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Certification Fear and Loathing

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Let me first preface this by saying that I will not name names and I do not have any animosity towards the parties involved. I recently got a phone call from a fellow instructor (cert3- twenty year veteran) . This person was quite upset that an entire group of level ones passed their level 2 exam. It seems to have been the opinion of most that only three of the group had the skiing skills to pass. In fact, one of the group did not know the difference between a 'stem christie' and a 'wedge'. Personaly, I was happy for the entire group, most of them had worked hard. The same examiner failed a level 3 candidate in a previous exam and this has most of the staff wondering what the standards are. The level 3 candidate, in this person's opinion, is an excellent skier and teacher. I'm not an examiner but I have seen other people pass their cert3 who can't ski half as well. Anyway, there are a lot of people on staff who want to get this examiner booted and I have been asked to join the lynch mob. I am friends with all these people but I don't want to get in the middle of this thing. Other cert3 candidates are concerned that they won't be evaluated fairly and I am beginning to wonder what the heck is going on? I think maybe Bob Barnes was right when he suggested that we go back to one level, full cert. ( Hope I'm not mis-quoting you, Bob ). I just want to go skiing , not get involved in ski school politics but I do have some concerns. Opinions? :
post #2 of 45

I guess I can only relate a story. I took the level two exam with a group of about eight students. It was fairly clear to me at the outset two in the group had no chance. We all knew they would flunk and they did. I felt three in the group were stong candidates and would have to really "blow it" to fail. There were a couple in the group on the border.

Two of the three borderline candidates barely passed and one of the three barely failed. This came as no huge surprise.

Here's my point. One of my "sure bets" failed. She was a very good skier. I mean a very good skier. She simply COULD NOT do "linked hockey slides" I mean it was really bad. She had to know the maneuver was on the exam and I don't know who the heck "signed off" on her going to take the exam.

I did well on the exam in every area except wedge christies. I COULD HAVE flunked on the basis of this maneuver, however, I made up for a "five" on my wedge christies with a "ten" on r.r. track turns and "nines" on hockey slides,the bump run and the variable terrain. My wedge christies almost did me in.

The girl who failed was a much stronger skier than two folks who passed. One "fundamental maneuver" did her in.
post #3 of 45
There are many "variables" that may effect the outcome of an exam. Perhaps of of the factors was snow conditions. Some conditions will make some shine and others struggle.

My son made the comment on our last outing, that if I take my L-2 on a day with 6" of freshies, I've got it made ....... at 53, that made me feel like a million. Conversely, had that pow warmed up and become slop, this aging body (knees) may have been picking lines that would have spelled instant rejection.

A few years back I was called on to test a candidate for a black belt. "Frank" had tested five times and flubbed it very badly each time. He was generally, a rude and crude kinda slug ..... not necessarily intentionally rude but the kind of guy that would close the door in your face, only trained on rare occasions and seemed to labor under the delusion that he'd get it based on "tenure" as a brown belt. Believe it or not ..... on this particular day, Frank was "on". He had a good day and did pretty well and it would have been hard to fail him. My point here is that I took quite a razzing from some of the seniors. But you just had to see him. Generally he was a D+ to a C- but he worked so hard for that one moment. The good news was that he left shortly there after.

Does this examiner have a higher pass rate than others? I would hope that PSIA would track this just as a QC measure. When you dig into stats he/she should fall within the "normal curve". That, is the key to ferreting out a "Dr. Feelgood" type who keeps everyone happy. You may find variation/deviation from market to market but when you control for that you should have a reasonable pass/fail ratio.

Oh ........ would ye be kind enough to PM the name of that examiner? ..... just kidding.

[ July 21, 2002, 06:33 PM: Message edited by: yuki ]
post #4 of 45
To answer snowdancer: take a long look at yourself and determine what is more important to you: is it your concerns about the examiner or your wish to stay out of politics. Then you will know what to do. Most importantly, DO YOU think this examiner deserves to be booted?

Rusty Guy said: The girl who failed was a much stronger skier than the two folks who passed. One "fundamental maneuver" did her in.

There is something weird about failing a superior skier for missing a single maneuver, especially when we are talking about the obscure "linked hockey slides". This is the very reason why in figure skating they eliminated the compulsory round (where they did the ridiculous figure eights, and edge changes) that said nothing about the skater except that they can putz around doing weird moves. Today they only have short and long programs. But I am digressing. My point is that one has to be reasonable. Sliding on a slope and twisting back and forth to link hockey slides is hardly a maneuver that ANYONE needs to master!

