Saturday, 19 January 2008

International Judges Seminar and Exam (2)

Continued from this post.
Most Seminars run for 3 days. First two days you'll spend in the classroom going over all the aspects of becoming an IJ. How Jury's operate, how you, as a member, should behave, what is expected of you in the team and a lot about procedures. You'll go over how to write a protest, the difference between facts found and conclusions and so-on. But don't expect to much about the rules and cases. At that level you are expected to know them already. Of course some complicated cases and rules are presented, but mostly it's about the stuff in the judges manual. You'll get the opportunity to practice a little with a short test or an assignments in groups. There will be some time for discussions, but basically you have to stay alert in a class room from 9 till 6 with few breaks. Most seminars are done by two instructors, so while they play tag, you have to keep up all the time. The presentations however are very good and entertaining, so it is not all a drag .

Do however find a place to stay as close as possible to the class-room. Preferably within walking distance or at the same venue. You can then use the little time you have left over as best as you can. Either gathering your thoughts, or going over the days events or just getting enough sleep, instead of traveling to and from the venue. In all likelihood there will be a diner organized for all, on either the evening of the first or the second day, by the local club. If at all possible try to arive a day earlier. Most of you will have traveled a long way and to do a full day class-room on top of that, is not a good idea.

On the third day after a short morning class room session, you can do the IJ-exam. Everybody who has English as there mother-language, has two hours to do it and everybody who hasn't, two and a half hours. I can assure you, unless you are very very quick, you will need that time in full!
Most people who fail the test, say it is because the have not enough time to read the question and understand what is asked. If you practice that skill - reading and answering test questions in English - you will have less problems with time and can concentrate more on coming up with the correct answer(s). So my first advice: start writing protest in English, start reading all you can get your hands on about the rules, in English, do everything in English. International Jurys operate in that language and it is essential you develop your skill in that area.

After the exam you'll get a short breather and lunch and then you'll be giving the opportunity to go over the answers of the exam. (You can opt out, some of my fellow participants did that). Now let me try to alleviate some anxiety you might experience. I was very confident about the results after I finished the writing, and I passed the exam with a good grade, but after that answer session, I was convinced I had failed! Because you don't know how each question is scored (there are more points in difficult questions) each wrong answer gets blown up in your mind, as being one too many. I felt like shit, pardon my language. The results are send out some weeks after the seminar, and it was a big relieve to get a positive result. In hindsight, I now know why some didn't want to hear the answers.
So, as a second advice: don't let the answers get you down. You either passed or you didn't. Treat them as another opportunity to learn or just don't go.

Next time I'll tell you about the actual IJ-exam.


  1. Can you email me, I have some questions that I want to have a back-and-forth


  2. Jos

    If Jarrett is also interested in becoming an IJ then he can email me either at my home

    Canadian Judge


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