National Test Discussion

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National Test Discussion

Postby 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

Postby 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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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby 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

Postby 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

Postby 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

Postby 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

Postby 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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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby 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

Postby 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

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Rocks - 2
Microbe 2
Ecology 3
Optics 4
Invasives: 1

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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby 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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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby varunscs11 » May 22nd, 2016, 2:46 pm

Fossils - 3rd

The test was very similar to last years exam and some of the questions were exactly the same as last year. Specimens were nice, which made ID very easy. I enjoyed the modes of preservation station. I was super happy that the proctor took my comments from last year and actually implemented them into the exam (i.e. the foot length calculation, the trivia - WI state fossil, etc). Overall, the exam was pretty easy.

Rating: A-

Invasive Species - 5th

The test was 100 questions long which was a decent length. I wish the test was longer and harder because most of the questions were very standard and common information. It was great that there was some trivia.

Rating: B

Green Generation - 8th

The test was shorter than last year's which made everything more competitive. Most of the tasks presented were reading charts and graphs. I wish that the questions about soil orders did not involve giving the participants the description of the soil order. There was no math on the exam which was surprising considering one of the topics is population growth. But the exam was good - it more or less followed the rules, wasn't too easy, and didn't have long answer. I also noticed that none of the medalists from last year medaled this year which is interesting.

Rating: A

Experimental Design - 20th

This event sucked 100%. First of all the lady wasted our time by giving a 10-15 minute talk about how she hates straight line graphs. We did our experiment by changing the amount of yeast present while keeping the biologic material (potato flakes) and the H2O2 amount the same. We ran an exponential regression and conducted an ANOVA test. Quite frankly I don't really see how the event was graded because we have consistently gotten 118/120 at MIT, Cornell, and other invitationals yet at Nationals we got 20th. And unless the 19 teams above us got 119s and 120s or 118s and tied with us, I don't see how we got 20th unless the rubric wasn't actually used. Like we did everything that the rubric asked for and followed the instructions in the rubric explanation. This event promotes a narrow way of thinking and formulaic writing. Also, the event asks for a regression analysis which usually is not that useful. The rubric does not reward us for conducting higher level statistical analyses such as ANOVA and chi squared. Furthermore, the event forces competitors to conduct quantitative experiments. The event should either be drastically changed for next year or be eliminated.This event flat out fails.

Rating: F
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby ampy1234567 » May 22nd, 2016, 2:49 pm

Overall, I thought my events were well-written and well-run.
Disease Detectives (6th):
What I expected from the CDC, a lot of high quality thinking stuff in the format of two big problems (some fungus and something about poisoning). The first problem was quite a bit longer than the second and the first had a lot more math and the second had almost none, which definitely worked to the advantage of our strategy. It seemed on the easier side, but still, great test.
Dynamic Planet (2nd):
Fixed the issues with last year's test; it was a lot longer, had more free choice and math, and seemed much more legit and less bs-y. Me and my partner split the test and barely had 5 minutes to check. We thought we had screwed up really bad but got 2nd, so idk how to judge difficulty very well but it seemed about right. Overall high quality, and I also thought it was good that they included a survey at the end of the test.
Crave the Wave (8th):
Amazing test, and this is even with my almost-medaled-but-didn't bias; probably the most difficult I've ever seen for any event in any test. The test was split into 10 stations of 4 minutes 30 seconds each, and while this seems easy it actually put tons of time pressure on us. The test, even without this time pressure, was really hard (even made the first, supposedly easiest station difficult with the last question); it tested things like non-standard P and S wave calculations, parabolic mirrors, Doppler shift and emission spectra, and radioactive decay. Lots of math and application, again a thing I think is really good for a Crave test. TBH it seems like a test I would want to write myself, and I'm still pretty disappointed in not getting that medal; regardless, congrats to Longfellow for getting 1st (which is what I predicted on the prediction contest lol).
I also wanted to note the kind of weird similarity between this test and the Boyceville Crave test (both 10 big questions, and very difficult for the level of competition, and both had the steel bar Young's modulus thing. Even the same cover sheet).
Btw, if anyone could provide raw scores for the top 10 that would be great.
Fossils (22th):
Pretty standard fare for nationals; medium difficulty and well-run stations. But I do want to note the second station in which you had to identify about 25 fossils in 4 minutes, and that one of the fossils was worth 1 point and another 15 points despite the difficulty of the two not being that different.
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby Uber » May 22nd, 2016, 2:57 pm

Green Generation (8th)
A short and fairly difficult test (that mining station >.<). There was almost no population growth or calculation questions, which was somewhat unexpected.

Protein Modeling (11th)
Typical MSOE test. Short and mostly easy.

Anatomy and Physiology (12th)
I had to work completely by myself (My partner pointed at the labels), and it was definitely one of the most stressful tests I've taken because of that. It would be a nice length for a two-person team. The questions were really well distributed, and every point was covered. Questions were typical, but the difficulty was sufficient. The integument disease identification were too easy, considering they reused pictures from last year, so that only took 2 or 3 minutes. Muscle identification was nice and tricky because they asked for origins and insertions, but I didn't have enough time to finish it by myself.
Btw, what was that noodle looking thing on the muscle cross section model?

Cell Biology (15th)
It tested scientific skills, which isn't typical for most cell biology tests. First station was a short and simple lab, third station was a fluorescence microscope station, and two other stations had diagram reading. The cell cycle portion focused a bit much on MPF, and had nothing on the mechanisms of mitosis. Overall, the test was towards the easy end, and the questions could have been distributed more evenly.
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2017 Nationals: Experimental Design (1st), Microbe Mission (6th)
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby DankMcIntosh » May 22nd, 2016, 5:52 pm

sciolyFTW_aku wrote: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?

I couldn't agree more SciOly. The meteorology test was really excellent! I thought it was straight forward and covered the rules. It had everything - clouds, skew t, and even an awesome rh question ( :( :o :shock: :? :x :oops: :cry: :evil: )
ID - States/Nationals 2017
Meteo -/-
Invasives -/-
Fast Facts -/-
Mission Possible
2016 Events ID - States/Nats 2016
Meteorology 4/42
WIDI 1/-
Mission Possible 12/44
Road Scholar -/51
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Re: National Test Discussion

Postby ptabraham_nerd01 » May 22nd, 2016, 5:57 pm

Event Reviews (Division B):

- Anatomy: The test was really easy for nationals (4 minutes to answer like 6 questions!).The integumentary system was okay. The diagrams were pretty easy and the diseases were not hard. I did like the microscope questions, which I had never seen in competition before (I think I got a couple of them wrong!). The skeletal system was also okay. I think they could've added more questions on the foramina of the skull (besides the multiple choice question on the foramen magnum). I liked the muscular system models (which I really messed up, especially the hand diagram...whoops!), but they should've added more physiology questions...

- Disease Detectives: The test was good... very similar to previous national tests. I was surprised at our placement.

- Road Scholar: This test was also well written. My partner thought that the student created map was very time consuming. The profiling was really easy. I liked how there was no story to follow.

- Experimental Design: It was a normal test... I really wished I could've brought the fan to awards...
2019 Interests: Anatomy, Disease Detectives, Fossils, Experimental Design, Geologic Mapping, Designer Genes
Anatomy/Disease/Experimental/Fossils/Circuit Lab:
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Regionals: 1/1/x/x/1
State: 1/1/2/1/x

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