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> Demidec vs. Acalon, Which one is better?
Chuck's Back Up
post Feb 15 2012, 08:04 PM
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Demidec or Acalon products....which one is better I only ever have seen the promo materials for Acalon and they seem like a superior product but it could be for certain tests, subjectives, or whatever. Thoughts?


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Autumn Comet
post Feb 15 2012, 08:50 PM
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Well, the DDT forum will probably be biased in one direction, and I actually wrote the econ PG this year, so I'm probably not a fair judge. That said...

Acalon's tests are on the average superior or at least closer to USAD's in format and questions asked and there are less errors in the answer keys. Demidec covers more of the material more in-depth. For subjectives, I preferred Demidec's materials when I was competing last year.


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BearMan
post Feb 15 2012, 09:14 PM
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QUOTE (Chuck's Back Up @ Feb 15 2012, 01:04 PM) *
Demidec or Acalon products....which one is better I only ever have seen the promo materials for Acalon and they seem like a superior product but it could be for certain tests, subjectives, or whatever. Thoughts?


Never used Acalon, but I never liked DemiDec that much. Far too many errors, it was frustrating never being able to trust anything DemiDec quizzes or workbooks or power guides said. At least a few years ago the beta-testing was really bad (I was a beta-tester so I can say that biggrin.gif), but it might have improved by now, who knows smile.gif


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overly_critical_...
post Feb 15 2012, 09:16 PM
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When I was in acadec, we used both.


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Stealer of Souls
post Feb 15 2012, 09:24 PM
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Acalon's scaleback this year forced me to use Demidec. For quality and consistency there is no comparison. Acalon is better. It's more demanding, and more consistent in predicting USAD applicability. Demidec has advantages though: it provides explanations to answers. There's tons of it (no way to use all of it). It comes out of the gate very early. If there could be an upgrade in quality (which would probably require less product) while maintaining its strengths it would be a great tool. Some of the tests seem to be poorly worded, degree of difficulty needs to be consistent (some tests types are diffiuclt, but for a different subject not so much). Price is excellent. For me personally, I would like to see better quality at a slightly higher cost while maintaining the demidec strengths.
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AK_WDB
post Feb 15 2012, 09:51 PM
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I found DemiDec Power Guides very helpful, tests mostly so, although there are occasional issues with accuracy as people have said. As a former writer of both, I'd say writing PGs is really fun and writing tests is really hard. I rarely used DemiDec Resource Guides as they include a lot of extraneous information, and Cram Kits are for emergency situations only - they omit a lot. I haven't used Acalon aside from a few old things on economics and art fundamentals that my coaches had.
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The Evil Dr. Cal...
post Feb 15 2012, 10:33 PM
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I am afraid that Acalon Dan is seriously ill. I believe that he is battling cancer. The Acalon materials were far scaled back this year, and I am worried that they may not exist in the future. sad.gif Competition is good - I think that Acalon and DemiDec keep themselves better by competing.


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Herohito
post Feb 15 2012, 11:31 PM
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DD has a fair number of errors, inadequacies, and just plain inane questions in their tests and workbooks(VERY noticeable sometimes), but the cram kits and power guides are well-made. More USAD-style questions and solution manuals for math, science, and econ would be nice.
Acalon has better production values AFAIK, but it also costs a lot more and is much less visible. My school doesn't buy them. If they're scaling back though, that doesn't really help their quality.

Personally, I find that I work best with only USAD and that which I make myself(long, power guide style outlines). Mileage may vary for others though.
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Stealer of Souls
post Feb 15 2012, 11:31 PM
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QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Feb 15 2012, 02:33 PM) *
I am afraid that Acalon Dan is seriously ill. I believe that he is battling cancer. The Acalon materials were far scaled back this year, and I am worried that they may not exist in the future. sad.gif Competition is good - I think that Acalon and DemiDec keep themselves better by competing.



Moving forward then, the goal should be to work on improving the one product we are sure is going to be here: Demidec. The purpose of Demidec and Acalon is to provide useful tools to complement what we get from USAD. The greatest benefit to having used Acalon has been the tests! You can't go through months of study and not have plentiful tests to use to measure progress. We all seem to agree that Demidec needs to work on quality control. I hope Demidec Dan takes note of this and works to improve this product. I, personally, could care less about resources, cram kits, etc. It's USAD's game and their words are all my team needs to know. Are there benefits to other study materials? Sure, but for me my number one, two, and three priorities is having good quality challenging tests to continuously monitor progress. Should Acalon cease operations Demidec will be all that's left and it's time for an upgrade. It operates to serve teams so if we all voice our needs then maybe we can get a stronger product. As I said earlier, Demidec already has some strengths over Acalon, but more can be done.
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swaswa
post Feb 16 2012, 05:03 AM
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QUOTE (The Evil Dr. Calculus @ Feb 15 2012, 03:33 PM) *
I am afraid that Acalon Dan is seriously ill. I believe that he is battling cancer. The Acalon materials were far scaled back this year, and I am worried that they may not exist in the future. sad.gif Competition is good - I think that Acalon and DemiDec keep themselves better by competing.


