Ideal HS Packet Distribution

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wd4gdz
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Ideal HS Packet Distribution

Post by wd4gdz »

Post what you think the ideal HS packet distribution is. Here's what I have used for the FSU tournament, but I think I could make some changes.

Lit 4
History 4
Science 4
Fine Arts 2
Religion & Myth 2
Social Science and Philosophy 1
Geography 1
Pop Culture 1
Current Events .5
General Knowledge .5
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Post by BuzzerZen »

Ideal? 10/10 art since 1960, 5/5 computer science, 5/5 AP Spanish Lit. But the distribution we used for the 2007 JIAT was:

6 science: biology, chemistry, physics, math calc, math theory or computer science, earth science or astronomy

4 literature: American, British, world, +1 any

4 history: American European, world, +1 any

6 other: social science, visual art, geography, music, trash, and RMP
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Post by quizbowllee »

BuzzerZen wrote:Ideal? 10/10 art since 1960, 5/5 computer science, 5/5 AP Spanish Lit. But the distribution we used for the 2007 JIAT was:

6 science: biology, chemistry, physics, math calc, math theory or computer science, earth science or astronomy

4 literature: American, British, world, +1 any

4 history: American European, world, +1 any

6 other: social science, visual art, geography, music, trash, and RMP
Why more science than history and lit?

Ideal to me would be:

5 - Social Science (History, Geography, Economics, C. Events)
5 - Fine Arts (Music, painting, etc.)
5 - Lit. (World, American, mythology, philosophy)
5 - Science (all life and physical sciences)

This very simplistic breakdown is what I try to go by more or less when we do house-written tournaments. Those are very broad categories, but I think the distribution is right. I wish NAQT would bump up the fine arts A LOT.
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Post by Matthew D »

Physical science would cover both chemistry and physics..so I could live with that one.. but I would say include earth science in that mix..
I also like equal divisions between the groups...
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Post by millionwaves »

Assuming we're talking 20/20:

4 Literature (1 American, 1 British, 1 European, and 1 World)
4 History (2 American, 2 other, with significant variation between time period)
4 Science (1 Biology, 1 Chemistry, 1 Physics, and 1 Math/CS/Astro/Earth)
3 Fine Arts (Including at least 1/1 Painting and 1/1 Music)
2 RMP (Including at least one tossup or bonus from each category)
2 Social Science (not including geography)
1 Other (Geography, trash, current events, or another academic question)

I'd like to bump the total number of questions to 22, adding one to RMP and one to either other or adding 1 math computation question.
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Post by vcuEvan »

quizbowllee wrote: Ideal to me would be:
5 - Social Science (History, Geography, Economics, C. Events)
5 - Fine Arts (Music, painting, etc.)
5 - Lit. (World, American, mythology, philosophy)
5 - Science (all life and physical sciences)
Why do myth and philosophy fall under lit?
Where does conceptual math go?

I think having 1/4 questions being art is waaay to many. In essence you're advocationg 5 science, 3 lit, 3 history and 5 art?
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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

3 FA (1 music, 1 art, 1 jazz/architecture/etc.)
5 Lit (Myth/Amer/Brit/World/1 extra)
5 Sci (Bio/Chem/Physics/Math/Comp Sci or Earth or Astronomy)
5 SS (US His/World His/Geo/Current Events/Econ or Philosophy or Soc or Psych or Etc.)
2 Other (General Knowledge, Pop Culture/Sports)

