Science of Testing Part II
By: Master Larry Dercole

Welcome back to: "Science Of Testing Part II - Proctoring and Strategies"
In part I we had discussed some ways students might prepare for testing and also the importance of the test orchestration by the examiners.If by chance you missed that read, it is archived on our website under Educational Corner at

Another key element for successful testing is the PROCTOR or floor assistant. The primary duty of proctoring is to communicate command and direction from the examiners table to the testing students. This crafty responsibility involves strictness and seriousness. How to speak, when to speak, what to say are all vital factors for effective proctoring. It is important to understand the basic differences between instructing a class and proctoring a test. In general, class instructing involves detailed guidelines, specific instructions, feedback (positive and/or perhaps negative). The student may even feel a particular sense of dependency and comfort knowing that the instructor is in complete control. The Proctor however, must find ways to put the testing student in control. A proctor may offer little or no sense of comfort by over explaining instructions or providing feedback that may lessen the purpose of the test. Through his/her demeanor, verbal and nonverbal communication, a confident proctor is able to mirror confidence in the testing students. The opposite holds true as well -- an untrained or nervous proctor can create confusion and disarray for the student and therefore the test. Over explanation, unnecessary comment, and even boisterous manners can easily be translated into distraction and confusion competing for focus of the testing students.
The proctor takes command and demonstrates discipline while he maintains a balance of connection with the examiners as well as the read and safety of the students. He/she is working in concert with the examiner's well-laid plans. The goal is to raise the energy, meet the challenge and to bring out the artistry in the artist.

Test strategies involve variations in test exercises, drills and other testing procedures. While maintaining the traditional and official requirements of our WTSDA curriculum, those of us as proctors and examiners may choose to consider different ways to accomplish the same thing. Those of us as testing students should review and know our requirements inside and out, backwards and forwards, right side and left, etc., to become fully prepared for any surprises in the test structure. This concept can help create a better prepared student and a more fulfilling testing experience. It is important to remember, however that many of these variations and suggestions should be considered for intermediate and advanced students, perhaps the ranks of green belt and higher. Beginning students and young children should perform only their well reviewed outlined curriculum as practiced in class.

Ill Soo Sik (One-step techniques)
Typically, student (A) attacks, student (B) executes, and then vice versa. This format works well however, it does give student (A) an advantage because he/she only needs to copy student (B). Other formats of One-step Techniques could include;

* Even/Odd - Student (A) will execute only the odd numbered techniques while student (B) executes the even numbered techniques.

* No Partner - Execute the techniques on command but without a partner.

* Group against one - form a line or a circle, one-by one the attackers ki-hap and then punch (no waiting for an answering ki-hap by the defender) giving little or no time for the defender to think, instead the quickness and reaction of the defender is observed.

* Multiple techniques - After completing one of the ill so sik techniques, the student executes another technique based on his/her positioning from the previous action. The student might consider the most logical technique from the entire system and connect them in a flowing series.

* Random order - Choose any technique but do not repeat and do not copy.

Drills and Basics
Performing basics are the obviously the foundation to our art and are a primary starting point in the testing. Responding to the proctor's (Korean language) command and count are important so that examiners may observe discipline, order and the students response to the required terminology. After this is achieved, however it could be considered to allow the student to present their own expertise by the following;

* Free style combos - The student executes any combinations (their own choice) of hand and/or foot techniques moving from one end of the testing area to the other.

* Free style combos with partner - The same as above, however this time against a retreating student. The retreating student may throw an occasional counter technique.

* Retreating combos - The same as above, however this time moving backwards.

* Jump Kicking - After the initial required demands are met by the examiners, the student may decide for themselves which is their best and favorite jump kick technique. Students may then be spotlighted (another important element) as they demonstrate their kick individually.

Hyongs - The "Heart of the Art."
This portion of the test obviously carries weight and wisdom of the students' respective level. Their understanding of the hyong, technical prowess, confidence in performing as well as demonstration of spirit and intention can be clearly measured by this important exercise. As Grandmaster J.C. Shin stated at our 1982 WTSDA charter convention/clinic, "Hyung is not only about technique, it is about spirit. Your spirit is the most important thing." With this in mind we need to review the format in which students present their hyung in a given test.

* Group performance vs. individual performance - For the sake of time we often find group hyung performamce during testing. The group performance however, may not always yield the student's best simply because of so much close range distraction. Then there is the "comfort in numbers" effect. Performing in large groups, students may feel hidden or somewhat concealed and as a result their performance becomes less than their best. Occasionally students have even been asked to perform together insyncrinization with one another distancing them even further from the true significance of the hyung requirement. Grandmaster Shin's message of "Spirit," should be exercised and demonstrated during testing. To capture this essence at least one hyong should be performed individually.

* Sub Groups - Other strategies include dividing groups into sub groups. One group performs their respective hyung while the other group is seated in MukYum. It is important to prepare mentally for hyung before actually performing it. One group could perform one or two hyungs then return to Muk Yum while the next group performs, repeating the process until all hyungs have been completed. Note: Proctors should not add confusion and exhaustion by demanding additional calisthenics and endurance exercises during the hyungs segment.

* Favorite Hyung - Asking the student to choose their favorite hyung is another strategy. Of course this request comes after the other requirements have been completed. There are reasons a student may choose a particular hyung as their favorite and perhaps the important elements of spirit and intention can be found and experienced here.

These are a few of numerous strategies. Next time we'll talk about; Testing Order, Leadership and Breaking in "Science of Testing Part III"