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Level III written exam

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
What do you guys suggest for the Level III written exam...I am taking it next thursday night. I will have a copy of the BB encyclopedia. Any other thoughts?
post #2 of 8
Also include in your studies-

Core Concepts Manual (Maggie Loring)
The Technical Skills Manual (Megan Harvey)
The Art of Carving (Ellen Post-Foster)
The Biomechanics Manual (Juris Vagner)

This is only a small part of the suggested reading list issued by PSIA-RM a few years ago, and it hasn't really changed much, just a few updates.

Good luck at the written test. I will either be there to proctor the test, or to assist.
post #3 of 8
Hi Powder8--

Good luck on the test. VSP gave you good advice on the reading list. I'd also suggest the previous (1996, as I recall) Alpine Manual, along with the Level 3 Study Guide that accompanied it, and Ron LeMaster's The Skier's Edge. It's likely that someone will have these there for you to borrow but, of course, if you aren't familiar with them, they may not help much. That's really the reason our Written Test is open book in the RM Division--it's nice to know the answer, but it's almost as good just to know where to find it.

Remember though that the Level 3 test, in particular, is designed to make you think and connect the dots a bit. It's meant to test a "Level of Cognition" (Bloom's Taxonomy of the Cognitive Domain: Knowledge-Comprehension-Application-Analysis-Synthesis-Evaluation) well beyond the "Knowledge" level. Creative and technically accurate teaching--the Level 3 standard--does not come from a manual, or even a whole library. There are movement analysis questions, for example, that will challenge your cause-and-effect analysis ability.

It's all multiple choice, so many questions do come right out of the suggested reading materials, as do their answers. But do expect a few that are based on your general knowledge and your ability to synthesize new information from your understanding of the topics covered in the reading material.

For what it's worth, no one is expected to get all the questions right, and it would be a remarkable accomplishment to do so. Teaching skiing effectively requires a working knowledge of many technical fields--physics, mechanics, biomechanics, geometry, anatomy, physiology, nutrition, psychology, exercise and practice theory, communication, and education, not to mention things like history, geography, foreign languages, and so on that can certainly also help facilitate a superior lesson. And then there's the specific understanding of skiing itself, equipment design and setup, tuning and waxing (hint), weather, snow conditions, ski design, and, of course, the ability to make a decent turn!

No one is an expert in all these fields, but there are a few questions from most of them intended to give those who have superior knowledge in some specialty field an opportunity to demonstrate their excellence there, even if they might be lacking in another area. While some people have concerns about this, I think it's not only fair, but it accurately reflects the realities of the job of teaching skiing. Each of us has a unique set of strengths we learn to exploit and weaknesses that we learn to compensate for. And it all works out!

There are also questions meant to challenge a few popular myths and misconceptions. How do flexion-extension ("up and down") movements affect pressure on skis, for example? (Hint: it has nothing to do with the direction you're moving--up or down. Bone up on your basic physics if necessary!) And remember that, if turns are seamlessly linked, they must end and begin in the same position/attitude. That is, regardless of your beliefs about flexing and extending and the optimal timing thereof, for example, the position (flexed or extended) that starts a turn MUST be the same as the position that ends the previous turn, because the end of one turn IS the start of the next if they are to be linked.

All told, in a perfect world, the written test would be just as hard to score a perfect "10" on as any skiing or teaching task in the exam. For the rare person with that kind of superior talent, skill, or knowledge in any of these areas, the exam does provide an opportunity to demonstrate how far beyond the passing standard you are. You only need a "6" to pass!

Best of luck!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #4 of 8
I would also recomend the Childrens Manual and even the Adaptive Manual (as far as PSIA publications. Last year when I took the PSIA-E Level III exam we had a good amout of questions that seemed kid centric (but we were warned this could happen because kids are the future of our sport). PSIA also used to offer a few very good papers and one that I found a lot of useful info from was "The physics and biomechanics of skiing" (I forgot who wrote the paper, but I think it might have been Ron LeMaster for some reason), which could be ordered from PSIA's website.
post #5 of 8
Don't over think the questions. Just answer them to the best of your ability. Go over what you know and don't try to "update" all your ideas before the exam. It will only confuse you.

Good luck (although I doubt luck has much to do with it) and do good.

I wish our modules could be carried over from year to year. I passed the written last season and if I had not been injured I probably would have passed the teaching portion as well, but the way our exam is configured I'll have to do the whole thing again. At least I know what I need to work on.
post #6 of 8


When I took my level III exam some years back, March 2001 I think, part of the movement analysis portion was to view a film of four skiers and explain what you saw each doing good and bad. Then you had to suggest causes and how you would correct those areas of concern with progressions and specific exercises. Finally, on the hill you were presented with one of the four skiers and had to demonstrate how you would work to correct the incorrect movements to improve their skiing during a 15 minute teaching clinic. Best of luck with the exam.

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #7 of 8
Good suggestions, Manus. The Children's Manual is one of the best manuals PSIA has put out in a while, in my opinion. And there are a few questions based on its content (Piaget comes to mind).

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies..

The waxing questions through me for a loop last year. What would be a good place to find information on questions like that?

I see flexion and extension as a resulting action of the terrain or a turn. As you move accross bumps, crumd, or other inconsistencies in the snow, you need to appropriately flex and extend in order to maitain a dynamic state of balance. Second, I see flexion throughout the turn as a result of turning, because of centripetal forces that pull on your body. Well, more like Newton's law of inertia. The body of the skier wants to remain moving down hill, but because the skis are turning across the hill, the skier reactively flexes their body. Better said, the body of the skier is flexed because of the forces of the skis pushing against it.

Am I wrong?
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