Rationale
FA is more important than 10% of a packet, but I can't place it at 4/4 when there's only two subcategories within it. The 3rd TU/B alternates between the underrepresented musical and visual arts like jazz and architecture.
Myth as Lit - Mythology seems to be covered in high schools as literature, and I can't justify 5 questions on literature because I consider it a "category" on par with subcategories like biology or music history in terms of a player's mastery of the category. You sometimes see good science players who aren't good at, say, bio - you almost never see good lit players who aren't good at, say, French lit. If you do, there's got to be weird reasoning for it. Religion counts as mythology.
Philosophy as SS - remembering that this is my ideal distribution, consider that no high school in my area except for Auburn, home of the gifted program for the city of Rockford, carries a philosophy class. (I'm not even sure Auburn does.) In my opinion, pyramidal questions don't bode well for philosophy if you never see it in high school, especially in an area where teams can get away with minimal study and still do well. There's just no demand for philosophy, but you can't ignore it. Placing it in a chimera subcategory seems a good fit for this distribution.
At the national level, ACF's style of myth and philosophy distribution is a more appropriate fit.
Math as a 1/1 per packet - I would say 50% of tossups and 25% of bonuses in a tournament should be computational, the rest noncomputational. The argument for pyramidality is the death knell for computational math, but at high school there are enough suitable topics for noncomputational questions.
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Post by DumbJaques »

DACQ uses, with some slight modulation:

4/4 History (1/1 American, 1/1 Western European and post-Rome Mediterranean, 1/1 Eastern European and Ancient, 1/1 non-Western. Additionally, efforts are made to ensure representation from 1800s, 1900s, ancient, medieval, 1500-1800, etc.)
4/4 Literature (1/1 American, 1/1 British, 1/1 Mediterranean and European (includes ancient), 1/1 World. Answer selection is also heavily balanced to offer a variety of questions on authors, various genres of work, characters, and other topics)
4/4 Science (1/1 Chemistry, 1/1 Biology, 1/1 Physics, 1/1 Math Theory, Computer Science, or Other Science like earth science or astronomy).
2/2 Fine Arts (usually 1/1 Visual Arts or Architecture, 1/1 Music)
2/2 Religion, Mythology, Philosophy
1/1 Social Science (no more than 1/0 or 0/1 of any particular thing)
1/1 Geography
1/1 Trash
1/1 Current Events and computation math (this seems a bit odd, but it's just a simplified way of saying that there's 0/1 or 1/0 of each of those things per packet).

Obviously, since DACQ writes high school questions, this is a high school distribution. For college, the current events and computation would be gone, and probably allocated between social science, RMP, and Fine Arts.

EDIT:

Oops, sorry, my rationale:

History, Literature, and Science are HUGE topics that deserve 20% of a distribution each. They do not deserve to have their space cut into by mythology, geography, current events, social science, or anything else (and those things don't deserve to have their space cut into by H/L/S). Also, in packets LIKE NAQT where that subdistribution isn't balanced (that is, it is nowhere noted how much of 18.75% lit myth has to take up, at least to my knowldege), you can end up with hilarious over/underrepresentation. Within those big topics, it's important to focus on the major subdivisions (I don't know why anyone calls for 2/2 American, why does it get double all European combined). I find, historically, that Ancient to modern Euroish history is most easily broken down into Western Europe and post-Rome Mediterranean and Eastern Europe/Ancient. For lit my rationale is similar, and I think it's a pretty even breakdown of representation. I cannot understand how 5/5 fine arts could possibly ever be done in a 20/20 set, and really myself have a very difficult time repeatedly filling the 1/1 "other art" category (I think it's pointless and leads to more questions on ballet than the renaissance in high school). I think the major issue people have with my distribution is the lack of computation (although 75% of ACE packets had computational tossups), and that does tend to correlate with which part of the country you play hs quizbowl in. As for the other categories, 2/2 RMP is obviously sub-balanced (the "double count" there is always either philosophy or mythology, and I try to alternate it). Social science doesn't really need more than 1/1 at the high school level (0/0 Clifford Geertz), and trash should not be more than 5% of the distribution if you aren't running a trash/hybrid tournament, plain and simple.

