Post-Comp Discussion (Herpetology)
Once again, the Princeton SO team did a marvelous job running their tournament.
From a supervisor's prospective, they did a great job providing materials and rooms and communication was very good. From what I have heard, events were run very well and the other supervisors that were flown in all had a great time.
I plan to post a more extensive review of my Herpetology exam in that event forum, but here are a few interesting tidbits.
High score: 200/398: Although I usually aim for a 60% high on my exams, I was pretty satisfied to see one team get almost exactly a 50% (test was supposed to be out of 400, but I messed up). The distribution was pretty much exactly what I aim for - large point differences among the top 6 that are clearly distinguished and then a nice, continuous downwards slope among the rest. ~60 points separated 1st and 6th place, which as very nice to see. There are always grading errors that I estimate to mess up scores within +/- 5 points due to inconsistencies, and having large differences among the top 6 ensure the right teams are getting medals regardless of grading errors.
Difficulty: During the competition, it was clear to me that the test was too hard. There were numerous questions that no teams attempted and many stations that I expected a decent number of teams to finish had questions left blank. That said, the test did produce a good distribution and so I consider it a success.
Observations: Based on what I observed, it seems that the bast majority of teams are not used to taking fast-paced ID exams - Im not sure if that has become uncommon everywhere (except MIT) or perhaps in the area, but even the best teams didn't ave great test-taking strategies for this event. I think alot of people could have done better if they had practiced testing under such harsh time crunches.
All in all, I hope that competitors will enjoy reading through the answer key when it gets sent out in the next few days and learn some new things from the exam. If you have any questions, feel free to email me!