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> 2019 Round 4 Test Length Changes
TinDefacto
post Sep 26 2018, 07:12 PM
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Hi all,

USAD just announced that they will be increasing the number of questions on some tests this season (at Nationals only).

QUOTE (USAD.org)
USAD will be implementing the following changes that will affect only the Round 4 National tests that are being prepared for the 2019 Nationals in Minnesota.
All testing times for the objective tests will remain 30 minutes. The objective tests will remain evenly weighted at 1000 points each.
  • Mathematics Test: Will increase from 35 questions to 45 questions total
  • Art, Science, and Economics: Will increase from 50 questions to 55 questions total
  • Social Science, Music, and Literature: NO Changes. 50 questions total
  • Super Quiz™ Relay: Will increase from 39 questions to 54 questions total (18 questions each for Honor, Scholastic, and Varsity)


See the official post here.

The official email from USAD mentioned that this is primarily in response to the high test scores in recent years.

Discuss.
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Scholastic Under...
post Sep 27 2018, 12:34 AM
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As far as math goes, this is extremely frustrating to me. Rather than fixing the actual issue by just making the tests’ questions more difficult, they’re instead attempting to arbitrarily increase difficulty by making the test significantly longer. Not only does this not really solve the issue of tests being too easy (and thus too many ties at the top end), but it’s actually going to worsen the problem in my opinion. Due to the test being even longer, they’re going to be forced to continue to be very light on the difficulty of these tests, as a truly difficult math test is simply too long to be able to score well on with 45 questions (outside of the best/fastest math kids, and even then). So test difficulty won’t change by any noticeable amount to the types who’d be medalling anyways, so we’re going to be dealing with the same number of ties, but now with slightly higher scores since each missed question is less of a penalty now. As Sebastian himself put it, “Look at 2011 and tell me there aren’t enough questions”. Since 2016, and maybe even earlier, math is just getting easier and easier, and they’re approaching “fixing” it in an absolutely dreadful way.
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nixonotis
post Sep 27 2018, 04:12 PM
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I think it's telling that when they were approached by state directors with a call of "please increase the difficulty of the tests," they chose to ignore that and are attempting to artificially deflate scores by increasing the number of questions.
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ahundredjarsofsk...
post Sep 30 2018, 12:36 PM
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If the practice tests are any reflection of actual testing material, it would not be impossible to write more complex tests instead of increasing the number of test questions. Not sure speed-of-response (which presumably increasing the # of questions makes more important) is a good proxy for understanding.
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Lab
post Oct 1 2018, 07:31 PM
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I think this is a ridiculous way to make tests "more difficult". Art, Econ, and Science especially are tests those top scorers usually finish with 10+ minutes left anyway. Adding 5 questions will probably do nothing. It will just make looking at scores really confusing when we see a tie for Science gold with a score of 981.8, which is just strange.


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Lucas Beville
Rockwall, TX
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Scholastic Under...
post Oct 1 2018, 07:59 PM
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QUOTE (Lab @ Oct 1 2018, 07:31 PM) *
I think this is a ridiculous way to make tests "more difficult". Art, Econ, and Science especially are tests those top scorers usually finish with 10+ minutes left anyway. Adding 5 questions will probably do nothing. It will just make looking at scores really confusing when we see a tie for Science gold with a score of 981.8, which is just strange.

“Math scores are a problem because decimals. Let’s now make an extra 3 subjects have decimals, but this time without a convenient pattern.”
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