Standardized Testing dates

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Standardized Testing dates

Postby Gautam » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:43 am

I thought it might be a good idea to look at Standardized testing dates so that institutions hosting high-school tournaments may have an easier time determining when to host HS tournaments and when to host college tournaments.

SAT (http://professionals.collegeboard.com/t ... test-dates)
October 1 and 2, 2011
November 5 and 6, 2011
December 3 and 4, 2011
January 28 and 29, 2012
May 5 and 6, 2012
June 2 and 3, 2012

ACT(http://www.actstudent.org/regist/dates.html)
September 10, 2011
October 22, 2011
December 10, 2011
February 11, 2012*
April 14, 2012
June 9, 2012

My experience is that host institutions prefer not to host HS tournaments on SAT dates, so it might be a good idea to try to schedule some of the collegiate circuit tournaments on these dates. I know high school students like to play collegiate tournaments too, so having some tournaments on non-testing dates would also be a good idea. It is only appropriate that we find a balance between dates, I guess.
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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue May 03, 2011 2:53 am

In my experience test dates matter very little for a tournament's ability to draw teams.
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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby Howard » Tue May 03, 2011 12:33 pm

I have to disagree with you on this one, Charlie. In my experience, it seems to me that testing dates are the number 3 reason tournaments have difficulty drawing teams. This is just from my general observations, so take it for what it's worth.

In order, the top three reasons why tournaments have difficulty drawing teams:

1. On a major holiday weekend-- families on travel.
2. Other competing tournament nearby.
3. SAT testing date.

My observations are only from the Baltimore-DC area, but I suspect that as we move westward, ACT testing has more of an impact and SAT testing less. I also have some suspicions that standardized testing may now have more of an impact now that more students are taking both the ACT and SAT, but have yet to make any observations leading to this.
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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby Broad-tailed Grassbird » Tue May 03, 2011 1:38 pm

It's more of a buyer beware type thing. Michigan is a mostly ACT state, but everyone takes ACT once for standardized testing, so I don't even consider testing dates, because there are things of higher priority. Does it occasionally knock out a team or a few players? Probably, but I'm not going to host a tournament on home football Saturday.

I find that the alternate competitions (band festivals, Science Olympiad regionals, etc.) can take more teams out.

Then again, if everyone wasn't already taking the ACT on a non-Saturday, I'd probably pay a ton of attention to ACT dates.
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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby Auroni » Tue May 03, 2011 2:48 pm

People only take the SAT and ACT at most 3 times, at fewest 1 time, in their high school career. There are a large number of testing dates throughout the year. I can't see more than 5 people in the entire field of the tournament all taking the SAT on any one of those testing days.
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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby alexdz » Tue May 03, 2011 2:56 pm

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:People only take the SAT and ACT at most 3 times, at fewest 1 time, in their high school career.


Normal people do. I took the ACT seven times. :/
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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby cvdwightw » Tue May 03, 2011 6:55 pm

Your first priority as a tournament director is to find a date on which you will have enough staff to run the tournament and enough space available to accommodate the teams (in terms of rooms, parking, etc.). Your second priority as a tournament director is to figure out which of those dates that work for you is most likely to attract the most teams. If you're not taking standardized testing into account in that second step (in my experience, claiming the PSAT date results in a much larger decrease in field size than claiming any given SAT/ACT date), you're not doing your job as tournament director. If you're taking that into account but deciding that the number of teams that won't be coming due to testing is roughly equivalent to or less than the number of teams that won't be coming due to other conflicts on another date, you are doing your job as a tournament director. It's that simple, and I'm trying to figure out whether people really don't understand this concept or are conversing for the benefit of unknown people that don't understand it.

[I think there was a written or unwritten board rule about not posting, "You know this is a [insert standardized test here] date, right?" in tournament announcement threads. Does this still exist?]
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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby Cody » Tue May 03, 2011 7:08 pm

Well, there is no harm done to a college's field by hosting tournaments on SAT dates (in terms of college teams drawn), so why not schedule some to be on SAT dates and leave most non-SAT dates for high school tournaments? I'm not saying "host every college tournament on a testing date" because it clearly doesn't have a huge upside, but it also doesn't have any downside, so it can only help to keep some of those dates in mind when creating the calendar.
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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby Broad-tailed Grassbird » Tue May 03, 2011 7:51 pm

SirT wrote:Well, there is no harm done to a college's field by hosting tournaments on SAT dates (in terms of college teams drawn), so why not schedule some to be on SAT dates and leave most non-SAT dates for high school tournaments? I'm not saying "host every college tournament on a testing date" because it clearly doesn't have a huge upside, but it also doesn't have any downside, so it can only help to keep some of those dates in mind when creating the calendar.


I guess if someone takes that into account that's cool, but no one is losing sleep over it. Also, high school tournaments do occur on the same day as college tournaments. A super active college team may be at most tournaments, but an average team will not. You're more likely to see me at a HS tournament than the Minnesota Open if they're on the same day.

Also, the region divide on SAT vs. ACT complicates things for a national college tournament.

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Re: Standardized Testing dates

Postby Howard » Wed May 04, 2011 9:21 pm

cvdwightw wrote:If you're taking that into account but deciding that the number of teams that won't be coming due to testing is roughly equivalent to or less than the number of teams that won't be coming due to other conflicts on another date, you are doing your job as a tournament director. It's that simple, and I'm trying to figure out whether people really don't understand this concept or are conversing for the benefit of unknown people that don't understand it.


This is an excellent point, Dwight. Sometimes, if we're set on running a tournament, we must choose between some less than optimal dates. In my region, the last time I checked, there were about three Saturdays in a school year that I thought had no conflicts in which I was interested.

cvdwightw wrote:[I think there was a written or unwritten board rule about not posting, "You know this is a [insert standardized test here] date, right?" in tournament announcement threads. Does this still exist?]


Someone on board staff can probably answer this better, but for a significant period of time there was a wave of "we cannot attend tournament x because of conflict y." Most anouncement threads accumulated some sort of reasons why the selected date was "bad." It did get quite annoying, and in my opinion served the interests of individuals rather than the quizbowl community as a whole.
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