NAQT Distribution

Dormant threads from the high school sections are preserved here.

What do you think of NAQT's (high school) distribution?

Much too trashy
16
27%
Could be more academic, but just make sure 'academic' questions are actually academic.
29
49%
It's a perfectly wholesome combination of academics and trash; don't change a thing.
11
19%
It doesn't have enough pop culture; academic answers are often inaccessible.
1
2%
I wish they'd just give it up and make entire trash tourneys for high school play.
2
3%
 
Total votes : 59

NAQT Distribution

Postby welhai » Mon Feb 23, 2004 11:33 am

Someone commented on the Cavalier Open saying (essentially) that they would have rather seen the many close games in the top bracket decided by 20 straight academic questions rather than NAQTs comparatively trashy set. I'll avoid commenting on specific questions, but suffice it to say that when games are within 1 tossup, its hard not to look at some of the more ridiculous pop culture questions with a critical eye.

What do you think?

As a subquestion, what do you think of NAQT's penchant for the NA-cutie tossup? By this I'm referring to questions that purport to be academic in nature but use commonplace words or objects (it's sort of hard to phrase this without specific examples) as answers. Should these be eliminated? Moved to a trashier part of the distribution?

On the other side of the issue, would changing the NAQT distribution to be more academic kill part of the fun of the format?
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Postby ballsofsteele » Mon Feb 23, 2004 7:02 pm

I personally kind of like trash thrown in there a little, just because it makes things more interesting. However the ratio of trash questions to more academic questions this weekend at UVA was a little high. There should be some trash in a question set so that it isn't entirely boring, but there shouldn't be so much that a clearly better team loses because the underdog nails all the trash. Anyway, a trash tossup will almost invariably give itself away by the end, so there isn't much of an issue with trash tossups being unanswerable. Trash bonuses, on the other hand, seem to require a way too specific knowledge base to be answerable, and should be made easier or used much less.
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Postby ManiacalClown » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:40 am

I'm more impressed by a player who can get the academic AND pop culture questions, as long as it's legit pop culture and not "name this Russian game show" or something. It shows they have depth not only with their factual knowledge but their knowledge of the society they live in.

Man, that sounded sappy.
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Postby DarthPace » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:51 am

Agreed...It makes it a little more rewarding for the QB player that can power the Tolstoy question from Yasnaya Poliana, then follow it up by powering a question on basketball's Stoudamire family, rather than sitting at home studying their Benet's reader each and every waking hour, and being completely ignorant of the world around them...
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Postby Golden Tiger 86 » Tue Feb 24, 2004 11:55 am

I think DJ and Chris have my attitude down perfectly. I mean, I love the trash in a match, as long as there are no more than 2 trash questions a game. I can understand how a good team would feel if a lesser team that knew stupid trash beat them because of a "Dungeons and Dragons" tossup.
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Postby First Chairman » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:09 pm

ManiacalClown wrote:I'm more impressed by a player who can get the academic AND pop culture questions, as long as it's legit pop culture and not "name this Russian game show" or something. It shows they have depth not only with their factual knowledge but their knowledge of the society they live in.

Man, that sounded sappy.


And what's wrong with Russian game shows? :wink:
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Re: NAQT Distribution

Postby First Chairman » Tue Feb 24, 2004 12:14 pm

welhai wrote:As a subquestion, what do you think of NAQT's penchant for the NA-cutie tossup? By this I'm referring to questions that purport to be academic in nature but use commonplace words or objects (it's sort of hard to phrase this without specific examples) as answers. Should these be eliminated? Moved to a trashier part of the distribution?

On the other side of the issue, would changing the NAQT distribution to be more academic kill part of the fun of the format?


Many of us have discussed the nature of such questions. I think the general consensus among a small sample is that some of these questions could be "general knowledge and trivia (GKT)" and not ""popular culture". However, we also try to reduce the contribution of GKT down. That doesn't stop me from trying to advocate why one of my questions belongs in an academic category rather than the miscellaneous GKT bin.

As for changing NAQT's distribution... give R a buyout offer he can't refuse. 8)
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Postby ManiacalClown » Tue Feb 24, 2004 3:00 pm

E.T. Chuck wrote:
ManiacalClown wrote:I'm more impressed by a player who can get the academic AND pop culture questions, as long as it's legit pop culture and not "name this Russian game show" or something. It shows they have depth not only with their factual knowledge but their knowledge of the society they live in.

