Preparing for the Judge Test: Part 1
Written by Weedmonkey on May 15, 2010
This article, as well as all other articles and tournament coverage can be found on our coverage site.
Another 90 days has come and gone. Soon, the judge test reset will be upon us. A swarm of prospective judgelings, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed will tackle the level 1 judge test, hoping to achieve that magical 8/10 to join the judge ranks.
After completing the judge test and receiving their results, some players feel that they deserved a higher mark than they actually received. Others feel that the judge test is far too difficult for anyone but rules gurus to be able to pass. Others still feel that we manipulated their results because there was absolutely no way that they failed the test.
This article i am going to divide into two parts. The first part will address the makeup of the judge test in its current iteration, preconceptions of players and how to begin studying for the judge test. The second part of the article will get into the meat of the judge test. It will look at test technique and how to answer judge questions in order to maximize the chance of passing.
The test in its current iteration consists of 10 short answer questions. Candidates have 35 minutes in which to complete the test. The test's questions are divided into one very easy, four easy, four medium and one hard. A rough description of each difficulty is as follows:
To pass the judge test, you require a score of 8/10 or better. We are aware this is a mark higher than is required by the equivalent DCI L1 test. Although I don't know the 'official' reason behind the passing grade being set where it is, I feel that it's a positive thing and necessary to ensure the standard of our judges. Unlike DCI tournaments at a competitive level where you have a head judge and/or other judges to check with, on Magic-League there are times where you will be the only judge available to handle a ruling. In order to ensure that you have the knowledge background to handle these rulings independently a higher passing grade can be beneficial.
As a judge, you hear a lot of comments about people who have taken the judge test (from both sides). From my point of view, there are a number of preconceptions that players have regarding the judge test.
- The test is far harder than the DCI test.
- I could not have received the mark i did. It must have been marked wrong!
- The test is inconsistent and sometimes I won't know what the question is asking.
- The judges don't like me. They will do anything to stop me from becoming a judge.
Yes, this is an accusation that is directed at judges. One case I know of involved a candidate we will refer to as Joe. Joe had taken the judge test. I graded it, and it was not a passing mark. Believing that he could not possibly have failed, he accused judges of rigging test results so he could not become a judge, even though more than one judge had given him the same mark.
Believe it or not, we want more judges in the judge ranks. More judges = more tournaments = more judges available to handle rulings = better Magic-League experience. There have been controversial judges that we have approved for training in order to give them a chance to prove themselves (a point which Gerrardfo addressed in his article last year). We don't automatically exclude players if they've misbehaved once or twice in the past - but we do want to make sure that our judges are professional, respectable members of the community.
Hitting the Books
This is where many prospective candidates fall apart. Every judge test reset we strongly advise candidates to study. Regardless, there are candidates that think that they can pass the judge test off the back of simply having tournament experience. This is rarely the case.
Good study habits are something that is beneficial to every judge, regardless of level. In DCI tournaments judges don't have access to tournament documents, therefore it is integral that their knowledge base is in check. For all judges, keeping up to date on rules and interactions ensures quality judging in tournaments they are a part of. Even at level 3 on Magic-League, I will take time every so often to read rules updates (Mark Gottlieb's update bulletins are always interesting) and read up on sections of documents that I'm not as familiar with in order to ensure that I can provide the best service to the community as I possibly can.
Because everybody thinks and learns in different ways, there is no 'silver bullet' study plan. Some people may find one strategy that works for them, while others may find a combination of approaches helpful to them.
That's it for Part 1! Take the time to start preparing your knowledge for when the sister part to this article begins to tackle the questions.
by Zelkaviour on 2010-05-16 15:08 CET
nicely put Monkey.
by JoshJ on 2010-05-18 03:53 CET
The last time I looked at the Delphi test (3 years or so) I observed that you were really better off if you got most of the questions "wrong" and could explain why the "wrong" answer is actually correct under the current rules.
by Steveman on 2010-05-21 00:20 CET
How is this gonna help me get un j-banned
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