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Lit Distribution

Posted: Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:00 pm
by literatureboye
After looking at distribution for the MSNCT and HSNCT Distribution, it seems that the MSNCT Literature distribution is very skewed compared to HSNCT.

With ~3.9 Lit tossups per packet for MS, 0.7 of those tossups per packet are actually Mythology/Religion. Also, considering that there is 1 Young Reader tossup per packet, that leaves the rest of the literature at ~2.2 per packet.

However, HSNCT has ~4.1 Lit tossups per packet, with only 0.3 of those tossups being Religion. Mythology isn't even considered Literature in HS. With only 0.1 Young Reader tossups per packet, that totals to only ~3.7 per packet.

Why is mythology part of literature in MS, but not HS? And why is there 1 Young Reader tossup/bonus question per packet in MS and only 0.1 in HS?

Re: Lit Distribution

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 6:15 am
by a named reaction
Presumably there’s way more young reader literature at MSNCT than HSNCT because young reader literature
makes up a way larger proportion of what middle school students will have read—speaking only for myself, I think I was assigned read a total of five books in middle school that didn’t fall into the young reader category. Accessibility is a real and important concern in any tournament ever, and regardless of one’s thoughts about the value of young reader lit, I’d rather see questions on that getting converted than questions on harder “real literature” that go dead in most rooms because no one in middle school has ever heard of them (though I would be curious to know if young reader literature is at present converted better than other literature).

If you think you’re good enough at “real lit” that you’re being held back by this, then congratulations: try and play high school tournaments on A and IS sets if your school lets you. But you should try to keep in mind that there were 192 teams at MSNCT this year, many of whom are not as good at literature as you are, but all of whom trust that NAQT will produce a set that they can enjoy and not have an inordinate number of tossups go dead, and it seems likely to me that the reduction of the amount of “real literature” is in pursuit of that goal.

Re: Lit Distribution

Posted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 11:03 am
by literatureboye
In my experience, Young Reader literature gets to the giveaway much more often than other literature, and it's part of the reason why the cliff from MS to HS is so difficult. To have such a major part of MS lit just disappear when we get to HS is just crazy. We're only exposed to about 100-200 answerlines in the entirety of MS lit, and that's partly because we only have almost half of the amount of literature without the YR section per packet than HS.