I'd be interested in what people (particular potential customers) think of the distribution. One general approach I favor is not lumping multiple categories into larger distributions (like myth with lit, the entire existence of a "Social Studies" distribution without further specification, etc.). I don't see any advantages to that.
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Post by Tegan »

4 -- SS (2 history, 2 other from geography, current events, econ, socio)
4 -- LIT (at least one US, one Brit .... the rest includes world lit including mythology)
4 -- SCI (good spread)
4 -- MATH (don't even say a word, its MO)
3 -- fine arts (yes Chagal, Schoenberg, ballet ..... boo country/western, rap, the chicken dance (CAN I GET AN AMEN MR. F!), and any other quasi-music or art form that everyone knows doesn't belong)
1 -- whatever you want (grammar, sports, journalism, business, pasta shapes, nations with the largest coal reserves, wikipedia articles, Spice Girls lyrics, Cincinnati Bengals in jail, breeds of dogs exhumed on the property of NFL quarterbacks, things Lindsay Lohan does to hasten her impending death by overdose or drunk driving accident, teams featured on the World Series of Pop Culture, vocabulary, ex-Cubs on World Series winners, things found in Michael Jackson's bedroom) -- but this quesiton must come in the first half of the match .... preferably question #1 so we can all have a laugh and get down to business.

I know ...it ain't popular .....
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Post by DumbJaques »

4 -- SS (2 history, 2 other from geography, current events, econ, socio)
So, do you or do you not think that history should be given one half the representation of literature or science or math? Essentially that's what everyone advocates when they call for a social studies category, and it's actually what you definitively call for.

Also, if I'm reading this right, you have 2/2 for geography, current events, social sciences, religion, and philosophy. What?
4 -- LIT (at least one US, one Brit .... the rest includes world lit including mythology)
Again, why include myth in the lit distribution, both for the fact that mythology isn't literature at all and for the fact that it neglects a sub distribution.
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Post by vcuEvan »

DumbJaques wrote: 4/4 History (1/1 American, 1/1 Western European and post-Rome Mediterranean, 1/1 Eastern European and Ancient, 1/1 non-Western. Additionally, efforts are made to ensure representation from 1800s, 1900s, ancient, medieval, 1500-1800, etc.)
4/4 Literature (1/1 American, 1/1 British, 1/1 Mediterranean and European (includes ancient), 1/1 World. Answer selection is also heavily balanced to offer a variety of questions on authors, various genres of work, characters, and other topics)
4/4 Science (1/1 Chemistry, 1/1 Biology, 1/1 Physics, 1/1 Math Theory, Computer Science, or Other Science like earth science or astronomy).
2/2 Fine Arts (usually 1/1 Visual Arts or Architecture, 1/1 Music)
2/2 Religion, Mythology, Philosophy
1/1 Social Science (no more than 1/0 or 0/1 of any particular thing)
1/1 Geography
1/1 Trash
1/1 Current Events and computation math (this seems a bit odd, but it's just a simplified way of saying that there's 0/1 or 1/0 of each of those things per packet).
My favorite so far.
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Post by Mike Bentley »

Chris: I can see the argument for having a 2/2 American distribution in the high school canon. It seems whenever we get towards the end of writing a tournament, the World History and the World Literature distributions are always the hardest to come up with appropriate answers for. These answers also, to me at least, are usually pretty boring because the number of askable subjects is so limited.

There is simply a much greater pool of askable subjects from the United States than there is from around the world due to the nature of the high school curriculum. I think this is especially evident with World Literature. US and British Literature each are taught a lot in high school English classes, whereas non-English works are significantly less common from a typical high school player to have read. Yes, you have to have some allowance for people reading outside of the classroom,

Anyways, the distribution that we used for our spring tournament last year was:
4/4 History (American, European, Ancient or World, Your Choice)
4/4 Science (Physics, Bio, Chem, other... including theoretical math)
4/4 Literature (American, European, World, Your Choice)
3/2 or 2/3 Fine Arts (Visual, Music, Other)
2/3 or 3/2 Religion, Mythology, Philosophy
1/1 Social Science or Significant Current Events (although more Social Science)
1/1 Geography
1/1 Trash

Personally I'd lean more towards 0/0 geography because I don't like the subject at all, but for whatever reason it seems to be fixed into the Quizbowl distribution and I'm not about to turn that tournament into a crusade against it.

I don't really have a problem with a limited amount of computational math appearing at a high school tournament, but for our purposes it's just too annoying to write well to be included in our high school tournaments.
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Post by STPickrell »

If I were told to come up with a distribution out of hand for a 20/20 match.

