NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

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NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by btressler »

Now that I've been exposed to two current NAQT IS sets, I'd like to praise NAQT on the improvements they've made. Other than the usual remarks made about some categories' prevalence, I really like what NAQT has been producing. In fact, as I was reading at LIFT, I wasn't bothered by the geography, but that could be my own subjective assessment.

Having said that, I think that NAQT has been affected by the same trend currently under discussion in the College section: difficulty.

With respect to tossups, it feels like we no longer have "pyramidal" questions. We have "Eiffel" questions. I've seen fewer buzzes on the first two sentences. For LIFT, the power rate was 8.3% if I've calculated correctly. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong giving teams early clues they can get. That's what good teams do.

With respect to bonuses, it feels like they've gotten harder. For LIFT, the median team got 11.34 points per bonus.

As another example, the Charter A/Hunter A game was 285-225. These are two teams ranked in the preseason poll. Shouldn't they be combining for more?

None of this data is the end of the world. But all of it seems slightly on the hard side of difficulty. I'm only pleading that difficulty come down about a half step. For tournaments that are going to attract a wide audience, I think it would really help.

Regardless of what the consensus is on the difficulty, please keep up the good work.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo »

Bad Boy Bill wrote:With respect to tossups, it feels like we no longer have "pyramidal" questions. We have "Eiffel" questions. I've seen fewer buzzes on the first two sentences. For LIFT, the power rate was 8.3% if I've calculated correctly. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong giving teams early clues they can get. That's what good teams do.
The more we practice on non-NAQT questions (which is basically all the time now) the more we continue to dislike NAQT tossups compared to HSAPQ and house sets. The kids simplify (and distort) the argument by saying "we think the questions are too short." I slightly disagree, and fall more in line with exactly what Bill is saying. This is the pattern of tossup clues i've been seeing from them recently: super hard clue, really hard clue, vagueness for another line (*power mark*), middle clue, giveaway. There is a cliff that the question drops right around the power mark, and yes i understand that this is going to happen on occasion, but i saw way less powers as well back in September by players not named Matt Jackson, compared to the HSAPQ set we saw at Maryland where they were all over the place. We should absolutely reward players for more knowledge, but some of the clues in NAQT questions (i don't have specifics right now but i can make a list possibly for Jeff) are just so obscure or unhelpful that i see fewer and fewer early buzzes, as well.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

Bad Boy Bill wrote:Now that I've been exposed to two current NAQT IS sets, I'd like to praise NAQT on the improvements they've made. Other than the usual remarks made about some categories' prevalence, I really like what NAQT has been producing. In fact, as I was reading at LIFT, I wasn't bothered by the geography, but that could be my own subjective assessment.

Having said that, I think that NAQT has been affected by the same trend currently under discussion in the College section: difficulty.

With respect to tossups, it feels like we no longer have "pyramidal" questions. We have "Eiffel" questions. I've seen fewer buzzes on the first two sentences. For LIFT, the power rate was 8.3% if I've calculated correctly. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong giving teams early clues they can get. That's what good teams do.

With respect to bonuses, it feels like they've gotten harder. For LIFT, the median team got 11.34 points per bonus.

As another example, the Charter A/Hunter A game was 285-225. These are two teams ranked in the preseason poll. Shouldn't they be combining for more?

None of this data is the end of the world. But all of it seems slightly on the hard side of difficulty. I'm only pleading that difficulty come down about a half step. For tournaments that are going to attract a wide audience, I think it would really help.

Regardless of what the consensus is on the difficulty, please keep up the good work.
First, I'd like to echo Mr. Tressler's sentiments on NAQT's improvements. I haven't played IS-88 yet, but I did play IS-86, and I was very impressed and happy with the set, especially compared to last year. I thought the questions were vastly more academic in nature and while there were a few, the set had less "cute" questions than in years past.

