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About the Level II Mock Exam

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

I was asked to post about my experience in the level II mock exam, so here it is.

In a nutshell, it was not fun. Even though I went into it expecting not to pass, I was still a nervous wreck. The conditions were brutal -- snowing and extremely windy. All the chairs were running at half speed, so the chair rides were the worst. Oh, how I wished I had a balaclava! Oh, and there was a foot of new snow. The heavy wet stuff they call Cascade Cement. I likened it to cake batter. I really suck at skiing in it.

There were 3 candidates plus myself in my group. There were 2 groups total. The "examiner" was one of our own instructors, a DCL. So we all knew each other. We started out with a "warm up" run down an off-piste black diamond slope. Yuck. Then we searched for some sheltered runs. We found decent weather on the lower mountain, but the chair rides were still brutal.

For each task, we practiced with a line rotation or two. The examiner would give us a little feedback when he felt it was necessary. Then he'd call us down one at a time and we'd do the task for a grade. He didn't tell us how we did until much later in the day. I really liked that we got to practice before having to perform.

Since the snow was so difficult, I didn't exactly ski my best. I know, I should be able to do the tasks in any conditions. But I just got to feeling more and more stressed as the morning wore on. The skiing portion of the exam took all morning, and when asked how I did (at lunch), I would answer, "about how I thought I'd do, only worse."

After lunch, we switched examiners and did the teaching portion. This "examiner" was another of our instructors who I ski with all the time. She chose teaching tasks for us at random. I wasn't at all prepared for the teaching segment, and it showed.

At 3:30, we reconvened inside for the written test. People always say it's easy. Well, it is. I was astounded at the lack of depth in the test. It's a joke. Again, I wasn't expecting to pass it, I just wanted to see what it would be like. I read the 2 books (Alpine Study Guide and Core Concepts) 2 years ago, and partly again this year. And I passed. PSIA should really require more of us.

Then I got my teaching score. I passed about half of the criteria. On the skiing, I passed 8 out of 10 tasks. That really surprised me. So much so that I wanted a recount. So I took the skiing portion again on Sunday, since it was offered both days, and was free.

Sunday was a beautiful day, with perfect conditions. I was much more relaxed and had a fun time. Same examiner. Again, I passed 8 out of 10, but not the same 8. On Saturday I failed jump entry turns and one-legged turns. On Sunday I failed hopping ski to ski and one-legged turns. The common denominators in all these, I'm told, are boot cuff contact and balance. So Sunday afternoon, I got another DCL to go out with me and help me work on rounding out the tops of my turns (which the examiner said I could stand to work on), and one-legged turns. That helped a lot, and I'm getting the hang of it. All three of my teachers tell me that with a little more practice I'll get these last few tasks down, and that I should take the exam in April. So I'm going for it. It's April 17. That gives me 2 weekends, plus I'm going to take a week off work to study and practice.
post #2 of 11
I know you had a tough time, but, I'm sure you learned a lot. Put it all in perspective for what it was, practice.

Level II is a serious undertaking and it sounds like you are taking it the right way, seriously.

If I were you, I'd get the "Visual Guide to Effective Skiing" and learn all the cues to effective and ineffective skiing. If you teach to those points, you can't go too far astray.

Congratulations for putting it on the line. As I've said before "boats are safe in the harbor but that's not what boats are for!"

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Bob. I do have the "Visual Guide to Effective Skiing," and am preparing lesson plans with it. I'm buckling down, now! I did one this morning, then recited it to myself, then recited it again to myself on the way to work from memory. So if you need to know how to keep from crossing your tips, just let me know.

Part of the reason I'm so unpracticed at teaching is that I rarely teach anything but four year old never evers. But getting to Level II ought to change that. It's kind of a chicken and egg thing.
post #4 of 11
Thanks for the update SB

Your skiing tasks sound more brutal than ours.

What exactly were your tasks (Demos and skiing.

I don't seem to remember any one legged skiing or hopping from leg to leg but then again I understand there are multiple numbers of tasks that they can pick from and it changes from year to year.

If I remember correctly, our demos were

various wedge - wedge cristies open parallel, etc.

Tasks were
carved traverses (targeted and pure)

and then just skiing,

Steeps and bumps (small and medium radius turns)
or variations of the above. and I don't remember the rest.
I'll pull out my score cards from last season.

Good luck on the studies.

post #5 of 11
OK. Found my score card.

Beginning Wedge Christie
Advanced Wedge Christie
Basic Parallel

Basic Parallel
Moderate Bumps
Moderate Steeps

Assigned movements (Tasks)

Then for Teaching

MA and hypothetical lesson situations for Child and adult.