Math/Science 5/5
Biology 1/1
Chemistry 1/1
Computational Math 0.75/0.75
Math concepts 0.25/0.25
Physics 0.75/0.75
Earth science 0.75/0.75
Famous scientists 0.50/0.50

Language Arts 5/5
US literature 2/2
World literature 2/2
Vocabulary/interdisciplinary 1/1 (I'd include maybe 1 or 2 questions a tournament about foreign languages)

Social Studies 5/5
US history 1.5/1.5
World history 1.5/1.5
Geography 1/1
Other social studies 1/1

Miscellaneous 5/5
Current events 1/1
RMP 1/1
Visual fine arts 0.75/0.75
Audio fine arts 0.75/0.75
Classic pop culture 0.75/0.75
Current pop culture 0.75/0.75
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Post by David Riley »

For a 20-question set:

4 language arts/literature
4 science
4 social studies
4 math
4 fine and performing arts
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Post by Mike Bentley »

David Riley wrote:For a 20-question set:

4 language arts/literature
4 science
4 social studies
4 math
4 fine and performing arts
Wow, 4 Fine Arts is a lot for subjects that are mainly taught through electives in the high school curriculum.
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Post by quizbowllee »

Steroid McBlooddoper wrote:
David Riley wrote:For a 20-question set:

4 language arts/literature
4 science
4 social studies
4 math
4 fine and performing arts
Wow, 4 Fine Arts is a lot for subjects that are mainly taught through electives in the high school curriculum.
Or taught by you know, like, a good quiz bowl coach....
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Post by Mike Bentley »

quizbowllee wrote:
Steroid McBlooddoper wrote:
David Riley wrote:For a 20-question set:

4 language arts/literature
4 science
4 social studies
4 math
4 fine and performing arts
Wow, 4 Fine Arts is a lot for subjects that are mainly taught through electives in the high school curriculum.
Or taught by you know, like, a good quiz bowl coach....
I'm not saying that you can't learn these things outside of class, but it seems like High School Quizbowl should at least give a little more importance to things that you're much more likely to run into during classes. I took a total of 0 "fine arts" classes in high school, whereas I took 4 years of "language arts", "science", "social studies", and "math". You can argue that a quizbowl player is probably more likely to play an instrument that most students, but even still, that's only maybe 1/3 or 2/5 of the "fine arts" distribution.

Although I guess if you include things like drama in "performing arts", you could get away with this distribution a little bit more.
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Post by Tegan »

DumbJaques wrote:
4 -- SS (2 history, 2 other from geography, current events, econ, socio)
So, do you or do you not think that history should be given one half the representation of literature or science or math? Essentially that's what everyone advocates when they call for a social studies category, and it's actually what you definitively call for.

Also, if I'm reading this right, you have 2/2 for geography, current events, social sciences, religion, and philosophy. What?
IMO, I think SS, in general, is really overemphasized in most formats that I see. I see history and sociology and geography all listed seperately, and some formats give nearly one-half the questions to that one area. Now I realize that not everyone sees it that way, and I'm cool with that. If I walked into a round where there was four history questions and nothing else on current events, sociology, etc, I would be very cool with that, though I think those other subjects certainly deserve something. Maybe I would go 3 history and 1 "other" SS .....
Tegan wrote:4 -- LIT (at least one US, one Brit .... the rest includes world lit including mythology)
Dumbjaques wrote:Again, why include myth in the lit distribution, both for the fact that mythology isn't literature at all and for the fact that it neglects a sub distribution.
IMO, mythology is a subset of literature ..... these are stories, those of which survived were written down, though I know that many started in an oral tradition, and the reason that these stories are so important today is because they have been the foundation for a great many modern pieces of literature. I see a connection to psychology for sure, but I see mythology having a lot more to do with literature than history. I could see this being connected to religion, and hence sociology, but I think today we don't study myth from a religious standpoint as we do from the standpoint that it has had an affect on modern literature.

Also, I don't think that mythology ranks important enough to have its own category. Certainly I wouldn't want a round with three myth questions, and I wouldn't want a whole tournament with no myth questions, but once a round/once every other round seems fair, IMO.

