How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby asdfqwerzzz2 » April 26th, 2016, 1:54 am

I medaled last year in astronomy, and could have easily medaled in bungee drop if I used my actual calculations instead of playing extremely safe for the team score. For astronomy, I studied about three hours a day for a month in the summer, and studied at about 4 hours a day the week preceding nationals. I did all of my bungee drop preparation the first year of the event at about thirty minutes a week for the whole season, and did nothing the second year of the event. So pretty much, placing at nationals is definitely not impossible, and it really doesn't take as much effort as you'd expect.

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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby Magikarpmaster629 » April 26th, 2016, 4:35 am

I medaled last year in astronomy, and could have easily medaled in bungee drop if I used my actual calculations instead of playing extremely safe for the team score. For astronomy, I studied about three hours a day for a month in the summer, and studied at about 4 hours a day the week preceding nationals. I did all of my bungee drop preparation the first year of the event at about thirty minutes a week for the whole season, and did nothing the second year of the event. So pretty much, placing at nationals is definitely not impossible, and it really doesn't take as much effort as you'd expect.
How much did your partners work though? It doesn't seem like one person can carry an event on his/her own at nationals, especially in study events.
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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby asdfqwerzzz2 » April 26th, 2016, 5:44 am

I medaled last year in astronomy, and could have easily medaled in bungee drop if I used my actual calculations instead of playing extremely safe for the team score. For astronomy, I studied about three hours a day for a month in the summer, and studied at about 4 hours a day the week preceding nationals. I did all of my bungee drop preparation the first year of the event at about thirty minutes a week for the whole season, and did nothing the second year of the event. So pretty much, placing at nationals is definitely not impossible, and it really doesn't take as much effort as you'd expect.
How much did your partners work though? It doesn't seem like one person can carry an event on his/her own at nationals, especially in study events.
I practiced much more than my partner in astronomy, but we always practiced together for bungee.

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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby sciolyFTW_aku » April 26th, 2016, 6:23 pm

It doesn't seem like one person can carry an event on his/her own at nationals, especially in study events.
I wouldn't exactly say so. Last year, my partner had to test a lot for Wheeled Vehicle, so I had to study the bulk of the material for Anatomy (specifically Immune and Cardiovascular). But, I had to study quite a lot in order to cover all of the material in both systems. So, I wouldn't say you can't place in an event if you're studying the bulk of the material, but you have to make up for the lost time by studying extra hard :)

EDIT: BTW Magikarp, I have exactly 1/4th of the posts that you have! :D
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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby samlan16 » April 27th, 2016, 5:30 am

It doesn't seem like one person can carry an event on his/her own at nationals, especially in study events.
I wouldn't exactly say so. Last year, my partner had to test a lot for Wheeled Vehicle, so I had to study the bulk of the material for Anatomy (specifically Immune and Cardiovascular). But, I had to study quite a lot in order to cover all of the material in both systems. So, I wouldn't say you can't place in an event if you're studying the bulk of the material, but you have to make up for the lost time by studying extra hard :)

EDIT: BTW Magikarp, I have exactly 1/4th of the posts that you have! :D
I have to agree with Karp on this one. There is so much more that you have to do in preparation for nationals as opposed to any other level of competition that you cannot carry an event by yourself.

Had my team made it, even though I have done EV by myself all year, I would have gotten someone to help me test and make adjustments.
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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby maxxxxx » April 27th, 2016, 8:12 am

It doesn't seem like one person can carry an event on his/her own at nationals, especially in study events.
I wouldn't exactly say so. Last year, my partner had to test a lot for Wheeled Vehicle, so I had to study the bulk of the material for Anatomy (specifically Immune and Cardiovascular). But, I had to study quite a lot in order to cover all of the material in both systems. So, I wouldn't say you can't place in an event if you're studying the bulk of the material, but you have to make up for the lost time by studying extra hard :)

EDIT: BTW Magikarp, I have exactly 1/4th of the posts that you have! :D
I have to agree with Karp on this one. There is so much more that you have to do in preparation for nationals as opposed to any other level of competition that you cannot carry an event by yourself.

