definitely on par with the nationals test last year. I especially liked how you organized all of the crime scene samples into baggies per team. That must’ve been super time consuming, but it was really nice to have our own samples. Only problem I saw with the event was only 2 microscopes for all 12 teams (during our time slot) and 2 Bunsen burners. It was also a little crowded with so many teams set up super close together. I don’t think that was your fault at all, that was just the set-up of the room. But a larger room with more microscopes and Bunsen burners would be even better! Overall, I really enjoyed your test and you did an outstanding job!

Ecology (31): This test was difficult, possibly harder than the test at nationals last year. I think it would have been a lot better as just a straight up test instead of stations. I didn’t really see the need for the stations. Otherwise, the content was solid and difficult.

Herpetology (38): This test was super hard. Having to ID 51 specimen in 4 minutes was so stressful. I think the stations were very difficult, but not unreasonable. They could’ve dialed it down a little bit but it wasn’t awful. I thought the line in the instructions that said “if you’re feeling overwhelmed you are allowed to leave” (paraphrased) was hilarious, because after I looked at the answer sheet and listened to all of their directions I was definitely feeling overwhelmed. Also, I think the PowerPoint with sounds could’ve been incorporated better. It was stressful to try and finish the PowerPoint questions while also answering the station questions. Overall, a solid and difficult test.

This is the second time my school has competed outside of the Kansas City area (we went to Rice last year), and it was a really nice change of pace from our usual invitationals. The tests were difficult and high-caliber and exactly what we were hoping for at MIT. We came here for high-caliber competition and difficult tests, and that’s what we got. I am happy with how we did as a team (25th!), and we are already working hard on getting better for regionals, state, and (hopefully) nationals.

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 7:20 pm
by shoujolivia
I had a lot of fun at the MIT invitational this past weekend!! Although I didn't do as well in my events as I would have liked to, I ended up medaling 6th in Picture This, which was pretty cool. Heading to Golden Gate this weekend, so I hope I can perform better!!
Personally, I thought Picture This was really well-run and really broke up the seriousness of the day!! I found myself having a lot of fun with my partners and I don't regret taking on a trial event at all.
Herpetology was hard as heck (cough, station 11) but I didn't expect anything less from MIT. I anticipated sounds but didn't study anything other than frogs which made me kinda sad.
WIDI was also difficult as expected, and my complaint is the room that it was run in. The size of the desks added an element of frustration when I'd shift and the sticks would fall over (unless that was intentional, in which case, maybe I should practice on smaller desks).
The crown jewel of the evening was having a pair of my teammates beat Troy A in an event.
Finally, a question to anyone that helped write the MIT tests, would anybody else be open to answering questions like with Rocks? I know myself and many others on my team have questions about material that couldn't be answered by resources through our school (such as imaging on Remote).

(p.s. thank you unome for predicting our team to come in at 22!! we set it as our baseline and we surpassed expectations!!!! super grateful + we'll try to do the same at ggso!!)

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 7:36 pm
by JShap
Finally, a question to anyone that helped write the MIT tests, would anybody else be open to answering questions like with Rocks? I know myself and many others on my team have questions about material that couldn't be answered by resources through our school (such as imaging on Remote).
If anyone has questions about the remote sensing test you can DM or email me (js731@duke.edu) and I will be happy to explain stuff.

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 7:41 pm
by Joycegu99
Hi all! One of the herp supervisors here.
Yeah, I apologize for the stress our test caused people. As a test writer you kinda lose track of how many questions are able to be answered in a certain amount of time. We definitely wrote it so that you had to use smart test-taking strategies - maximizing points across easy questions, splitting apart longer sections, etc - and we were super impressed by the teams that did pull it off. Also, thank you all for your patience during my spotty Powerpoint sounds and Royce's long rambling instructions.

Like we said on the cover page of our test and after the event, we always love to hear more feedback and answer any questions you guys might have! Here's our email addresses again:
jmg120@duke.edu
royce.lee@yale.edu

If we get the okay from the MIT gods, I will post the raw score distribution.

Re: MIT Invitational 2018

Posted: January 22nd, 2018, 7:46 pm
by nicholasmaurer
On another note, I’ve kinda been awaiting some spicy event ratings, would anyone like to start?
Ecology (31): This test was difficult, possibly harder than the test at nationals last year. I think it would have been a lot better as just a straight up test instead of stations. I didn’t really see the need for the stations. Otherwise, the content was solid and difficult.
I'm glad it was a challenging test! I debated the merits of stations vs. a regular test. Ultimately, I decided upon stations for two reasons. First, it limits the amount of paper that needs to be printed (2 copies of 15 stations rather than 70+ copies of an exam). Second, I think the pressure and time crunch of stations really forces people to think quickly and not rely too heavily on their notes.