What do you guys think about that point of view?
post #5 of 45
TomB & Rusty,

I find it hard to believe that one maneuver did her in. Is this in the context of a whole skills test, just a skiing skills test, or what? Still, any way you slice it, to fail someone on a trick or exercise is draconian.

Only an engineer could make such a decision, or create a system that would render such a decision.

Since venturing out into the world beyond skiing, I have learned that almost all companies have an ongoing internal struggle between two camps: the engineering/manufacturing departments and the sales/marketing departments. Whatever the cert program is in your division is almost certainly the product of this same exact struggle. Certification program development could be represented by a sine wave better than an upward sloping curve, because it tends to oscillate between two values, which I'll call "bring 'em in" and "keep 'em out."

The "engineering/manufacture" approach is hard and unyielding: the allowed tolerances on any specification are well-communicated to the groups upstream of the exam (candidates, SSDs, trainers, etc.); if a candidate falls below the benchmark, the candidate fails the exam. The job of the exam is to identify defects.

The "sales and marketing" approach is to get people to buy-in, and continuing buying. If someone can't achieve a Level 3, develop and market a product that is everything Level 3 is except for the skills that aren't achievable by this class of customer. Voila: the Master Teaching Certification. If a candidate can't do linked pivot slips, send a backup to give 1-1 coaching for a run, and then test the candidate. This attitude is, if someone is below specifications in one small area, it is more effective to bring it up to specs rather than failing the candidate, and sending him home to work for a year on a defect that is fixable in five minutes--that's bureaucratic BS. (Clearly, this approach has a strong customer focus.)

Bureaucratic BS? Not so to an engineer! Not so at all. When the engineers hold sway, expect to see unbending rules that produce some incomprehensible results, though generally the results will be highly valid and reliable.
post #6 of 45
Isn't it interesting how an individual who is a great skier can't manage pivot slips? That is the reason they are in the exam! They are (like christies) a window into your skiing soul. They identify skill bias and as they say in Texas, "the hitch in yer gitalong"!
For the record, I distain "parlour tricks" or manuevers that seem to grow in the "oh, yeah? try this" category. But, the pivot slip is there for a reason....should it be the defining rationale for failure...probably not, but if'n you can't pull them off...there is a fundamental, skill-based reason why!!
On the Satan to Santa continuum...there will always be some who operate as examiners under their own standards and criteria, no matter how we try to standardize scoring with describers and consensus.
Good topic!
post #7 of 45
On the issue of Engineers vs. the rest. I think Dilbert has it right on that. Manufacturing would love to let every thing be accepted other than the fact than they would be slapped on the hands by sales eventually due to poor quality hurting sales. I haven't had much to do with marketing other than Engineers who turned to the dark side. But basically two types - type that could be accountants for Worldcom or Enron ( wasn't Enron a marketing company) or the type that can change several laws of physics by opening they're mouths.
post #8 of 45
This type thing has been a real problem for as
long as PSIA has been examining. I think much of
the injustice (and that's exactly what it is) stems (great word) from an overall lack of standardization on the part of the organization.
All examiners need to be looking at and grading
exactly the same stuff in exactly the same way.
What that stuff is, needs to be determined thru a
lot of intense customer-based study.
post #9 of 45
Sitzmark, that is nearly an impossibility when you consider that some exams in the Midwest are held on blue ice interlaced with sticky manmade snow and others in the West on packed powder or crud.

Conditions have a lot to do if and how certain maneuvers are done successfully.

post #10 of 45
Originally posted by nolo:

Only an engineer could make such a decision, or create a system that would render such a decision.
Bureaucratic BS? Not so to an engineer! Not so at all. When the engineers hold sway, expect to see unbending rules that produce some incomprehensible results, though generally the results will be highly valid and reliable.
Maligning engineers? I see many pertinant comments made in articulate English ruined by broad generalisations.

Engineers work in the 'real' world too. As an engineer I was constantly adapting and refining my product whether it be for the customer, the marketing department, manufacturing, the needs of on-site shortages etc.

True,engineers often have a better idea of what is achievable from a technical point of view and Salesmen what the market will accept. Both viewpoints are not rigid but inevitably biased by their environment. Both are valid. Both involve cross-over into other disciplines.

Also, I doubt that engineers had much to do with an administration function such as setting standards. Wouldn't most of the input would have been from admin. wallers (marketeers?) and ski instructors (engineers?).

