EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › How Good Do You Have To Be To Pass?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How Good Do You Have To Be To Pass? - Page 2

post #31 of 55
JohnH,

I suspect you'll agree with the following...

If the candidates that fail don't agree with the score cards, then they deserve to fail as its not their dogma its PSIA, and they need to place their dogma on the side burner and learn the PSIA dogma and learn where its different from their own and at a minimum keep it seperate at least while taking the exam. A LII cert instructor has not earned the credibility to be able to change the PSIA organization's dogma.

Greg(Helluvaskier),

Don't believe everything you read on this forum, it's all opinions, most are well intentioned but opinions nonetheless. The only way you or anyone can ever find out when they are good enough to make the cut is to actually make the cut. Until then, the results speak for themselves.

The above is my opinion and careful how much of it you chose to believe.
post #32 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
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.
Generally true. Going to the exam is educational in itself, though. I personally know some highly regarded examiners who went to exam several times before passing their level 3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
You don't have to be an examiner to know what the skiing standards are. There are more explicit concepts in the exam guides 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.
Yes. Those who have been "in the system" for a while should have a pretty good idea of what it will take, although certainly not as accurate as that of an examiner.

Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
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."
My thoughts exactly. With emphasis.

I rarely ski as well as I want to. I rarely ski as well as I think I should.

Like therusty, I am not a natural athlete. I am a geek. An old one. I managed to place myself in a position where I could take advantage of some of the best coaching in the country. I managed to frustrate some of them badly. Now, I am merely good enough to recognize that I am not a particularly wonderful skier. I have skied with some particularly wonderful skiers, and I am not able to ski like they do.

I am also good enough to view at least some videos, and offer the opinion that it's not level 3, and give the reasons. Your opinion (and that's all it is, after all) may differ. Other videos won't be as clear to me for any number of reasons, and I'll keep my big trap shut.

I'd rather be silent and let you think I don't know anything, rather than open my mouth and remove all doubt. (Which, of course, I have done here. Some will look at this post and believe that I am a complete idiot!)

Anyway, level 3 is just a good start. In my opinion.

Here's what it's really all about:

Go play!
post #33 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiDogNW
JohnH,

I suspect you'll agree with the following...

If the candidates that fail don't agree with the score cards, then they deserve to fail as its not their dogma its PSIA, and they need to place their dogma on the side burner and learn the PSIA dogma and learn where its different from their own and at a minimum keep it seperate at least while taking the exam. A LII cert instructor has not earned the credibility to be able to change the PSIA organization's dogma.
Oh yes. I definitely agree with you. That's why I said "...or worse yet, don't agree with...". It definitely shows a lack of understanding or just a huge ego (usually) on the candidate's part. That statement was sort of an aside. I still think that some people people pass exams (usualy L1 and L2) without being sure they would when they registered for the exam. To be honest, I passed my L2 with glowing remarks on all my score cards, yet when I went, I was very unsure of my ability to pass. When I took my L3 skiing exam, I thought I would pass the first time (see prior post), and my teaching ability was easily there, yet I was (blissfully?) unaware that my skiing was not up to par at the time. Of course, it could have been a simple case of just letting people coach me, and not paying enough attention to the video of ME. But at the time I was doing a lot of video, I just don't remember.
post #34 of 55
Quote:
I don't necessarily agree with this. I remember being told, and other L2s at the time being told, that I was ready to pass the L3 skiing exam, before the FIRST time I took it. As a matter of fact, we had 3 examiners on our staff, and I my application card was signed by Ron Hawkes (a well known eastern Examiner for many years, SSD at Whitetail, then Hunter, Asst Dir at Portillo, etc), but I still didn't pass the first time (passed by 1 of 3 examiners). I did pass it 5 weeks later, but in those 5 weeks, I made some pretty significant changes in my skiing.
John,

How long ago was that? Don't bother answering - I know. Just because you can go into an exam unaware does not mean you have to. The lack of preparation on some candidates part is just plain shocking to me. This year, we heard an exam story about a candidate who complained at the beginning of a level 3 exam that the bumps at Killington were not like the bumps at home or out West. Allow me to translate into what the examiner heard: "Please flunk me because I have not prepared for this exam, I have no concept of what versatility means and I have absolutely no guest centered communication skills." The resources that are now available to exam candidates are far superior to what was available 10 years ago. Back when you took your level 3, the passing level was far less well defined than it is today.