I know my view on this is considered radically different to a great many people ...... especially the folks out east.
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Post by The Time Keeper »

Tegan wrote: Also, I don't think that mythology ranks important enough to have its own category. Certainly I wouldn't want a round with three myth questions, and I wouldn't want a whole tournament with no myth questions, but once a round/once every other round seems fair, IMO.

I know my view on this is considered radically different to a great many people ...... especially the folks out east.
I think this is the reason that mythology is often grouped with religion and philosophy in a separate category. That way you don't have to worry about over representing any one of these and you get to avoid the awkward yet always hilarious "Why is X considered mythology but Y considered religion?" mess.
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Post by DumbJaques »

IMO, I think SS, in general, is really overemphasized in most formats that I see. I see history and sociology and geography all listed seperately, and some formats give nearly one-half the questions to that one area. Now I realize that not everyone sees it that way, and I'm cool with that. If I walked into a round where there was four history questions and nothing else on current events, sociology, etc, I would be very cool with that, though I think those other subjects certainly deserve something. Maybe I would go 3 history and 1 "other" SS .....
I don't see any posts in this thread that advocate "social studies" making up half the distribution. In my distribution, 4/4 history + 1/1 Social Science +1/1 geography + 0/1 or 1/0 current events makes like 6/7, which is isn't even a third of the distribution. Why should science get more space than history? Why should literature? You still didn't really answer those questions.
IMO, mythology is a subset of literature ..... these are stories, those of which survived were written down, though I know that many started in an oral tradition, and the reason that these stories are so important today is because they have been the foundation for a great many modern pieces of literature. I see a connection to psychology for sure, but I see mythology having a lot more to do with literature than history. I could see this being connected to religion, and hence sociology, but I think today we don't study myth from a religious standpoint as we do from the standpoint that it has had an affect on modern literature.
Mythology is probably way closer to social science than it is to literature. But really, it's pointless to try and force it into either of those categories when you can just come up with a separate distribution. I would put forth that the primary reason that mythology is important is not because they inspired many modern pieces of literature, but again, that's beside the point.

You specified that once a round/every other round is your preferred myth distribution. If so, why not group it into an RMP category and give that category a separate distribution. While you're at it, why not specify a separate history distribution. Basically, I still have not been given a reason (note that I mean practical in terms of quizbowl, not questionable ideological) to not iterate separate distributions for various categories.
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Post by Saiem »

I also wish that NAQT would bump up their Fine Arts Distribution.

4/4 Literature
4/4 Science/Conceptual Mathematics (i.e. Physics, Chem, Bio, Math Concept, earth/space science, etc.)
4/4 SS (History, Sociology)
2/2 RMP (as much as I love powering Myth questions, its far too gettable)
3/3 FA
1/1 Computational Math
2/2 Trash, Geography, Sports, General Knowledge, Grammarians, World Series of Poker, Current Events, Anything. Preferable to be in the first 3/4 of the round.

I've always felt like Geography/Current Events are sometimes overly emphasized.
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Post by David Riley »

Flame on:

I will concede that 4 questions in fine arts might be excessive, but 1) they SHOULD be taught in high school curricula, 2) in my distribution, I consider that the basic area are otherwise covered, and 2) Harry Potter isn't taught in our English classes, but questionsbout those books appear in question sets all the time *smirk*

The long and the short of it is, though, I'm not so much pro fine arts as I am con pop culture.
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Post by Stained Diviner »

Here's a question I'm curious about, and I'll leave it to the mods to decide whether or not to split the thread: Should the distribution vary based on the quality of teams?

That is, if somebody from Alaska called you and said they had eight new coaches from different schools trying to round up four students each willing to try quizbowl, and they wanted you to write the questions any way you wanted, what would you do? Would you include a fair amount of fine arts, philosophy, and/or social sciences even though the teams would likely be weak in those areas, or would you include more pop culture/pop literature, geography, and current events than you would for a tournament with elite teams because the newbie teams might have more fun with those categories? (I'm not implying kids from Alaska are dumb--I'm just setting this up as a bunch of students and coaches who are brand spanking new to the game.)
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Post by BuzzerZen »