Had my team made it, even though I have done EV by myself all year, I would have gotten someone to help me test and make adjustments.
This is not always true. In 2008 B division one of the competitors for Bala Cynwyd was unable to compete in Food Science because he was wearing shorts, and his partner got 4th by themself. I agree that for the most part you cannot carry an event by yourself, but it certainly can happen.
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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby Unome » April 27th, 2016, 1:22 pm

Personally I'd agree with sciolyFTW-aku and maxxxxx; although in most events it does take a lot of work to medal at Nationals (and in the three that I did I had good partners), it's certainly possible to do so without them (although of course this is dependent on stuff like test length, type of event, etc.)
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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby sciolyFTW_aku » April 27th, 2016, 2:05 pm

In 2008 B division one of the competitors for Bala Cynwyd was unable to compete in Food Science because he was wearing shorts, and his partner got 4th by themself. I agree that for the most part you cannot carry an event by yourself, but it certainly can happen.
Man, hats off for the guy... I would be really frustrated at my partner if he came in wearing the wrong clothing :twisted:
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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby SenseiSushi » May 24th, 2016, 9:27 pm

This thread seems sorta dead but I thought I might give my two cents and I encourage anyone that medaled at nats last weekend to do the same.

Medaling at nats is hard, not going to lie, but it's not impossible.

Participate in events you are passionate about.

Passion for what you are learning can make a huge difference in Science Olympiad. Participating in events that you are interested in will motivate you to study harder and you'll be more inclined to spend time studying.

Communicate with your partner

Understanding how to work with your partner is a vital part of a successful event. Something that worked for me was dividing up study materials. Take a look at the syllabus in the rules manual and determine what each person should specialize in. During tests, if a tough question comes up and you both have conflicting answers, the person that specialized in that topic should get first priority. This helps avoid lengthy arguments during tests and decreases the amount each person needs to study.

Dedication

Dedication is the most important thing. I'm not saying you should dedicate your life to Science Olympiad but you can't expect to medal without working hard. Also, try to keep your event relevant in your life outside of Science Olympiad. For me, this means catching up on news dealing with the environment or identifying rocks by the side of the road while in the car.

I hope this helps for any future national medalists!
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Re: How Hard is it to Win Nationals???

Postby sciolyFTW_aku » May 26th, 2016, 1:11 pm

This thread seems sorta dead but I thought I might give my two cents and I encourage anyone that medaled at nats last weekend to do the same.

Medaling at nats is hard, not going to lie, but it's not impossible.

Participate in events you are passionate about.

Passion for what you are learning can make a huge difference in Science Olympiad. Participating in events that you are interested in will motivate you to study harder and you'll be more inclined to spend time studying.

Communicate with your partner

Understanding how to work with your partner is a vital part of a successful event. Something that worked for me was dividing up study materials. Take a look at the syllabus in the rules manual and determine what each person should specialize in. During tests, if a tough question comes up and you both have conflicting answers, the person that specialized in that topic should get first priority. This helps avoid lengthy arguments during tests and decreases the amount each person needs to study.

Dedication

Dedication is the most important thing. I'm not saying you should dedicate your life to Science Olympiad but you can't expect to medal without working hard. Also, try to keep your event relevant in your life outside of Science Olympiad. For me, this means catching up on news dealing with the environment or identifying rocks by the side of the road while in the car.

I hope this helps for any future national medalists!
I just wanted to add a few more things:

Study in a smart manner

The tests are nationals are going to be hard, but they won't be at a med school/collegiate level. So, make sure that you know all your basics and be sure to study in depth about the topics in the rules manual, but don't go too far (for example, don't try to memorize obscure disorders that are mentioned in 1 or 2 sentences in a Wikipedia, trust me, no one is going to ask you about that). Also, don't get distracted by other stuff (things on your phone, news, etc.) while you're studying. Try to study hard for 50 minutes, and then spend the remainder of the hour doing whatever you have to do.

Don't become overconfident/make stupid mistakes at the time of the test (study, lab, or build)

I can't stress this enough: DON'T MAKE SILLIES DURING THE TEST. Make sure you read every question right and trust your first instinct. In the case of building events, make sure everything is set up and correctly, and don't apply too much force in any aspect of the set-up (at State, my team member pulled the string out too hard in Bottle Rockets, causing it to tip over; at Nationals, my friend's partner in Scrambler pulled out the pencil too hard, causing the whole launcher to turn and break the Scrambler :(). Remember, after all of the work you've put into your events, you don't want to cost yourself a medal because of a dumb mistake.

Hope this helps!
B-)


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