Now, a statistical mathematician.....
post #11 of 45
Please don't take it personally, Nettie. I am using engineers and marketers in a purely Dilbertian sense. I'm sure there are cases where marketers care about design constraints and where engineers care about satisfied customers.
post #12 of 45
Robin pointed to the thing overlooked in the comments regarding failing the "strong" skier.

An experienced examiner is going to see things in candidates' skiing that most of the rest of us will miss. It may have been apparent to the others in the group that this "strong" skier did really poorly on the one task. But there may have been similar less obvious failings in other tasks.

In most exams, the examiner spends a bit of time with each candidate in individual discussions. Perhaps the "strong" skier also failed to recognize any of her own shortcomings during that conversation, and that helped convince the examiner she needed more work. Or perhaps she expressed an "attitude" about his asking about her shortcomings that indicated the need for more maturity.
post #13 of 45
Thread Starter 
I know that in the Eastern division , there are 3 examiners for each candidate, maybe that would be better for the RM division ? Also, I think that the skiing tasks should be devised so that you do them or you don't. One examiner may have a whole different idea on how the wedge christie should be done than another. In my opinion, the wedge christie is a stupid movement anyway and should be removed from exams. Why are we teaching people to not steer their inside ski until .... ( let's not get started on this , if you are a wedge christie advocate please start a new topic, thank you ) Anyway, it would be easier to make sense of exams if they were set up as courses that you made it through or you didn't. I don't have the answers, but I know that the current system is too subjective.
post #14 of 45

Yes, conditions/terrain do have a lot to do with
demonstration success/failure. I think there are
ways to deal with those known variables. They are
real and they will always be there, but why add
to the chaos by allowing examiners to not be
standardized? Why would a reasonable and competent examiner take a group of level II
candidates onto the breakable crust crud on a
steep bowl and ask them to demonstrate wedge
cristies? I actually saw that happen once.
post #15 of 45
If I was examined in that situation, Sitz, I would assume that the examiner made a practice of taking Level 4 skiers there.

What a dork!
post #16 of 45
>>> Why would a reasonable and competent examiner take a group of level II
candidates onto the breakable crust crud on a
steep bowl and ask them to demonstrate wedge
cristies? I actually saw that happen once.

Did the examiner demonstrate that wedge christy to the candidates on that terrain sucessfully?

But to the point, in the end it will always be a judgement call by the individual examiners. I do think that three examiners should examin each candidate, though. If there is just one he can set himself up as a god and depending how his mood is that day or if he has taken a personal dislike to a candidate, pass or fail.

Also with a one or two day pre-course the candidates will go through every maneuver on which they will be examined. They ae not supposed to, but examiners will often form an opinion on a candidate during that pre-course.

Preparing a candidate at the ski school and just examening him not as effective since it depends much on who is doing the preparation, it may not be what the examiners are looking for.

post #17 of 45

These things happen all round the world. Some pass, some fail. At the lower cert levels I have seen some huge anomalies. Inconsistency in exams is usually due to the infallibility of both the examiners and the candidates. Sometimes it can be political BUT this is pretty rare.

I know in Oz to pass cert one needs to not only ski well, know the progression and do consistent demos but you must look the part and live the life holistically as well. On the day all the little things like personality, humor, punctuality, appearance and professionalism come into play.

Oz [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #18 of 45
I'll never claim that the exam process is perfect, or even close to it. I'm sure that some weak skiers/teachers have squeaked through, for any number of reasons not all of which may be valid, and some stronger ones have failed, again, for a variety of reasons. It's a human process.

But, as Robin and Kneale especially have pointed out, perceptions and reality don't always coincide! No one should fail an exam because they didn't do pivot slips/hockey slides correctly. But that maneuver reveals a great deal about a skier's technical foundation and skills(particularly the ability rotate both feet and legs independently beneath the pelvis, and the ability to manage edging and pressure sufficiently to sideslip in a narrow corridor). Deficiencies here will run through virtually all of the other maneuvers, and it is those deficiencies that will cost someone the new pin.

These things can be subtle, and it should not surprise anyone that an examiner often sees things that others miss.

There was a gentleman in one of my Level 3 exams last spring who failed for the third time that season! He was convinced that it was some sort of conspiracy, and that we were all out to get him. But his skiing was not even CLOSE to the level required for Full Certification. He'd been skiing a long time, but his skiing failed both on the level of skill, and on the fundamentals of his technique. To pass Full Cert, you have to demonstrate solid contemporary fundamentals AND you have to show a high level of skill and consistency. He did neither! Everything he did was based on upper body rotation, and he could not link two turns in moguls--traversed over three or four, made an abrupt turn, and traversed again.

