Originally Posted by philsthrills
As far as what would pass a LIII, only take an examiner's word for it, not random people on a forum.
I am not an examiner, so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but that mogul run should not be close to L III skiing.
Ahhhh Phil, We agree and then we disagree.
I have this theory about passing level 2 and level 3. If you're not good enough to MA your own skiing to know if you'll pass or not, you're not ready for the exam. You don't have to be an examiner to know what the skiing standards
are. There are more explicit concepts in the exam guide
s published by the regions. There are region published DVDs that provide visual examples. And the examiners go out of their way to teach you what is passing and what is not at the prep clinics. Yes, you won't be as accurate as an examiner, but then again, you only need to pass 2 out of 3 examiners to get the pin so how accurate are they? By definition, it's a matter of judgement. Yes, there are some people who are not ready that pass. There are also people who should pass that don't. It's not a perfect system. Nonetheless, I think I can come pretty close in saying who will pass and who won't.
I will agree that my opinion too should be taken with a grain of salt. But please, make it two grains just to be safe. Because I can really shovel it deep. To wit.....
|but is that all it takes to pass your level 3 (or two) skiing portion? It seems like the standards, expectations, and requirements would be higher.
For level 3, the standards are a LOT higher.
We've been kind and complimentary because we've seen some really good skiing that deserved compliments. Most of the recently submitted clips have demonstrated high enough quality to MEET level 2 standards. But you need to understand that level 2 is for certification to teach through intermediate levels. The focus at level 2 with respect to advanced skiing is to have flow and power - to look good for the general public. Level 2s are the workhorses at ski schools. Their job is to teach great beginner and intermediate lessons (i.e. the levels of 95% of the lessons to be taught), and with experience teach some pretty good advanced lessons.
We've been kind and complimentary because at this level people have worked hard enough that being excessively nit picky is not called for unless it's specifically asked for. It takes getting to level 2 to start BEGINNING to understand what's needed for level 3. Level 3 is certification to teach at all levels. It requires specific movements to be made with precision on all terrain under any conditions. It is to the clips we've recently seen as a race car is to a Honda Civic. The parts are roughly the same, but the race car lives in an entirely different world. Level 2 is more like a sports car - it's a little extravagant, but anyone can have one if they work for it. And as good as level 3 is, it's only the entry ticket into the lowest levels of elite skiing. Many pros, upon getting their level 3, have been told: "Now you can BEGIN to learn to ski."
|Moguljunkie even said he had not had a lesson... how can someone who has never had a lesson ski at a the level of a PSIA Level 3 instructor - even if it is just in one particular area on the mountain (this case being moguls)?
There are people who are naturals. It's possible to ski at level 3 without lessons. But it's extremely unlikely.
|I can now see how it is possible to get instructors who are level 3 PSIA certs, who are completely terrible at skiing and instructing.
I've heard rumors that there are level 3s who are completely terrible, but I've never actually met one. A long time ago, there were many level 3s with large egos who expected to be treated like royalty. Some of those people are rumored to be still around and not keeping up with the times. Every single level 3 that I've ever known was genuinely a nice person as well as being an outstanding skier and instructor. It's only been a few dozen, but it has been every single one.
|Should the tests be tougher, or are they hard enough already? Do they let you take levels 1 - 3 all in the same year...
The pass rate for level 2 is about 50%. The pass rate for level 3 is about 40%. The exams are not necessarily tough. But they are thorough. The flaws in your technique will be exposed. Everyone has flaws to be exposed. It's only a question of how many and how bad. People only think that the skiing part of the exams are "tough" because if you are not fully prepared, you will struggle to perform the requested tasks. The exams get a little harder every year, but we also strive to make them fairer too. It used to be that the level 3 skiing exam was such physically intense skiing that is was difficult for anyone over 50 to pass. Yet there are more and more people over 50 who are passing the exams. I think that better fitness, better skis and better skiing together have made it less physical work (but as RustyGuy has noted - the bump runs can be brutal). The exams are very difficult to pass with respect to the amount of preparation required in order to pass. I'd personally like to see the pass rates higher. In our educational system, teachers get fired for such low pass rates in their classes. We need to be doing a better job helping our candidates prepare for these exams. The exams can have a higher pass rate without losing their "toughness". As Nolo has noted, some resorts train their staff better than others.
In the PSIA Eastern region, they do not let you take more than one level per year. There are exceptions for people with equivalent experience to challenge the system (for example a highly experienced race coach could directly take the level 3 exam), but these are very rare. I passed my level 2 in my second year of teaching part time. I'm now in year 13 and I'm almost ready for level 3. I've seen some people get level 3 in 3-5 years, but they are in the minority.
Finally, what people need to understand about the PSIA exam process is that the skiing is only half of the exam. As much (or maybe more) effort and skill that is involved in skiing has to be present in the teaching and technical knowledge part of the exams as well. This is where the exams are truly tough because the subject areas and skills that are tested are quite broad.