Interesting hypothetical, coach Reinstein. Here's my hypothetical answer:
4/4 Lit, with 3/3 being Anglophone
4/4 science (!math)
4/4 history, with 2/2 US, 0/0 military
2/2 mythology
2/2 other social studies (psych, philosophy, US government)
2/2 non-comp math
1/1 NAQtarded (aka general knowledge)
1/1 Trash

These hypothetical fresh-faced Alaskans are presumably bright, but possibly all freshmen, so I'm envisioning that lots of answers would be things players would've heard of in middle school. As for the lit and US history, new players are unlikely to have heard a dozen questions on García Márquez or the Battle of Agincourt, hence the modifications there.
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Post by STPickrell »

BuzzerZen wrote:Interesting hypothetical, coach Reinstein. Here's my hypothetical answer:
4/4 Lit, with 3/3 being Anglophone
4/4 science (!math)
4/4 history, with 2/2 US, 0/0 military
2/2 mythology
2/2 other social studies (psych, philosophy, US government)
2/2 non-comp math
1/1 NAQtarded (aka general knowledge)
1/1 Trash

These hypothetical fresh-faced Alaskans are presumably bright, but possibly all freshmen, so I'm envisioning that lots of answers would be things players would've heard of in middle school. As for the lit and US history, new players are unlikely to have heard a dozen questions on García Márquez or the Battle of Agincourt, hence the modifications there.
If players have read up on history on their own, I'm guessing they would have overloaded in military history. Case in point: I knew who the Duke of Wellington was in 4th or 5th grade; I did not know what the Corn Laws were until I was in college.

That's just me -- other history buffs may have different experiences than I.

Agincourt I do not think is all that difficult, nor is the 100 Years' War. I agree with you on Garcia Marquez.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

Excuse me, the correct rendering is NAQTarded. Thank you.

Also, I don't think changing the distribution is usually necessary for newer players, so long as we're still talking about the same educational level. It's definitely necessary, in general, to ratchet down the difficulty, though, which limits the answer space in a lot of areas (that's part of the reason easy questions tend to be so guessable.) However, one can usually still get by without any too-great changes if one works hard enough.
One might find it expedient to compromise the sub-distribution, though (e.g. skew history towards military if that's what more people know; skew lit towards English-language, if that's what people know; etc.) Often, however, I think even that is unnecessary.

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Post by David Riley »

In such a case, I think the tournament should be advertised as one for freshman/inexperienced teams, with a detailed distribution. If it is likely that the majority of teams will be competitive, then the tyros have to take carte blanche.
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Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh »

UW-Madison's Elvis tournament this year featured the following distribution:

4/4 History
4/4 Literature
4/4 Science and Math
2/2 Fine Arts
2/2 Social Science/Philosophy
1/1 Mythology/Religion
1/1 Popular culture
2/2 Geography
1/1 Current Events
1/1 Sports
2/2 Miscellaneous academic

Count it - 4 His, 2 SS, 2 Geo, 1 CE, with potential/likely hits on Religion and Miscellaneous academic. If your question writer isn't careful, half the packet could be social studies.
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Post by Matt Weiner »

styxman wrote:Count it - 4 His, 2 SS, 2 Geo, 1 CE, with potential/likely hits on Religion and Miscellaneous academic. If your question writer isn't careful, half the packet could be social studies.
If you define "social studies" as "anything that might come up in quizbowl besides science and literature" and then decide that science and literature must comprise 75% of the packet, then yes, you're going to be seeing "too much social studies" in a lot of distributions. But why use those definitions?
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Post by Captain Sinico »

Can we drop this social studies thing, please? Does anyone take or offer "social studies" at the high school level? (Much less the college one; that's the distribution for a college tournament.) Social studies is a supercurriculum like "the arts" or "the sciences." Yet nobody's saying 'well, 4/4 science, 2/2 social science, and 2/2 math; that's way out of balance because it's 40% "the sciences,"' or '4/4 literature, 3/3 fine arts, and 1/1 mythology is way out of balance because it's 40% "the arts."'
Why don't we stop trying to arbitrarily impose the curriculum supergroups we think are important and look at the classes people take and things people learn. I know that I and all my friends had separate classes for history, geography, and various types of social science; we didn't have "social studies" as a class.

