Some events should only be knowledge-based while others should contain more critical thinking.
While you both made great points in your posts that I agree with, I am not sure I agree with either of these statements. I don't think that any test should just be made up of questions that ask for knowledge about the event. Every field of science can have higher-level thinking questions, and while the ratio of critical thinking to straight knowledge can differ, I believe it is the mark of a good team that they would do well on an analysis, synthesis, or evaluation type question, and it is the mark of a good test to sprinkle some of these questions in to encourage the development of these skill areas. Critical thinking is an important part of all fields of science, even the ones we may not expect.Of course, if an almost completely study-based event like Entomology started throwing critical thinking questions at competitors, that would be unfair.
What do you mean meaningless lists? A lot of facts in Astronomy (any event, but this is the one I know best) could be considered useless facts, but I think if you really studied you should be able to recognize even obscure-sounding vocab. Of course, that vocab is useful, and I try to make it really important stuff closely tied to the event (and at that I of course throw in diagrams for concepts, math questions, etc). A lot of people don't have time to make the tests, which leads to substandard tests (it's the major issue I see, if that's what you mean). Another thing is that grading can be subjective depending on the question type and that's why if you have someone in Ohio making a test for NY, the person would certainly want little or no grading mistakes.I don't understand the point of events that place a premium on memorizing what end up being pretty meaningless lists of obscure information. I know this is my bias. Can't see the point beyond knowing the most common ones and knowing the various ways to categorize according to the field.
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