Hey everyone! This past Saturday, I was the Event Supervisor for Reach for the Stars!
I'm going to start by commenting that this test is fairly different from just about any other one I've seen. I focused very heavily on not only seeing that you could ID and answer evolutionary stage questions about the DSOs, I wanted to see that you understood what was really going on in them. Thus, the score distribution was naturally skewed a little lower. Now, for practice I did add some ID questions (11/85 questions and 30/280 points went to star/constellation ID, not including the Pollux questions, which had 2 more ID questions for 7 more points).
First, I would like to point out that I specifically designed this test for my interpretation of the rules--I did not design this test to be a mini-astro test (that isn't what Reach is, after all). I did a Part B, where I tested star & galaxy evolution through the use of the DSOs, and then a Part C to cover the interpretive tasks (I tacked Part A on because why not?).
Part A (Warm-Up) was there just for what it sounds like--to give you a chance to get your head in the game. It was 20 multiple choice that were pretty basic core knowledge (granted, I still did test things many didn't know), and then the 8 more ID marathon questions.
For the most part, in Part B (Stars & Deep Sky Objects) the first question of a DSO triplet was a trivia (or otherwise easier) question that was the easier of the three. I then tried to use the other two to ask questions that would get your gears turning for an answer. There are a number of them that did require a decent knowledge of the object, but some of them actually only required a decent understanding of some astronomy applied to the object. These wound up being some of the most difficult.
Part C was (unsurprisingly) the most difficult. I tried to stray away from calculation here, as the test was already getting a little too long for comfort and I didn't want to throw a whole bunch of ultra time-consuming questions on top of it all, so there's really only one question set there that requires calculation (although I did try to design it so that it covered all of the calculation). Otherwise, you were mostly given a scenario and one or more images, and then asked to draw a number of conclusions from that scenario and those images.
The score histogram and distribution are attached. The teams are a little too clustered at the top for total confidence, but otherwise I'm pleased with the distribution.
To say the least, I wrote what I thought was the ideal Reach for the Stars test, where I test your knowledge of star & galaxy evolution through the use of the DSOs as examples, and then several actual interpretive tasks. I was really satisfied with it, and I think it's my favorite test to date. I hope you all enjoyed an RFTS (RATS now, thanks Umaroth) test that was a little bit different from what's typical.
If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to email me (email@example.com
), PM me on the forums, or on the Scioly.org discord (scioly.org/chat).
The test will be published shortly with the rest of them. Enjoy it, I hope it'll be good practice!
Edit: Added questions/feedback line. Edit 2: Updated Figures