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Post by cvdwightw »

This is my rationale for the following 20/20: Take the minimum requirement (each question representing 1 semester) for each "area" that was required at my high school for the first 16/15 or 15/16. Then divide the remaining 4/5 or so based on what I think is under-represented in the distribution.

Initial 15/16 or 16/15:

5/4 or 4/5 Literature (inc. a small amount of mythology)
4/3 or 3/4 "History" (1/1 World/European, 1/1 American, 1 question each on Geography, Economics, U.S. Government)
3/3 Science (1/1 Life Science, 1/1 Physical Science, 1/1 Other or more Life Science or more Physical Science)
2/2 Math (mostly computational)
1/1 Foreign Language
1/1 Fine Arts
1/0 or 0/1 "Computer Applications"

My distributed additional 4/5 or 5/4
1/1 additional history (round out such that there is 1/1 World/Ancient and 1/1 European)
1/1 additional science (there should be at least 3 questions each on life and physical sciences)
1/1 additional fine arts
1/0 or 0/1 "Social Sciences" (psychology, philosophy, religion)
1/1 General Knowledge/Popular Culture/Sports

For a final distribution of:
5/4 or 4/5 Literature (7 or 8 questions on mostly Anglophone literature, 1 or 2 questions on mostly Greco-Roman mythology)
5/4 or 4/5 History (1/1 World/Ancient, 1/1 European, 1/1 American, 1/0 or 0/1 on Geography, US Government, Economics)
4/4 Science (at least 3 questions each on life and physical sciences, the remainder to be drawn from astronomy, earth science, more life or physical sciences, and the occasional computer science question if it's not already in the "Computer Applications" section)
2/2 Math (at least 3 questions computational)
2/2 Fine Arts (at least one question each on painting/sculpture and classical music)
1/1 Foreign Language (if there is a 7/2 split in the lit category, 1 question here may be from e.g. AP Spanish Lit; there should be questions from 2 different languages)
1/0 or 0/1 "Computer Applications" (presumably for the sanity of quiz bowl players at least 80% of these over the entire packet set should be on "real" computer science, even though I think this class is mostly "This is how you use Word to type a paper; This is how you use the Internet")
1/0 or 0/1 "Social Sciences" (psychology, philosophy, religion, etc., with a slight bias toward psychology because that has an actual AP class people take)
1/1 General Knowledge/Popular Culture/Sports (because the school requires 2 years of P.E., and P.E. doesn't easily lend itself to a category)

I'd like to think this strikes a reasonable balance between "What people are expected to learn in school" and "What quizbowlers expect in a 20/20 packet". I can imagine 2 main criticisms of this distribution: not enough social science and too much math. For the first criticism: There's actually 1 economics question in every packet, so it's more like 1/1, which is a lower bound for a college tournament; also, there just aren't that many philosophy, sociology, anthropology, "real" law, or religion classes at the high school level. For the second criticism: many formats have even more math than this. Personally, I'd probably delete 1 math question and the "Computer Applications" distribution, add more computer science to the science distrubtion, and add 1/1 fine arts.

What do people think of this? Is my high school more-or-less representative of yours? What can be tweaked to arrive at a more-or-less "national" standard for, say, 75% of a standard high school packet (with the remaining 25% being up to the tournament writers and directors)?
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

Only thought on a simple browse through is that foreign language should never get any distribution as its own category, ever.
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Post by David Riley »

The problem I see with any high school curricula as a [sole] basis for question sets is that it might prove useless if your team aspires to a national tournament. Many times at practice, a question will be unanswered in an NAQT set and someone will say "we didn't study that!" to which I usually reply "Well, you should have!" [GO HIRSCH!]

This is not off the cuff, it is based on observing really strong teams at national tournaments. Another response to the above has been "we're a college prep school, so you should know this!"