Quote:
I disagree that the exam has gotten any harder over the past few years.
The tasks may be the same, but the expectations are higher. Just look at how much easier it is to ski with gear now than it was 10 years ago. You think that has NOT been factored into the exams? Every year the available teaching and tech knowledge grows by leaps and bounds.
post #35 of 55
I've skied with L2 and 3s that I didn't think were all that "good" on the mountain, but could teach your "average" skier in a private or the like just fine.

Personally, I find that race coaches are LEAPS and bounds better "instructors" and "skiers" than even your finest PSIA instructors.
post #36 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
The tasks may be the same, but the expectations are higher. Just look at how much easier it is to ski with gear now than it was 10 years ago. You think that has NOT been factored into the exams? Every year the available teaching and tech knowledge grows by leaps and bounds.
No Compreno, Rusty. That statement didn't make sense to me: "Expectations are higher, but the equipment makes it easier". I can't translate that into "the exam is harder". ? I think expectations are the same, and the level of skill/training required is the same. Yes, equipment makes carving easier, but the ski isn't going to make your crossover move for you, or do your balancing for you. In the past, they expected skidded turns because of the equipment. A lot more skiing sideways. These days, they expect a lot more skiing forward. That's all.

I agree that the new equipments requires a more consistantly centered stance, which is easier to maintain, and therefore, they expect you to be in balance more, but that doesn't make it harder.
post #37 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH
No Compreno, Rusty. That statement didn't make sense to me: "Expectations are higher, but the equipment makes it easier". I can't translate that into "the exam is harder". ?
I was going to say semantics. To me expectations higher=exam harder. Equipment easier=same level of effort required. But you think expectations are the same. So let's agree to disagree.

BTW - I've been looking through some of the old Whitetail video archives....
post #38 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattchuck2
Also, if it's just a "TEACHING certification" then why bother having a skiing portion of the exam at all?
Because demonstration is a big part of teaching an activity like skiing.
post #39 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
I'm with Rusty Guy on this one. If you have the skills to be a level 3, you have the skills to know you are a level 3. If you have the knowledge of a level 3, then you know that 3 is a sign post, not a destination.
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
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 guides 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.
This is all BS in Central Division here in Ohiya. Every bit of it. Does that change things a bit? Also, I had never seen myself ski before I passed.
post #40 of 55
This is a pretty interesting post to read only a few weeks before taking the Level 3 exam.

Heluvaskier - it sure does seem like a pretty hard standard to meet today with the exam in front of me.
post #41 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
This is all BS in Central Division here in Ohiya. Every bit of it. Does that change things a bit? Also, I had never seen myself ski before I passed.
Pierre, I'm sorry to hear that

Video cameras are cheap these days. There's no reason not to watch yourself ski before you go for an exam, no matter what division you're in.
Are you saying that the Central division level 3 exam has NO reflection of what is in the national standards document? Are you saying that there is no written material to help you prepare for the level 3 exam?Are you saying that there are no level 3 prep clinics and/or that the examiners do not tell you what to expect? Do you not have any DVD players in the whole state? Are you saying that there's no way that even another Region's exam prep guide would not help someone pass the exam in Central?

If things are that bad, maybe it's time to start running for office. It does not take much effort to get elected to office. It does not take that many people to take over a division. Heck, the other divisions already have this stuff. It can't cost anything to just steal it and use it.
post #42 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
Pierre, I'm sorry to hear that

Video cameras are cheap these days. There's no reason not to watch yourself ski before you go for an exam, no matter what division you're in.
Are you saying that the Central division level 3 exam has NO reflection of what is in the national standards document? Are you saying that there is no written material to help you prepare for the level 3 exam?Are you saying that there are no level 3 prep clinics and/or that the examiners do not tell you what to expect? Do you not have any DVD players in the whole state? Are you saying that there's no way that even another Region's exam prep guide would not help someone pass the exam in Central?