I'm sorry to hear that sad.gif

I think my team has always had some pretty big problems with Demidec, but I'm actually becoming fond of their workbooks. It's extremely frustrating when Demidec has errors, because learning from them becomes very difficult when test answers have no credibility. However, I've found that looking up answers in the guide after taking tests not only helps me check for errors, but solidifies information in my head. I've only taken Acalon tests once or twice, and I found that they were generally well-written tests, but almost too specific.

The majority of my studying comes from reading the USAD guides, and I think Demidec resources are very useful for testing. If their credibility is questionable, have the decathletes look up the answers in the guides. With the PDFs, it doesn't take that long, and it's generally a useful activity, especially at the beginning of the year.


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Herohito
post Feb 16 2012, 05:08 AM
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QUOTE (swaswa @ Feb 15 2012, 10:03 PM) *
I think my team has always had some pretty big problems with Demidec

Don't forget to convert to grams!
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BearMan
post Feb 16 2012, 06:40 AM
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QUOTE (Herohito @ Feb 15 2012, 10:08 PM) *
QUOTE (swaswa @ Feb 15 2012, 10:03 PM) *
I think my team has always had some pretty big problems with Demidec

Don't forget to convert to grams!


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Stanley Tree
post Feb 16 2012, 02:31 PM
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That's really sad to hear about Acalon Dan, he is quite the character; meeting him at nationals in 2008 was extremely interesting, to say the least.

Pretty much everything said here is correct: Acalon has superior tests, Demidec has more quantity, and I think a lot of programs base their schedule around the Demidec schedule. Their are errors in demidec of course, but that comes with the fact that there is just SO many tests. Depending on the subject, there will be no more than 1 or 2 errors per ten or so tests, which is fairly impressive considering how many tests their are. The problem for demidec is using the kids to write the tests and the resources; it seems a lot of the tests just have a bunch of filler info because the writer got tired/lazy. Granted, USAD could ask about anything, but some of the stuff they ask is kinda ridiculous. I think they need a more thorough, formal course on question writing- look at USAD practice tests and anything we can get our hands on from them, make sure they understand the question format (typically longer sentences), and then have them write.

Also, let's get rid of the DD resources- they distract from the actual information, especially on the minutia you need to know such as adjectives, and nobody really uses them. I think getting rid of the DD resources and focusing more on tests would be beneficial to the quality of the tests. Power guides could also go, although I think more people find them beneficial than the resources.

My most annoying issue was in the econ test with "less than, greater than, shift up/down/left/right", it really confuses the kids on some of them because it's so ambiguous.


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Juan
post Feb 16 2012, 04:23 PM
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QUOTE (Stanley Tree @ Feb 16 2012, 08:31 AM) *
Power guides could also go


Noooooooooooo!
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AK_WDB
post Feb 16 2012, 05:44 PM
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Yeah, I think Power Guides are one of the most useful things DemiDec does. Definitely wouldn't be in favor of getting rid of those.
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BearMan
post Feb 16 2012, 06:12 PM
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QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Feb 16 2012, 10:44 AM) *
Yeah, I think Power Guides are one of the most useful things DemiDec does. Definitely wouldn't be in favor of getting rid of those.


Power guides were the only thing about Demidec I liked! Don't leave us!!!


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Widget!
post Feb 16 2012, 06:44 PM
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I liked Power Guides way more than I liked the Acalon focused guides.


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QUOTE (overly_critical_man @ Sep 19 2011, 11:04 AM) *
QUOTE (Research Monkey @ Sep 19 2011, 08:59 AM) *
Also, why are there serious posts in here when we could be talking about ass and bacon?


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DoctorPain99
post Feb 16 2012, 07:42 PM
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QUOTE (BearMan @ Feb 16 2012, 06:12 PM) *
QUOTE (AK_WDB @ Feb 16 2012, 10:44 AM) *
Yeah, I think Power Guides are one of the most useful things DemiDec does. Definitely wouldn't be in favor of getting rid of those.


Power guides were the only thing about Demidec I liked! Don't leave us!!!


Power Guides are the entire resource guide in user-friendly format, and extra tables and key terms. I want to study more off of these and less of other non-USAD materials next year, as I feel I got the most off of studying the power guides. Btw, I don't know if Acalon is better or not because my coach doesn't buy it, but I like DemiDec. The DemiDec tests and resource guides do suck, but I like the Power Guides a lot and the cram kits are good to scan immediately before the tests.


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Stanley Tree
post Feb 16 2012, 08:09 PM
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Fine, but the resource guides are pointless.


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Herohito
post Feb 16 2012, 09:58 PM
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The Math Workbook needs actual solutions, not just answers.
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