And Charlie: I basically agree with you re foreign language, though I do like the way Panasonic does it in giving you a choice of language. I think Spanish and French are good choices; most others are either not studied to the same extent [e.g. German] or else in vogue [e.g. Russian in the 70s].
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Post by mceschermaniac4 »

4 Lit
4 History (Before 1990)
2 Fine Arts
4 Science
1 Mythology/religion
1 Recent History (1990-now)
1 Math
2 Philosophy/Geography/Sociology/Economics/Psychology
1 Pop Culture
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Post by TheCzarMan »

Ideal?

All history and pop culture.

Good balance?

8 Social Sciences (History, Psychology, pop Culture, etc.)
4 Lit.
4 Science
1 Math
1 Art
1 Current
1 Random
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Post by Captain Sinico »

TheCzarMan wrote:Social Sciences (History, ..., pop Culture, etc.)
Laughing on line.

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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

TheCzarMan wrote:Ideal?

All history and pop culture.

Good balance?

8 Social Sciences (History, Psychology, pop Culture, etc.)
4 Lit.
4 Science
1 Math
1 Art
1 Current
1 Random
Yeah that might be the most horrible distribution I've ever seen. Chris, can you hand me some bleach to pour on my eyes?
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Post by TheCzarMan »

charlieDfromNKC wrote:
TheCzarMan wrote:Ideal?

All history and pop culture.

Good balance?

8 Social Sciences (History, Psychology, pop Culture, etc.)
4 Lit.
4 Science
1 Math
1 Art
1 Current
1 Random
Yeah that might be the most horrible distribution I've ever seen. Chris, can you hand me some bleach to pour on my eyes?
Really, just ignore what I say when it comes to packets, you'll thank me for taking this advice.
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Post by Captain Sinico »

charlieDfromNKC wrote:...can you hand me some bleach to pour on my eyes?
Laughing on line.

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Post by Diet Chuck »

aiyyaaa i hate quizbowl

we are using a distribution very similar to chris ray's above for our housewritten tourney. tys
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Post by nurik »

there really isnt an ideal mixture because the people actually participating have different topics they know so you cant really make an all pleasing mixture
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Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

What?
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Post by Sir Thopas »

Wow.
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Post by Tegan »

nurik wrote:there really isnt an ideal mixture because the people actually participating have different topics they know so you cant really make an all pleasing mixture
OK ... Charlie and Guy ..... be nice to the new person here.

You are right, nurik, that everyone has their own opinion, and that with everyone having different strengths, from a subjective viewpoint there is no way to please everyone.

However,

I think you will find a very general agreement among the users on this site of a few things. Among them that pop culture and non-acadmic questions should be kept to a minimum. While overall there is a majority that believe math should be kept to a similar minimum, that is not universally held.

There are those who think that social studies should be a much larger percent of the questions than others. Again, this is far from universal.

The point of this thread was to see if a concensus exists. It does on some points, and does not on others.
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Post by DumbJaques »

There are those who think that social studies should be a much larger percent of the questions than others. Again, this is far from universal.
That's certainly not how I expect the "pro social studies people" (a group that includes me) would characterize their position. I might similarly say "there are those who seem to want to arbitrarily group geography, social science, philosophy, history, and current events into one category." In fact, that is what I say.

Since this thread has been revived (sort of), I was wondering if anyone who supports the "social studies" category can give me a good reason not to do sub-distribution. Some reasons I can identify include laziness, the need to write questions that actually cover lots of topics instead of just being able to use whatever the hell you want (laziness), and the shield having a giant category can give you (allowing you to not write questions in something you don't know anything about but still follow the "distribution." None of these seem like good reasons to me, and I'd really like someone to make an argument against using sub-distributions (within reason, we're talking "1/1 Philosophy" here not "1/1 Latter Stoics").
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Post by Matthew D »

I guess one of the reasons for the sub division would be to keep things from being like the science questions where you have an over representation of a certain branch of the main field... ie way to many biology questions..
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Post by Tegan »

DumbJaques wrote:Since this thread has been revived
NO NO! It's dead! The coroner certified it dead! It's not only REALLY dead its most sincerely dead. Look:

Thread ekg: -----------------------------------------------------

Thread eeg: -----------------------------------------------------

Flatlined, pushing up daisies, chillin' with Ted Williams dead.
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