If things are that bad, maybe it's time to start running for office. It does not take much effort to get elected to office. It does not take that many people to take over a division. Heck, the other divisions already have this stuff. It can't cost anything to just steal it and use it.
Central division has a one sheet handout with twelve tasks on it that you may be asked to do. I have never seen a level III clinic that covered them well or told the candidates what to expect or if they were passable. Central division has an unwritten rule that you don't tell a candidate whether they meet the standard or not. Level III clinics focus on just good skiing, not on the test. Your best feedback is from recent candidates as you prepare for your exam.

There are video cameras in wide use now and that is your best bet for preping yourself. There are DVD's from Rocky Mountain and the likes that people use but they are only and approximation of what Central is looking for. You have the national standards but they are interperated by the examiners and they don't let out what they look for.

I spent some time with Bob Barnes in Rocky Mountain and was amazed at the amount and type of feedback that he was giving out. It was then that I knew things were drastically different in central. I have no idea what the east is like but blanket statements like the candidate will "know for sure if they are readyand if not they are not" when the examiners hold the criterion close to the chest here is bull pucky. I pretty much knew I was ready when I asked an examiner from another division.
post #43 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
If things are that bad, maybe it's time to start running for office. It does not take much effort to get elected to office. It does not take that many people to take over a division.
I'll do it...
post #44 of 55
I would imagine thet Pierre never saw himself ski before he passed, because he passed back before video cameras.

Pierre, Considering your porximity to the East, maybe it would be a good idea to have L3 candidates come to some eastern events. It's gotta take you a lot less time to get to northern N.E. than it takes me. (I'm 11 hours from Whiteface, Stowe, 12 from Jay, 10 from K-Mart, etc. There are also some good folks in western NY. One of my old SSDs, and a long time eastern examiner is the SSD at Peak-n-peak (Don Haringa - a.k.a. Bugs) (or at least, I think he's still there).

Helluva - Go for it. It's like a lot of the mentality of the home owners associations around here. If yu don't like what they are doing (Or not doing), get on the board and fix it.
post #45 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by therusty
BTW - I've been looking through some of the old Whitetail video archives....
: : :
Have I mentioned what a great guy theRusty is? An amazing skier and teacher! You should come to Whitetail and ask for a request private with him. And be sure to tip big!

The check's in the mail Rusty!
post #46 of 55
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
therusty: I would have thought that you would be a candidate for your Level 3 long before now. Your attention to detail and understanding of skiing is quite high FWIW.

Thank you very much Greg. It is was somewhat frustrating to have Michael Rogan say much the same thing at Stowe this year. Unfortunately I don't get enough practice time on snow to put my money where my mouth is. It's possible that I could have passed 2 years ago, but I intend to pass the exam when I take it the first time without letting chance be a factor. I have the knowledge in my head and I've felt the right feelings in my turns some of the time, but I'm getting old and breaking down and I'm not a natural athlete. I learn sports the hard way, through brute force and making every mistake possible. One of the things it takes to pass is...
patience.



I know Rusty, I skied Killington with him in a Level III Prep, he is a friend of mine---however Rusty is no Level III skier......

Ok just a bad attempt at humor....Good seeing you on the web Rusty! I got my retraction turns down to a science now. Had to get all of that thinking crap out of my head and just get some miles. Feel real good about the bumps now, anytime, anywhere kind of feeling. My body has also taken over and I am switching from automatically from one style to another without thinking---its awesome!

NOTE on LIII---as opposed to LII, I agree if you do not know what you are doing right or wrong when you are doing it...you are not LIII. You might be able to "ski" LIII, but not teach it. And that is what is important--at least to me. 2 years ago, I could not tell a "bad" instructor from a "good" one. Now I believe I can, and am mostly right when I verbalize how to fix.

