The thing is though competitions like Princeton, MIT, and UT-Austin do it and as far as I know, their attendance has not suffered. (Indeed Princeton's attendance has gone up and UT-Austin and MIT have stayed in-demand as ever.)
And UMSO;P. And Golden Gate I thought? And Dartmouth now! Anyway, Lumo, that wasn't the point of what Unome was saying. Can you name non-university invites that stayed in demand and compare it with the other mass amount of invites? I think cat has the most reasonable approach in line with how scioly usually runs things from the ground up anyway. If tests are even just allowed to be more openly shared, maybe we'll realize how this all shouldn't be such a big deal...
To drcubbin: Seems like it would be interesting discussing with you! (Nobody answered my question on the last page *why* people expect tests to "not be confidential" and are okay with test trading with the context and questions that you can see last page...
would like it if someone could...). My opinion summarized in response to your issues: If we are indeed a science competition, then our questions should have plenty of concepts, math, etc. These questions SHOULD be constantly modified and also emphasize applying the basics. The events all change in different ways to reflect this, which is one thing I love! In fact, I think this is the best thing, science questions CAN be modified, which means you have to connect ideas from studies to do well. Some factual questions don't need to be, that's not the point of those. I know I don't have infinite experience, but I also find my past tests need significant modifying anyway based on answers I get (I sometimes even use invites to test question ideas I have...). Therefore, the issues of test content and test release can be separated a little more.
Now para by para (not quoting that all...you also seem to have a lot of different issues here that I try to separate):
1) You also have a repository of tests...so having some tests is a necessary evil? Just something to keep in mind. In response to your cons...point (a)...test writers reusing tests sort of goes against my opinion. I know it takes more time, but I think the better tests are usually rewritten anyway. Is your issue that we don't have enough writers? Why not take from someone who is writing in another state, which I imagine has to be done anyway? As for students taking study time to accumulate tests (b), yup fully agree, a waste of time, but I don't think we can totally control that. The internet exists, they'll figure out a way to make "test banks". Is it worse to be more open with people (students, coaches), not release essential or regionals test (fair enough), and only release practice tests (invites)? Your point (c) I also agree with. But the mountain of tests aren't all very good...it sounds like most I've talked to respect that 60 tests are a waste of time anyway.
2) Useful to know where you're coming from. Basically: What Lumo said. From my perspective, you're comparing different tests in different contexts. The internet exists, and the onus is on us to make use of it, not to say "just ignore it". I'm not saying the way you're talking about learning is "wrong". But the teachers I learned best from made their own questions that connected ideas you just can't google and don't really want to anyway. Your last few sentences I'd agree with. From here you assert whys!
On posted resources and reading the rules:
3) Perhaps competitors read tests more than the rules manual. Is that the fault of the tests, though? You said there's already so many online that we can't do anything about...won't they just keep paying more attention to those then? I know this isn't your point, but should the question marathons go too since they're easy to reuse questions? If you're saying we should update the site more, why not give better sources for practice with tests too? Practice tests (though I scorn tests) do have value for learning. If you have issue with students not reading the rules, then isn't that a more complicated and separate issue? For example, some may not read the rules because of last minute preparations as opposed to pure ignorance. Posting tests or not that can happen anyway, no?
On types of questions and question reuse:
4) This depends on the type of "out there" question. There are those "out there" questions that aren't justified by the rules. Other times students rightly dislike getting tested on literally everything (especially trivia), but people are more okay with that since it's in the rules. On the other hand, those questions may do us writers no justice: it makes it seem like the event should focus on memorizing or cramming as much into your notes as possible. A few of those questions can be fun or give a test quirks, though, so I don't see this as a huge deal except for writers that do it way too much.
Here's where I really get confused. "So many of the reasonable and excellent questions have been rehashed over and over again through test trading"...huh? Is this the main reason? All my tests are posted online, but nobody seems to do well on them:P. Maybe this is more specific to certain events than a universal issue? This just goes back to my prior opinion that updating questions or writing new questions can be (and certainly is!) a good thing. If a team can easily get 3rd place because it was the same test as two years ago, how can you fault the students? Wouldn't this happen anyway? Of many examples, one I like: they could have written the questions down on paper just after the test. I know this because I used to do that...more because a few questions bothered the HECK out of me. Even ignoring the internet, there's plenty of ways to circumvent regionals not getting posted.
Also, I don't know how much you write tests, but I need to write multiple tests anyway because rules constantly change and invite, regional, and state exams should NOT look the same. That has nothing to do with my tests being posted. I need to adjust the difficulties and question types anyway...if it's a question so trivial it could be answered with notes, isn't that my fault for giving a literally trivial question? There is a place for having some of those, and I think test writers (or at least I) reuse some of those questions anyway (yet students still mess them up...-_-).
5) This already exists. We can't undo that. If we give a system that can be gamed, students (people in general) WILL game it difficult or not. I can come up with a long list of ways to game testing if you like, but I hope you get the point. I also don't get what you mean by that last part: aren't making tests (or rules) more difficult and releasing tests not mutually exclusive?
Disclaimer - the opinions of this contributor are sure to raise the ire of some, but he does not really care. He loves SciOly too much and believes that if the US is to ever claw its way back to the top of international strength in science SciOly is the only viable means to that end.
Disclaimer: I'm not mad, thanks for sharing...know that others love scioly too;). I also feel like there are fundamental problems with education that need to be addressed beyond just scioly, but that's a story for another day and not this thread...
B: Crave the Wave, Environmental Chemistry, Robo-Cross, Meteorology, Physical Science Lab, Solar System, DyPlan (E and V), Shock Value
C: Microbe Mission, DyPlan (Earth's Fresh Waters), Fermi Questions, GeoMaps, Gravity Vehicle, Scrambler, Rocks, Astronomy
Grad: Writing Tests/Supervising (NY/MI)