The gap between this man's perception of his skill, and the reality, was enormous.

And he was hardly alone. In the same exam, there was a young, very athletic, hotshot who could ski everything fast, but skied every turn with a highly exaggerated retraction move in the transition. This didn't hurt him in moguls--it's what you have to do to absorb them, and he scored high there. But he did it EVERYWHERE. Besides looking extremely funky, it seriously interfered with his pressure control and his versatility. Sorry--not Level 3 stuff yet! He too was disappointed and somewhat surprised to have failed.

Personally, I'm just surprised none of his trainers or friends had pointed out this obvious deficiency before he got to me!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #19 of 45
There are times when you need to look holistically at a situation and when you need to fail because of one fatal flaw.

We were told at our L3 exam that "one bad maneuver won't kill you" and I believe that that was the case.

But, there are times that one flaw can be a fatal flaw. It does not good to look at things holistically. An absurd example would be you go to the doctor and he says "you're in great shape, your heart rate is perfect, your blood is great, but you one one problem. You have a brain tumor and you're going to die within a year." Sure, on average you're in great shape, but holy mackerel, if there is one major flaw, and maybe it was the hockey slips that revealed the flaw, then the person shouldn't pass.

There are always surprises at exams. At mine there was a woman who was so surprised when she passed she started crying. She was SURE she had failed, and the other six of us were shocked too. And, there was the young hotshot that could ski remarkably well but without precision (this revealed itself when we did some super-slow maneuvers). He was shocked he didn't pass.

It is a human thing, and as we all know, humans make mistakes.

post #20 of 45
I've been to 3 exams(PSIA-E), and I've found the examiners to be fair and consistent. Those examiners who failed me always proided helpful feedback, and those failures always occurred when that I was not performing at my best. I have seen other candidates who were completely unprepared and shocked to fail, but my scores were always fair. I have the opportunity to ski with examiners frequently at my home area, so maybe that's why I have always had a realistic opinion of my performance.
post #21 of 45
I wonder how examiners are chosen and trained? Are they trained to be examiners? Is there a manual and process similar to ATS or is it simply based on their ability to ski and define exercises and maneuvers?

Nolo you painted engineers with a broad brush. I really believe there are a few out there that have some talent working with students and instructors in a humanistic manner. I know a few that even read poetry!

The inability to link pivot slips says a lot about an instructor attempting level 3. I would doubt the pivot slip was the failing but only the piece readily identifiable when performed. A keen eye may take the skills required in a pivot slip and move them along to the rest of the instructors skiing. This might tell you there were things missing in their skiing as well. While I have seen some pretty strange and really unfair things occur in exams for the most part I like to give the examiner a break. They have a rotten job to do, we pay them little (I think ours get $250/day and no expenses), and I wonder (see above) what real training they are given to “judge” others. A lot of times they are just the goat for someone else’s lack of training, preparedness, or ability.

[ July 27, 2002, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: John Cole ]
post #22 of 45
I thought they were born examiners!?!
Candidates rarely know how the examiner agonizes, coaxes and coaches...leads and provokes, guides and redirects, inspires and mentors. I know I have taken the failures personally, until I know every opportunity for redemption was afforded. And $250 with or with out per diem is higher than the norm.
I have always respected 97% of the examiners I know.
post #23 of 45
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.

post #24 of 45
Great points, whtmt! Just as we attempt to TEACH skills, not "turns," we also attempt to EXAMINE skills, not specific maneuvers. We really aren't testing the ability to perform pivot slips and railroad track turns and wedge christies (and others)--we are using these maneuvers to showcase basic skills and the ability to blend these skills in different ways. It those skills, or the lack of them, or a bias that inhibits versatile, functional skiing, that determines "pass/fail."

It is quite possible that we have uncovered here one of the biggest problems that creates the misperceptions this thread has brought up! If we are testing SKILLS, why are we scoring MANEUVERS? Perhaps we need to take a new look at the whole system, starting with the score cards, to make sure that the scores actually reflect what it is we're really looking for! As it is, better examiners try to clarify their scores with comments that address the skills they see, but it is truly a system prone to create misconceptions!

John C.--as much as I hate to admit it, if your examiners get paid $250/day, plus expenses, that is exactly $115/day MORE than the examiners in the Rocky Mountain Division get paid! If anyone thinks we do this for the money, please think again!