Taken from an exaimier with whom I skied and respect: Why be just able to pass LIII.? We should be at LIII level on our WORST day, WORST conditions, WORST hangover BEFORE going for the exam.
post #47 of 55
For Clarity---My comments were not directed to Rusty--I think he can take and pass the exam and I KNOW he knows when this will be possible for him. My comments were directed at the general public from my perspective of the LIII journey.


PS: anyone who skis with Rusty will have fun. He is full of jokes---and good teaching tidbits.
post #48 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeluvaSkier
I'll do it...

I see a small problem...... You will have to be a member first!
post #49 of 55
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by disski
I see a small problem...... You will have to be a member first!
Do you think they would notice?
post #50 of 55
only if you give your name as Harald Harb!
post #51 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
I have no idea what the east is like but blanket statements like the candidate will "know for sure if they are readyand if not they are not" when the examiners hold the criterion close to the chest here is bull pucky.
I passed L2 skiing in the East last year. I found the combination of the info in the Exam guide (available online at psia-e.org), talking to examiners when I took ski pre req , and from the instructions I got for the tasks from the examiners during the exam, there's was no doubt what was expected. the standards were very clear. I also really commend the examiners for how professional they were in the exam. They threw no curve balls. They clearly stated what they wanted to see and gave the candidates every opportunity to do it correctly. If you did it correctly you passed.

As far as knowning whether you would pass or not, 1/2 hour into my exam, I said to myself, I'm going to pass and those two guys are going to pass, that fourth guy, not a chance, the fifth guy, maybe be I ain't gonna bet on it. The three, including me, I thought would pass did pass all three examiners; the one I thought would flunk, did flunk; the fifth guy skied better with the second two examiners than he did when he started with the first and he passed two out of three which was enough to pass.

Bottom line, I really think, at least at level II, you ought to have a good idea where you are and ought to have a good idea where other skiers are too.

I'm lightyears for level III but I would guess that's it's much hard to know whether your LIII or not. At far as the L3 standard, to me it should be being able to ski well enough to teach any general public skier on all but the most extreme terrain. A level 9 skier, drives a Porche, rich guy,spends four day a week in the gym, drops a C note for a private, want to ski bumps on Outer Limits on an icy day, an LIII should be ready to ski with that guy. It wouldn't want it to be less than that even if it means I will never ever have a chance at LIII.
post #52 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregGaspar
We should be at LIII level on our WORST day, WORST conditions, WORST hangover BEFORE going for the exam.
I don't think anyone would disagree. The problem is that most people don't want to wait until they are that comfortable. I know some who have, and the exam becomes what it was intended to be... an affirmation.

When people try to go when they just start occasionally being there, is when you get issues. At that point in their sking, their good days are very different from their bad days. And that means you don't "own" it yet. The examiners want you to own it, but it becomes a lot more subjective at this point. Does the examiner say, "well, he can make the right moves 70% of the time... does he own it or not? Should I pass him". So he goes and passes him, with the justification that he makes the right moves more than 50% of the time. But with Examiner B, he only makes the moves 30% of the time and fails that examiner, and with Examiner C, he makes the right moves 50% of the time ??????? And for the past month, at his home mountain, in his comfort zone, he was making the right moves 85% of the time.

I think this is why we have problems. If he'd wait another season, he'd probably pass without a problem, but he doesn't want to wait another season to go. He's been teaching for XX years already, and he thinks he should be ready to pass.

On the other hand, as someone already mentioned, and I agree with.... every exam I've been to, even my failed attempt at Ed Staff, I learned something. So even though I didn't pass, I'm glad I went.
post #53 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by GregGaspar
I got my retraction turns down to a science now. Had to get all of that thinking crap out of my head and just get some miles. Feel real good about the bumps now, anytime, anywhere kind of feeling. My body has also taken over and I am switching from automatically from one style to another without thinking---its awesome!
Thanks for the kinds words. Good to hear about those retraction turns. It was good day to work the rookies in clinics today.
post #54 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pierre
Central division has a one sheet handout with twelve tasks on it that you may be asked to do. I have never seen a level III clinic that covered them well or told the candidates what to expect or if they were passable. Central division has an unwritten rule that you don't tell a candidate whether they meet the standard or not. Level III clinics focus on just good skiing, not on the test. Your best feedback is from recent candidates as you prepare for your exam.