Man, that sounded sappy.


And what's wrong with Russian game shows? :wink:


Well, I think my biggest gripe would have to be the fact that I don't speak Russian, thus, my viewing experience is slightly worsened.
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Postby MCDoug » Sun Feb 29, 2004 3:21 pm

I just went thru the numbers for the questions at Vanguard (NAQT). And these are some interesting things I noticed.

1. There were about 1.5 "fluff" (arts and classical music) questions per round.
2. There were about 2.5 "trash" (pop culture, current events, bands, elvis songs, current athletes, current movies, etc.) questions per round.
3. Almost 1/3 of the social studies questions were on current events. (Within the last two years)
4. Some rounds had no math--tossups or bonuses--and others had as much as 3 tossups and 2 bonuses of math.

I'm not knocking NAQT, but I do appreciate a more balanced distribution of questions, covering more academic subject areas--Social Studies, Literature, Science, Fluff, and Math.(Brookwood and Dorman did a wonderful job balancing their rounds) I agree with many of the other posters that 1 or maybe even 2 (in the prelim rounds) 'trash' questions are a nice way of changing things up and test the amount of time quizbowlers also spend in the real world. (watching espn, mtv, and entertainment tonight)
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Postby NotBhan » Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:57 pm

In reply to Doug ... arts and classical music is fluff?? NAQT rounds have too much fluff, but arts and classical music is (generally speaking) not what should be defined as fluff. I agree with the emphasis on current events being excessive, and I also noticed the unequal inclusion of computational questions. (To NAQT's credit, however, these computational questions were much better written than what I've seen in past IS sets.)

Also, are you including the full 24 questions for each pack or just the initial 20 (Vanguard's tournament used 20 questions, untimed, from IS-42)? Ordinarily they are (in theory) 24-question rounds, so that should be considered in computing the distribution.

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P.S. Obviously, if you send a reply, don't mention any specific questions, since this set will be used in other tournaments.
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Postby MCDoug » Sun Feb 29, 2004 7:11 pm

Fluff is just the name our former coach (Mr. Topping) gave to the subject area and it's just kinda stuck. At MC, we consider the four subject areas to be Social Studies, Science, Literature, and Fluff (the arts).

As for math, Vanguard a few years ago used to write their own questions and they would put math questions as tossup 1 and tossup 11 each round. I particularly liked that (Degree in Math). I'm sure some people out there didnt though.

As for NAQT math, what's the deal with explaining how to do all the math problems as part of the question? I guess it allows for a little more time in doing the problem. I just found that to be a little weird.

And finally, I'm only considering the 20 questions we got to play each round. I would have rather played the 24 questions in the packet, but that's all we got, so that's all I could base any ideas on.
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Postby DarthPace » Sun Feb 29, 2004 8:19 pm

I thought the balance of IS-42 was pretty good...It was definitely the best IS packet I've played on this year, and I've played them all so far except for 43, I think... I do wish there were a little more literature and classical music though, but that's just because that's my thing...
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Postby STPickrell » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:04 am

Golden Tiger 86 wrote:I think DJ and Chris have my attitude down perfectly. I mean, I love the trash in a match, as long as there are no more than 2 trash questions a game. I can understand how a good team would feel if a lesser team that knew stupid trash beat them because of a "Dungeons and Dragons" tossup.


If the lesser team were so much lesser, how come they got close enough to win on the D&D tossup? :-)

Here is the VHSL distribution I use in my matches. 55 questions per match (15 tossups, 20 directeds, 15 tossups, 5 spares.)

Math 7: Algebra 3.5, Geometry 2, Arithmetic 1.5. For regions and states we have 1.5 Geometry and 0.5 Calculus.

Science 12: Biology 4, Chemistry 2.5, Earth science 2, Physics 1.5, Computer science 1, Men of science 1

Social studies: U.S. History 4, World History 4, Geography 2, Other (*) 2

English: U.S Literature 4, World Literature 4, Vocabulary 2, Grammar 1, Foreign language 1

Other: (Serious) Current events 3, Pop culture/sports 3, Visual fine arts 1.5, Audio fine arts 1.5, Religion 1.5, Mythology 1, Philosophy 0.5

(*) Other will include law, economics, psychology, sociology and business/personal finance.

