21 December 2011

Are the Quizzes Too Long (Wordy)?

A player submitted this comment about the 20 December quiz:

The question of this quiz was too much long and contained a lot of unnecessary information. I used a lot of time to read and understand the question (279 seconds) while it was over the functionality of the simple built-in function LAST_DAY.

This happens regularly in daily quizzes. Lots of quiz players like me are not English native speakers. (My English is very poor). We need to spend much time reading the question to fully understand. Therefore, we are necessarily disadvantaged as compared to the English speaking participants.

Looking back at this quiz, I realize that I introduced a table and data in the table when it really wasn't necessary. That lengthened the quiz and could have been avoided.

So, definitely, this quiz could have been shortened and I am sure that many of the quizzes could be "stripped down" to the very basics.

I would love to hear what you think about this. I will also create a poll about this.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Steven, All,

    Well ... even someone who understands English without problems was probably asking himself the same question after this quiz ...

    It is not only the table, but also the "story" around it (evaluation, a.s.o.), so one was really supposed "to read the story", before being able to find out that the story details are not so relevant for the question asked ...

    The other way around is "to jump" directly to the choices, and, in many cases, the choices are enough by themselves to let you "guess" the entire scenario, without reading the introduction.

    So, ultimately, it is one's "personality" more than one's PL/SQL knowledge that determines the approach he will take and, implicitly, the time spent on the quiz.

    When one should be "top-fast", then short and very focused questions (without ambiguities, of course !) are the best ones to check one's "conscious knowledge", that is, to check "what does he indeed KNOW THEORETICALLY WHENEVER ASKED" and not just what is he able to recognize when seeing written code ...

    Real life always "raises its problems" with many details around, relevant and less relevant,
    but the PL/SQL Challenge is a somewhat "cleaned-up" environment, in which data modeling and details filtering out is supposed to play a minor role versus the PL/SQL knowledge per se.

    But, well ... this is probably a much wider topic than this particular case we started from.

    Thanks & Best Regards,