In almost any specimen or picture, it is possible to identify if you have enough knowledge of the organisms morphology. Granted there can be specimens that are so outrageous that it is borderline unfair, however these are not very common. Also I think that if a event supervisor were to take his own photos that would take several hours, however that is not something that I feel is commonly done (though if and when it is I greatly appreciate it). If the supervisor uses live specimens, that is also greatly appreciated, and in my opinion only slightly less time consuming and more common. As for preserved specimen, it certainly takes more time, but if you know the specimens you are looking for it shouldn't tack on more than 30, maybe 45 minutes maximum. At the VERY FEW competitions where all of these are done, I will give it to you that it may take as much as 5, MAYBE 6 hours. Also as for using various resources, I do that on my tests, and they are usually about the quality of those seen at a large exceptionally competitive regional tournament.
One last thing, don't think that I am trying to say the event supervisors don't deserve as much appreciation as you think they do just because I have a significantly lower estimate of the time they put in to it on average, and even when going above and beyond. I greatly appreciate all supervisors and test writers even if I may disagree with their rule interpretations, question their competence, or become greatly annoyed with them. I feel they deserve respect, and that no matter the quality of the test, at least they took the time to do this for us. I cannot stress that enough.
P.S. If a supervisor goes so above and beyond as to use multiple resources, put on frog calls, have both specimens alive and preserved, as well as their own photos, while picking these choices with great thought, and attempting to make difficult though fair questions and identification, it is possible that then, it may take a maximum of 7 or 8 hours total, though still I would estimate 5 is more likely. Also if such a supervisor or test writer were to give me such a test, I would be pleasantly shocked, and immensely grateful for all the effort and time the put in above and beyond what they were expected of.
Yes, that is more or less what I was trying to say Dicky.
Events: Herpetology, Fossils, Entomology, Rocks & Minerals, Ornithology, Ecology
Nationals 2008: 1st in Herpetology
Nationals 2009: 1st in Herpetology, 2nd in Fossils
Harriton Class of 2010