In regards to difficulty, I slightly disagree. I didn't think they were too terribly hard, but looking back on it, I can only remember a few early early buzzes. Our tournament didn't use powers, and I don't have the set, so I'd be interested to see how many powers we had, but I feel that I got quite a few of my tossups in power. For bonuses, I didn't think we had any trouble with the subjects that we're good in(we lack a science player), but we 0'd and 10'd many that weren't, so we were around 15ppb, which I kind of expect us to be around on IS sets until we get better in Science, so I can't really pass judgment there.

I want to thank NAQT for the work they put into IS-86. I really enjoyed playing it.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Joe Romersa »

I played IS-86, and the only major complaint I have are that I felt like there were too many interdisciplinary questions. I can't think of any specifically, but I'll try to find some if I get a copy of the set.

Minor thing: there was one packet with 2 trash questions within the first three questions.

And I also agree about "Eiffel" tossups. Our captain from last year was wondering why our power rate was so much lower...
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Important Bird Area »

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I certainly agree with the general trend, that slightly easing up on the difficulty will result in a more enjoyable experience for all teams. I think the right solution is to specifically target the middle clues in tossups and the middle parts of bonuses.

As always, feel free to email me with specific examples.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by master15625 »

Um, can someone explain why these are called "eiffel"?

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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Important Bird Area »

That is "shaped like the Eiffel tower" instead of a "pyramid" (because the middle clues aren't buzzable by most teams).
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill »

After finally getting my hands on IS-86, I really want to say that NAQT has done a FANTASTIC job writing this set. I found a few typos and such, but for the most part these are the best NAQT questions I've ever read. I'm very happy with it, and I hope IS-88 is as good when I play it in December.

Mad props.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by jonah »

I haven't seen IS-86, but I read IS-88 today at one of the IHSSBCA Kickoffs, and was very happy with it. However, I would like to call NAQT's attention to bonus 8 of packet 7, which is really just an awful idea for a question and reminds me of IS-85's famous word concatenation bonus (which, oddly enough, was ALSO packet 7, bonus 8; "don-key"/"mar-gin"/"bar-bed"). Please do not do this.

Other than that, again, this set was very solid. Keep up the good work.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Joe Romersa »

If bonus 8 of packet 7 was the same bonus I'm thinking of, then yes, I completely agree.

There was an issue about acceptable answers in one tossup, although it wasnt a big issue. The thing that annoyed me the most was all of the "This country..." tossups.

And there was one tossup with a questionable lead-in. A clue that shows up in the second to last sentence in ACF Fall tossups (twice) should not be a lead-in for an NAQT IS set.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Important Bird Area »

al3xWal3x wrote:There was an issue about acceptable answers in one tossup, although it wasnt a big issue. The thing that annoyed me the most was all of the "This country..." tossups.

And there was one tossup with a questionable lead-in. A clue that shows up in the second to last sentence in ACF Fall tossups (twice) should not be a lead-in for an NAQT IS set.
Please send me the details, and I'll do my best to fix it (eg, switching a couple of those polities to tossup #24 or whatever).
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Important Bird Area »

jonah wrote:I would like to call NAQT's attention to bonus 8 of packet 7, which is really just an awful idea for a question
Said bonus is now bonus 24 of packet 7, so it is unlikely to be read at future tournaments using IS #88.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by Huang »

al3xWal3x wrote: A clue that shows up in the second to last sentence in ACF Fall tossups (twice) should not be a lead-in for an NAQT IS set.
As someone who has been yelled at numerous times for arguing with this logic, I don't think that's necessarily a true statement. But having not seen the exact question, you can take this offside comment with a grain of salt.
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by master15625 »

to bt_green_warbler:

I do not know your email address, and when I try to click on send an email to you, it doesn't work. Is there a place where I can find your email address to comment on certain questions.

Thanks
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Re: NAQT IS Sets 86 and 88 Commentary (w/o answers)

Post by BGSO »

EDIT part deux:

Dude, his email is there, just copy the address from the link.

jthoppes at berkeley.edu
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