There are video cameras in wide use now and that is your best bet for preping yourself. There are DVD's from Rocky Mountain and the likes that people use but they are only and approximation of what Central is looking for. You have the national standards but they are interperated by the examiners and they don't let out what they look for.

I spent some time with Bob Barnes in Rocky Mountain and was amazed at the amount and type of feedback that he was giving out. It was then that I knew things were drastically different in central. I have no idea what the east is like but blanket statements like the candidate will "know for sure if they are readyand if not they are not" when the examiners hold the criterion close to the chest here is bull pucky. I pretty much knew I was ready when I asked an examiner from another division.
I did not said they will know they are ready, I said they SHOULD know they are ready. As John has noted, many people go the exams unprepared to pass because they hope they MIGHT pass and expect to have a learning experience otherwise. I made my statements based on my Eastern experience and stories that the Western experiences were similar. From Barnes' feedback you should know that this SHOULD be possible in other divisions (if the feedback is amazing, it should be powerful enough to get results).

The Eastern examiners will not tell if you will pass or not. Examiners have been burned by telling people that they would/could pass and then getting an earful when the candidate did not. So now all they do is drop hints. If you can read the hints, it's not very hard to tell when they are really saying pass/not pass.

But even without any local help, good skiing is good skiing. If Central people used the resources that are availabe from National and in other divisions, they'd have a giant head start towards passing an exam in Central. It sucks that your exam prep clinics are not preparing your people to pass exams. Are they at least helping people to ski better?

It sounds like you need to start working the system. Get your friends to start participating in division and region meetings. Get lots of requests into your leadership that you need "these things" to happen to improve the exam process and note that they are already in place in the other divisions. If they don't take action, then kick their butts out of office. If the voting in Central is anything like the voting in Eastern, less than 15% of the voters vote. With that kind of voting it does not take much for a grass roots effort to succeed.

Examiners are employees of the division. If you take over division leadership, you CAN tell the examiners what they need to do for exams and fire them if they don't. The demo team members are available for consultation if the entire system needs to be revamped. They know how things got "fixed" in the other divisions. They can fill the political gap so that it does not become a "you vs us" debate.

When I started in PSIA, the Eastern division was moving to make the exams standardized among the examiners, so that your odds of passing varied very little with different examiners. The leadership explained that some examiners had to be let go because they would not get with the program. It was a risky approach and a tough job. But I, for one, am happy with the results.

Yes it hurts to lose examiners. And if you have to replace the hard working people who are running your division you'll quickly find out why there is not a long line of people competing for the jobs. But if you don't push and work hard for change, you can't complain when it does not happen.
post #55 of 55
Every Central Div. L3 exam prep I went to was a learning experience. Do they spoon feed you everything theat may come your way in an exam? No! They're not supposed to - Level 3 is about adaptability in your teaching and skiing. The tasks that are part of the exam should be so easy as to be second nature. What is expected of you when doing those tasks is spelled out on the sheet. Can you do them? If not, you're not ready.

One of our recently certified L1 instructors has begun training for L2. When given one of the tasks as an exercise to improve his skiing he flat out asked why he would want to do this in his skiing. The concept of isolating a particular skill or working on order of movement was new to him.

If your goal is to get L3 certified, then every time you go skiing some of your day should be spent working on those tasks and polishing your demos. If you don't have an examiner on your staff that can guide you, maybe you can get your ski school director to provide an examiner to give an additional clinic at your hill. At the very least find a L3 cert and take a few laps with that person and have him critique your task demos.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › How Good Do You Have To Be To Pass?