Skier and turn descriptions
Skills and turn mechanics,

Equipment usage (appropriate)

Descriptive lesson plan

Taught lesson plan

Demos during lessons

What kind of progressions.

Alternative actions/progressions

Lesson experience, was it fun, safety, appropriate, well customized for student, etc.
post #6 of 11
How are Jeremy and Tyler doing?
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Here are the Level II Skiing Tasks, which can be found in the PSIA-NW Alpine Certification Guide

Short Radius Turns (blue and easy black terrain) Ski a series of round, completed carved turns of consistent size between ½ and _ packer widths wide.
1) skis are tipped on edge and carving by the time skis reach the fall line,
2) maintain a stable and quiet upper body, and use turning movements that originate in the feet and legs,
3) poles swing smoothly in the intended direction of travel.

Medium Radius Turns (blue and easy black terrain) Ski a series of round, carved turns of consistent size between 1 1/2 and 2 packer widths wide.
1) the skis are edged and carving before the fall line,
2) remain in balance through flexing and extending evenly in the ankles, knees, hips, and spine so that the outside ski bends from the middle,
3) shoulders stay level with the horizon.

Bumps (blue terrain bumps) Skiers must link rhythmical turns in the fall line without traversing.
1) exhibit fluid motion through continuous and coordinated flexion and extension movements at the ankles, knees, hip, and spine,
2) maintain a stable and quiet upper body,
3) maintain vision forward toward the intended direction of travel,
4) use pole touch to compliment the desired turn outcome.

Rhythm Changes (medium and short radius on blue terrain) Ski a series of medium radius turns that are consistent in rhythm and then change to a series of short radius turns of consistent rhythm.
1) smoothly blend medium radius turns into short radius turns and back again,
2) use flexion and extension movements of the ankles, knees, hips and spine,
3) the body flows continuously with the skis,
4) maintain vision forward toward the intended direction of travel,
5) use pole touch to compliment the desired turn outcome.

Straight Run Hop Ski to Ski (green terrain) Straight run on one ski. Keep the other ski off the snow
and level with the terrain, then hop to other ski. Glide for at least 2 ski lengths. Repeat at least 5 times. During the transition from one ski to the next, both skis must be off the snow for a split second.
CRITERIA 1) balance over the gliding ski,
2) maintain contact between the shins and the boot cuff,
3) keep hands and arms in front of the body.

Skate On Flat Terrain Push off an angled, edged ski leaving a clean track, and glide for at least half a ski length on the other ski. Repeat. Unweighted ski must come completely off the snow, remain level with the terrain and brought along side the other ski before the next skating step.
1) maintain contact between the shins and the boot shafts while moving forward and laterally,
2) the ski's edges are released and engaged in one smooth movement,
3) completely transfer the weight/body/mass to the other ski,
4) flex and extend ankles, knees, hips and spine to balance over middle of ski,
5) keep the shoulders level with the horizon.

Wedge Christie (blue terrain) NATIONAL STANDARDS DESCRIPTION Matching of the skis will take place after the fall line.
1) Matching of skis comes from turning movements that originate in the feet and legs,
2) The inside hand, shoulder, and hip lead through each turn,
3) Ski lead change occurs before the skier enters the fall line.

Short swing (blue terrain and easy black terrain) Short turns down the fall line. Speed control is maintained by use of a pivot with an edge set and pole plant.
1) maintain a stable and quiet upper body,
2) turn the legs more than the upper body, using movements that originate in the feet and
3) use a pole touch to compliment the desired turn outcome.

Jump Turn Entry (medium to long radius turns on green or blue terrain) At turn entry, Jump allowing the skis to come completely off the snow. Complete parallel turn and repeat.
1) while in the air, skis must remain level to terrain,
2) when jumping, both skis must leave ground at the same time,
3) flex and extend evenly through ankles, knees, hip and spine to control pressure.

One Ski Turns (blue terrain) In a medium radius turn, transfer weight completely to the outside, while lifting inside ski completely off the snow. At turn transition, transfer weight to new outside ski.
1) remain balanced over outside ski through the entire turn,
2) keep shoulders level to the horizon,
3) unweighted ski must remain completely off the ground and level with the terrain
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by Roto:
How are Jeremy and Tyler doing?
They're both doing great. Jeremy was my skiing portion "examiner" for both the mock exams. Tyler took me out and helped me Sunday afternoon. They're both DCLs. They're both my skiing heros.
post #9 of 11
Good guys both of them. I was with them at Schweitzer the other weekend.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Does that mean you were trying out for NW Tech Team, Roto?
post #11 of 11
I was waterboy/support for those trying out. As a current team member my next tryout is in two seasons.

Good luck in your exam. I should be at Meadows that weekend skiing with some of the staff there.
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