First, let me thank the originator of this thread, as it is excellent. Second,I'd like to also thank everyone here for taking a shot at this topic. It's very sensitive and yet important to many of us.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I'm an eastern Adaptive Examiner having just finished my 6th year on a combination of the Development Team and my years as an examiner. Before I was able to become elevated to Examiner status I had to pass not only my Level III Adaptive Exam, but I also had to pass my Level III Alpine Exam. Additionally, I had to put in a minimum of two years on the Dev. Team before any elevation could occur. Though I'm an Adaptive Examiner, I also have to score the Alpine Skiing piece of our exam candidates. Now that that's out of the way here's my impression of what I'm hearing from the start of the thread.
First, that this truly excellent skier performed better than most of the other candidates, but just couldn't muster the proper technique on a single maneuver, ie-the "Linked Pivot Slip".
Let me say that I agree with Bob Barnes in that no one is failed for not being able to perform any individual task. But, without question this task points up many of the skills in a slow motion blended format, that all level III candidates must be able to exhibit, to carry them through to a pass at Level III.I also want to say that I'm not here to defend the examiner in question, who failed this person, but that I will try to impart some of the things I look for or how I look at candidates in an exam situation.
First, we always try to break down any barriers caused by stress with some free skiing and relaxed chat. We always try to communicate our exam expectations for the candidates and how things will be put forth.
I use a methodical approach to my vision, of how our skiing standards should look to be performed at each level-ie- 1/2/or3. I separate the body into quadrants. The top-shoulders/torso, the bottom-hips/legs/feet, the inside half, and the outside half. Most examiners have some sort of system in viewing the candidate while in motion. And suffice it to say, it's not always easy to see all the finite and miniscule movement patterns, which reveal the correct or incorrect blended skill sets the skier is exhibiting in their performance.
I then look for key areas to focus on. Typically most skiers either start their turns from the upper body through a rotational movement, or from movement in the feet to knees area with a tipping movement. Each in itself is very telltale.
Depending on the skiers' skills, at each level being tested, I can immediately tell how and where the turn is being initiated from. At level III any flaw, however should be very subtle and minute. It may even be somewhat covered up through a double move, ie-stem step ever so slight, at level III will be hard to see in a fast moving set of turns. Other areas of focus are how quiet and stable is the upper body? Is an arm moving in a rotational or extended fashion, which causes the hips to move slightly to the outside as the turn is initiated or do the feet turn first? Is the skier leaning, banking, or inclined to the inside with the inside hand, arm, shoulder, tipped over to the inside and lower than the outside same body parts? These are all areas we look at to better determine how well the candidate is blending skill sets.
Now let's go back to the infamous "Linked Pivot Slips". If the skier in question here was clearly unable to manage the task correctly, then her movements would speak volumes on how she was moving when completing other tasks. This of course assumes that the conditions were acceptable for the task at hand and I am assuming that the examiner did DEMO it for the group correctly.
For instance if her feet were locked or too closely together, or if she was not moving her center of mass down the fall line ahead of her feet as she extended, or if she was moving vertically instead of forward, or if she was edging her skis too much, there is no way that she could perform this task correctly.
But here's where I would go with her. I would try to see if some other task or series of tasks would help her to evolve and show me that she really does have all the requisite skills to be a level III Cert. If she could adequately perform the other tasks I would then be able to see her in a more global view.
Finally, as far as the pivot slip is concerned, I practice this task at least once a week. I also mandate that ALL My Level II & above candidates master this task. If a Level II candidate at my home area can't get it he/she will not receive my sign-off to go to the exam.
Now let's go back to the wedge christie for a moment.The wedge christie is one key interim step for all skiers to pass through on their way to high level efficient skiing. It is where the beginning of most high level blended skills come together. Therefore, this is especially why so many upper level skiers have trouble with it. Many upper level skiers move through this level with flawed movements, thereby missing out on and not learning some key fundamental skills, which will hold them back in reaching the skiing level they desire.
I actually failed my first Alpine Level III skiing exam, due to not performing the wedge christie correctly, nor did I understand how the movements were to be blended correctly, technically. I would contend that the examiners also saw some other flawed movements in the other tasks performed, which were the result of not owning the wedge christie movement patterns as a Level III candidate.
Last but most important of all. Examiners want to pass every candidate who takes an exam, but if the examiner is properly enforcing the national certification standards for the Level III Certification, then the candidates must understand that at Level III, that's where the rubber meets the road and the examiner has very little latitude to give you a "Gime". If you're not technically correct you should not pass at Level III. **** Sorry folks for the reality check.
I can only assure you that you WILL KNOW when you're ready both Skiing wise and technically to pass your Level III Exam !!!!!!!!!!! Good Luck.