National Test Discussion

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National Test Discussion

Post by Jaol » May 22nd, 2016, 6:16 am

Invasives (17)- This was a very good test with high quality questions and preserved specimens. There should have been a lot harder ecology questions

Pic This (16)- The words given on this were way too hard most of the time and that is good. But how is anyone supposed to guess "Critical Thinking"?

Bio-Process Lab (34)- This was last year's test but modified basically. It was very good, but we just weren't prepared enough.
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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by SenseiSushi » May 22nd, 2016, 7:08 am

Green Generation: An amazing test, questions that ranged across the entire spectrum of ecology. Didn't feel too hard or too difficult. One of the few Green Gen tests I have taken that were in a station format.

Experimental Design: Set by a physics/chem teacher. The test was a typical physics classroom lab.
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2016 Nationals: Green Generation-1st

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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by Bazinga+ » May 22nd, 2016, 7:24 am

Its about time(27 with 10 pt penalty)- average time test, covered all the regular bases well, just feel like they should have made it harder considering that most top teams had very good time scores and the placements came down to the test.
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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by sciolyFTW_aku » May 22nd, 2016, 8:23 am

Anatomy (7)- I thought the test was easy for nationals, but my stupid answers (kept down tubercle for tuberosity (OMG, how does the tibia have a tubercle), reversed order of metatarsals) brought me 7th place. I felt like they should have included questions more about skeletal and muscular diseases, foramina of the skull, types of bone cells. But, the microscope questions were good, and the stations were well-written. Congratulations to the top 6 teams and Bearden M.S for winning!

Meteorology (10)- The test was very well written, and covered all aspects of the event. Last year's test was easy, but this year's test was the probably the best test I've seen at Nationals (Shout-out to the ES of the event).

Green Generation (35)- The test was pretty good, again covering most aspects of the event. I don't understand how we got 35th, but overall, a good test.

Also, does anyone what the scores were for Anatomy?

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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by LowEntropy » May 22nd, 2016, 8:29 am

Dynamic Planet (5)-
The test was very short, there was a team that left with nearly 20 minutes left in the timeblock. I was surprised that there weren't many difficult concepts or calculations, with only one short answer explanation and a velocity calculation where time was given. I suspect that many of the top places were determined by the quality of the drawn map.

Experimental Design (18)-
The talk that the event supervisor had about how she disliked line graphs threw me off a bit, and my team ended up doing a bar graph based on a scale that we made ourselves. I believe that this made the conclusion parts harder to write and may have cost us some points. Overall the concept for the experiment was very unique, and I was very entertained by the reaction between the dry yeast and the hydrogen peroxide.

Geologic Mapping (21)-
The last question was worth a lot of points and was pretty difficult, and since it was at the end of the test it meant that there wasn't a lot of time to complete it. The rest covered pretty much all the topics, except stereonets, which was pretty surprising considering that the event supervisors had run the event last year and that test had a couple questions on stereonets. Definitely a difficult test overall, which has come to be expected from Geo.
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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by daydreamer0023 » May 22nd, 2016, 10:11 am

I am now humbled by my low placement. :( Anyhow...

Fossils (22): The test was ID heavy, as in "Identify which of the specimen is this genus/order/class/etc.," and fairly straightforward. Both my partner and I thought it was pretty easy since we were able to answer most of the questions with ease. There were a couple of questions, though, that we missed either from time constraints, neglecting to double check certain things with the binder, or not knowing which specific trilobite was the Wisconsin state fossil (the last one which I'm still particularly frustrated since I didn't jam into my binder...). Most of the other teams evidently must have evidently felt the same way, so I think that Fossils sort of turned into a competition of accuracy versus depth of knowledge, since some finer details of the non-ID topics weren't really covered that I wish were covered to better challenge the competitors.

Wind Power (24): I was put on this three weeks prior to Nationals so I don't think I'm completely qualified to judge the difficulty level of the test. :P The test did seem to be about the level of a State Test: there were 37 questions, multiple choice and short answer. Some questions were fairly easy and others I could have answered had I been given more time to study. I'm not sure how exactly the blade/fan portion factored into all that...

Edit: We got a ridiculous 2 minutes and 15 seconds at each station for Fossils - and we got 2 minutes at States. Is that normal for Nats?
Last edited by daydreamer0023 on May 23rd, 2016, 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by Fanglin » May 22nd, 2016, 1:25 pm

Meteorology (14th): The test was very well written, although the 10 sleeved sheets that they provided were a mess sort etc... I think there were a bit too many calculation questions, (eg: find the volume of a cloud) <-- I found this question kinda pointless.

