ScoutViolet wrote: ↑
January 1st, 2021, 9:18 am
I think that I personally prefer shorter tests for invitationals, and gradually increase questions for higher levels. For example, I did one SO a couple of weeks ago (Rickards Invitational). I took one look at it and I was like... but the practice tests were like half this long!!! Then my parents got really happy because we're 6th graders and I got like 14th/45 teams in both Road Scholar and Water Quality and 15th/45 teams in Machines. I, of course, being a realllly eager student, wanted to see my exact scores.
Here they are: (prepare for cringe)
Machines: 24.50 out of 286.00
Road Scholar: 23.00 out of 229.00
Water Quality: 36.00 out of 160.00
I mean, really, we got 15th, 14th and 14th respectively out of 45 teams. I think the tests should be a lot shorter, as we had an average of like 79 questions... And we got busted
Hmmmm this is interesting. As someone who likes insanely long tests, I've always thought that, from a competitor standpoint, a test that's just long enough is the same as an impossibly long test, simply because you're going to do the same number of questions either way. The only difference is, once someone writes past what any person could finish in 50 minutes, the test writer is wasting their own time.
Is it that a really long test is discouraging to people who feel expected to finish? (especially if they carry over the same expectations as a test for, say, science class)
A lot of more difficult invitationals - generally ones who can get alumni test writers who write for the fun of it - are actually expected to be more difficult
than regionals, although I do respect teams that use invitationals as regionals/state practice. I know at my middle school, we generally took regionals a lot more seriously than the one invitational we attended - we had a decent chance of medalling at regionals, but Kraemer/JT/etc. at Mesa Robles Invitational made medalling really difficult. I really enjoyed the invitational, though. Harder tests and powerhouse teams gave me more "room" to test how well I had prepared, if that makes sense.
A smaller or new team would probably not benefit as much from attending a very hard invitational and feel discouraged. In the same thread, a team that had poured in a lot of time would feel disappointed by an invitational with shorter test.
I think it's best that invitationals exist at a wide variety of levels, and that schools choose the ones that fit their needs the best. (I understand transportation costs are a pain, though)