As far as examiner training goes, there is never enough, of course. Selection emphasizes, besides skiing, teaching, and clinicing skills, the assessment and evaluation skills that distinguish "examining" from "clinicing." In our division, we hold an annual Fall Training session, usually 3-4 days long (unpaid, by-the-way, not even expenses), with various content largely determined by the "Alpine Committee" that works (volunteer) through the summer on the very issues we're discussing here, among other things. I've been a member of our Alpine Committee for three terms now, and I can tell you that even this very discussion is helpful. It will have an effect on our agenda, and our training, and I want to thank all those who have participated.

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #25 of 45
I haven't read the entire dialogue with this topic but my eye was drawn to it for a couple of reasons.

The first - I have seen many years of dread and high stress surrounding the Level 2 and 3 exams (or Associate and Full, if you prefer). I am the kid of a couple of instructors and well as an instructor myself so I have watched the scene playout in our little midwest resort for over 20 years now....over and over....actually made me think several times prior to going for my level 1 & 2.

Second - Should we go back to only 1 level? I actually don't remember that but I think the 2 levels is a little more accurate. Some folks in level 1 don't know much more than what has been spoon fed to them.. (no offense...just my observation)

Finally - From personal experience, I worked really hard this year on my skiing, changed my equipment, studied really hard and then took the Level 2 exam. It was overall a positive experience. I skied well, passed and most importantly HAD FUN.

The final item was probably the key item for me since I have seen so many people have stressful or bad exams which seem to rock their personal or ski beings, it was of great concern that didn't happen in my world.

Along with all of the other thoughts out there, is there any thought to let folks have fun during the exam also? Afterall, many of this do not do this for the money but for the love of skiing and wanting to do it to the best of our abilities?

Just a thought from a lady who has been teaching for awhile and skiing a little longer.....

post #26 of 45
I have spent years attempting to learn how to establish a relationship and an environment for and with my students so they hopefully learn from me. I often wonder if the exam staff, which happens to also be the staff that conducts our Divisions clinics, actually spends very much time learning how to establish an environment to allow their candidates to succeed (or fail) based on the individuals skills. I believe this is very important. I have not heard this side of the examiners skills discussed. Typically it is the technical and skiing skills. This is not to say it does not happen but it doesn’t seem to be a priority voiced when looking for quality in an examiner.

I would also be interested in hearing whether the new manual will have much influence on your exams this year. I know our written exam is now only (25) questions the premise being the candidate will be verbally examined on the slope. It seems the ski exam and the written exam will need to change. :
post #27 of 45
I won't say that every examiner/clinician I have had has been exceptional in creating relationships with the students but I will say that most have been. It is what keeps me going back for more.

On a different note, many of the comments above are why I hope to stop at trainer. An examiners job is too often seen as to fail people. Hell, they're just instructors like us, do you wnat to fail your students or help them? Why are examiners looked at any differently? Do our own egos and insecurities get in the way?
post #28 of 45
whtmt- Minor point, however, the young lady in question was in a level II exam. In PSIA-RM linked hockey slides are a level II maneuver as opposed to pivot slips which are done in the level III exam.

Great Post!
post #29 of 45
Whtmt you made this statement at the end of your post:
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.
I would respectfully disagree with this statement and offer that as part of the problem. I certainly attained level III without being anywhere certain that I was up to standards. I still have to ask as I can't see myself ski. From talking to other candidates I will bet you that 95% who go for their level III don't know if they meet the standards. Many believe that they do when they don't, many believe they don't when they do.
As far as the pass fail rate goes, over half the level III cadidates are taking the exam here because they need an event. Their answer "Hell I got a chance" when they fail though, they are disappointed. I know one person who took their level III exam 17 times before passing it. Her answer was "Its the best level III clinic that I could take".
post #30 of 45

Great comments. Also...isn't it true that at "your level", the exam you take is not just a pass/fail, but competitive. Only the "best of the best" make it.

Over the last few years taking the Master Teaching Program thru PSAI-E I have been lucky enough to ski with some good ( and not so good) potential Level 3. One of these people, who actually became a Level 3 prior to completing the MAster did so for several reasons.

She wanted to be able to teach her peers. Her goal is to become an examiner. What I have learned is: each "level" has different focuses and communication skills necessary.

During one clinic together, she made the comment the I had a good level 2 day. I responded (hurt ego for a moment) with, "What, not a shi**y level 3!!". Well, after talking and reviewing the movements, yup, something wasn't clicking. Her eye and my ego clashed. We were lucky enough to ski together in several other clinics, and we now joke about it.

Some days are better than others. If you try your best, and everything clicks, you make it. If not, correct what you can, and try again.

I have been fortunate to have passed any ski exam I have taken. If I were to fail, I would not blame the examiner.
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