Road Scholar (4th!!!): The test was well written, and didn't carry a story line, but the questions were mostly calculation and pure knowledge questions. I found the map drawing part way too complex ( it made you draw a boundary given a point, and feet/degrees of the lines). The profiling was too easy, and I feel like the test writer should not have used double sided sheets, just because I kept on losing a sheet, and then find out that it is just on the back of another sheet. The proctors could have been more helpful, just because they wouldn't notice hands very well. I feel like the test may have been a bit too long/hard, because I got 4th, and didn't answer two questions (one being a tie breaker) and still got the place I did, meaning that the test was probably hard for everyone.
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Meteorology: 11th
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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by Pupitre » May 22nd, 2016, 1:26 pm

Anatomy/Physiology C (6th)

None of the questions were difficult and the majority of my hours of studying were wasted on a ridiculous amount of detail. That being said, there were definitely more questions than possible within the time limit for each station and the joint station in particular was challenging to complete within five minutes. The test was fair and evenly distributed among the systems. I especially appreciated the skin lesion station, which probably tripped a lot of people up if they didn't extensively study pictures and only the details of each disease. Other than time, asking for the origins of one muscle but the insertions of another made for some tricky cross referencing with the notes sheet, as my partner and I certainly didn't commit those to memory. The only complaint I have is that some of the boxes were way to small to fit the amount of information that was being asked comfortably. If I was coming back next year to a test by the same supervisor, I definitely would spend more time speeding up my ID from models (not just pictures) and less time with a tedious amount of detail.

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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by JoJoKeKe » May 22nd, 2016, 2:28 pm

Things went pretty well for me this year-- still quite surprised about fossils, though...

Fossils (8th) - I really enjoyed this test but wasn't planning on getting anything above 20th place :P . There seemed to be a lot of critical thinking involved with the rate of sedimentation questions, magnesium/calcium questions, etc.

If I must be honest with myself I have no clue how I received 8th place. Of course, I started on the speed identification station and left two of the 10 points questions blank, as I couldn't remember what the specimens looked like after I had moved to another station. I wasn't sure how to do the rapid burial/prolonged burial thing but I must have inferred how to do it correctly.

I felt embarrassed on the microscope station as I literally couldn't see any fossils lol. I still have no clue what the specimens were under the microscope- I put foraminifera and porifera because those were the most logical guesses...

Picture This (17th) - I personally didn't enjoy this event at nationals. My partner and I had over 2,500 words practiced but those ended up being almost entirely useless. As Jaol already said, words like "critical thinking" are almost never practiced. While I will admit we had a rough start to our 4 minutes and could have received ~8-9th place the words were still silly (I got batholith, though!).

Invasive Species (24th) - This was a very good test. I really enjoyed it, but I was also quite stressed out as the time constraint was something I had not frequently practiced with for Invasives. It also made me realize that there is still a lot that I need to add, and that there is surely room for improvement for myself.

Green Generation (37th) - I received this event 1 month ago so I wasn't expecting to do to well. I enjoyed the bioremediation station, and had the definitions of all the words on my cheat sheet, but it was difficult to match it to the correct picture while stressed out. However, this was the only event where there were some questions in which I thought: "I have no idea."

In all I learned a lot from this national competition. Meeting others with similar goals and interests is very inspiring to me, and my improved performance from last year definitely encourages me to study more.
Tournaments (2016): State / Nationals
Fossils: 3 / 8
Disease: 7 / NA
Green Gen: NA / 37
Picture This: 1 / 17
Invasives: 1 / 24

Idaho State (2017):
Rocks - 2
Microbe 2
Ecology 3
Optics 4
Invasives: 1

Events 2019: Herpetology, Fossils, Dynamic Planet, Fermi Questions

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Re: National Test Discussion

Post by UnprunedShrub » May 22nd, 2016, 2:43 pm

Astronomy (14th) - Great as always.

Dynamic Planet (9th) - This test was awful. The questions were super basic and there was very little math. The entire test was 3 pages front and back and the answer sheet was 1 page. This was really surprising because it was the same proctor as last year's test, which was much better. This was definitely not a good test of one's knowledge on oceanography as evidenced by some top teams that placed very well at MIT (a very good and challenging test) placing in the twenties at this tournament.

Geomapping (9th) - I honestly don't know how my partner and I placed in the top 10, but just like all of Enrica's tests this was interesting, challenging and very long. Few if any teams were able to finish the test. I'm super hyped to have Enrica be the national proctor for dynamic planet next year.
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