All questions are randomly distributed into matches by my Sparc 5 named corgi using horribly inefficient Perl scripts that I wrote.

He's a very good boy having run for me since Oct. 2000 with nary a crash. I'll have to talk to him about the second match @ states yesterday though.
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Postby jewtemplar » Mon Mar 01, 2004 7:44 pm

Biology 4, Chemistry 2.5, Earth science 2, Physics 1.5

The science questions for vhsl (at least states) were quite good, but I am vexed as to why physics got such short shrift. I know most tournament distributions with which I am familiar have about one tossup for each of the big three (physics bio and chem) and a couple more in "other," such as earth science, computer science, etc. Just curious as to why that particular distribution is the way it is.
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Postby STPickrell » Mon Mar 01, 2004 8:33 pm

jewtemplar wrote:Biology 4, Chemistry 2.5, Earth science 2, Physics 1.5

The science questions for vhsl (at least states) were quite good, but I am vexed as to why physics got such short shrift. I know most tournament distributions with which I am familiar have about one tossup for each of the big three (physics bio and chem) and a couple more in "other," such as earth science, computer science, etc. Just curious as to why that particular distribution is the way it is.


The "rule of eleven" (11 math, 11 science, 11 social studies, 11 english, 11 other) was modified to be 7 math, 12 science, 12 social studies, 12 english and 12 other after a survey of the coaches produced a one-vote margin of victory for the 7 math distribution. :-) This was pretty much set in stone by the VHSL that the questions need to be from all five areas, including some current events and pop culture.

As for distribution within each area, this was the product of what I thought sounded like a good idea in fall 2000. There's been some changes but by and large it's remained the same. I think we might have a coaches' survey this year to see if there is an outcry for "more physics" or "less pop culture", etc.
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Postby NoahMinkCHS » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:41 pm

Maybe the reason for not as much physics is that not all high schoolers need to take physics. At least in Ga., only "a physical science" (other than Chem, which is its own area) is required--usually either Physical Science (mostly Earth Science, I think, with some elementary physics) or Physics. Like calculus (though maybe not quite to that extent), I would imagine schools with weak physics programs due to lack of interest or qualified teachers might lobby to keep out a large amount of upper-level physics material.
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Postby barbary_pirate » Mon Mar 01, 2004 10:54 pm

we lost to robert e lee in a close match. there was an x box question that they got. but meh, there are lots of things we could've done better.

i dislike trash personally because i'm not good at it
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Postby what? » Mon Mar 01, 2004 11:47 pm

as long as the trash is kept to 1-2 questions in an NAQT set, I can deal with it, and sometimes, it is nice as a change of pace, or something to laught about

however, what I dislike about the question distribution in NAQT sets is the emphasis on Social Studies. I am of the opinion that Social Studies, Literature, and Science (the big 3) should be treated equally. However, in NAQT, science and lit seem to get the shaft (it is not uncommon to have more trash than lit/science), while Social Studies usually seems to clock at least 5 questions per game, often more.

It's just frustrating because I may study just as much as the social studies guy on my left, but he will usually affect the outcome of an NAQT match more simply because more of the stuff he studies comes up than does the stuff i study, based soley on question distribution.

Does anyone else feel Social Studies (I often group current events in w/ Social Studies, as I feel it is more SS than trash, but even w/o current events, SS gets more questions than lit/science) is too heavily emphasized in NAQT sets?
what?
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Postby cvdwightw » Tue Mar 02, 2004 3:46 am

I think the thing here is that literature contains exactly that, science contains exactly that, but social science contains history, geography, and actual social science (psychology, sociology, etc.). Many tournaments lump all the literature together and all the science together, but leave separate distributions for history, geography, and psych et al so that the numbers end up being 4/4 or 5/5 lit, 4/4 or 5/5 science, and 7/7 or 8/8 social science in a packet of 24 tossups and 24 bonuses. This occurs at just about every tournament, NAQT or not, consciously or unconsciously. If you take into account that many questions we consider "general knowledge" are considered by NAQT to be literature or science, it's quite possible that it would appear that some sets have more trash than lit or science.

So in conclusion, social science is overvalued in NAQT sets; however, it's just as overvalued in almost every other tournament set I can think of.
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