Will I qualify for the 2023 International Linguistics Olympiad?
resolved Jul 24

I'll be taking NACLO (North American Computational Linguistics Olympiad) this year for the third time! If I perform well enough, I'd qualify for the US team at the IOL (yes, that's the abbreviation for the International Linguistics Olympiad, don't worry about it). I came pretty close last year!

The Path to the IOL

I'd have to score in the top 10% of the NACLO Open Round (this Thursday, Jan. 26) to qualify for the NACLO Invitational Round. Then, in the Invitational (Thursday, March 16), I'd have to rank in the top 8 among US contestants, or narrowly outside the top 8 if enough other competitors can't make it to the IOL in Bulgaria (July 23-29).

UPDATE: Open Round results just came out. I qualified comfortably for the Invitational, score-wise, but ranked #68. So...a drop. That surprised me because I felt like I did pretty well.

UPDATE: I ranked #9 on the Invitational (among US participants). So I'm the first alternate. lovely.

UPDATE: I've heard that all of the top 8 are planning to compete. So this market should now reflect the chance that one of them gets sick or otherwise unexpectedly has to cancel.

My Past Results

In 2021, I scored 56.1651 on the Open Round, narrowly missing the Invitational cutoff of 58. (Though I would've advanced if I were Canadian...) But I had a lot of fun and really got a feel for the contest: for example, it's 3 hours, but it's not enough time.

In 2022, with better time management, I scored 74.282 on the Open Round, making the Invitational cutoff of 58 and ranking #25. Then, I practiced a lot for the Invitational Round and ranked #13, one away from being a US team alternate, with a score of 48.339. A score of 54.5 would have qualified me for the IOL. (Or being Canadian.)

I think I really got into the zone last year. While I've probably improved since then, I might just not be in the right headspace on Invitational day, or my performance might simply regress to the mean or have plateaued. Still, an IOL performance is possible! I plan to seriously prepare for the Invitational and try my best.

Resolution Criteria

I will resolve this market YES when: I receive a credible email inviting me to the IOL; or published NACLO Invitational results show me in the top 8. I will resolve NO when: published Open Round results show that I have not qualified for the Invitational; published Invitational Round results show that I have ranked #13 or lower; or, if I've ranked 9-12 (officially an "alternate"), I haven't been invited to the IOL by the time it starts.

See Also

General policy for my markets: In the rare event of a conflict between my resolution criteria and the agreed-upon common-sense spirit of the market, I may resolve it according to the market's spirit or N/A, probably after discussion.

Close date updated to 2023-07-23 11:59 pm

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predicted NO

No one was sick. Best of luck to the US team (and all the rest) at the competition!

predicted NO

@Conflux :( unfortunate that you didn't get to compete... regardless, amazing job, incredible score, and good luck to those who compete!

predicted NO

For the record, I’ve been told that everyone on the team is planning to go. So this market should be the chance that one of them gets sick/unexpectedly has to cancel.

bought Ṁ300 of NO

@theatypicallylargeL why are you betting this up?!? Do you know something I don’t

bought Ṁ15 of YES

Conflux more like Wonflux, he wins!

predicted YES

Conflux will win

How often does the first alternate make it?

predicted NO

@DhruvRaghavan About 50% historically, but they told me I'd know within 1-2 days, and I haven't heard anything, so I'm pessimistic at this point

bought Ṁ30 of YES

They told me I’d probably know within 1-2 days whether any of the team members have a conflict with the IOL. So some fairly steep time discounting is probably appropriate, though I don’t know exactly what it should be

bought Ṁ200 of NO

@Conflux no news…

sold Ṁ542 of YES

WELL. #9. I’m the first alternate

predicted YES

@Conflux Score is 68.6, so I was scoring generously. And it evidently was an easy year

predicted YES

@Conflux currently I'm researching how often the first alternate gets to join the team but the website can't just make it easy so I have to sift through these stupid press releases

predicted YES

@Conflux So I think it’s in the neighborhood of 55, but not sure! If anyone wants to do research, it’s all on nacloweb.org

predicted YES


predicted NO

How are you so sure?

bought Ṁ50 of YES

@xyz It felt like it went really well on invitational day! Maybe 90th percentile relative to expectations. I pretty much solved all the problems except for one, which was better than all my practice tests! I also met my goal of being focused for all 4 hours; ate a lot of food and such.

My estimation is that my score is in the 70s or 80s, and most cutoffs in the past were in the 50s-60s range. Sometimes it's an easier test, but my anecdata (friends who took it + some people online) suggests that other people didn't find it notably easier than normal, which is a quite bullish sign for me!

If I didn't make it, it's probably some combination of making more errors than I thought, cutoffs being higher than usual despite my anecdata, and my ability to predict scores from test experience being substantially worse than I thought. I don't want to be overconfident here, but I think things went well, so I landed on 80%!

predicted YES

Today’s the day! My best evidence from

practice tests suggests that the most likely scenario is to narrowly not qualify, but if things go right, qualification is certainly within reach! I’m gonna make sure to be energized and in the zone for all 4 hours.

predicted YES

Another day, another practice test that's almost good enough but not quite. Estimated score is 53, estimated cutoff is 59

bought Ṁ0 of YES

I took another full practice test (2021), aided by some recently purchased and competition-legal highlighters. Weird one. I did very well on the first few problems, but then hit a wall on problem after problem. I felt discouraged and defeatist, and accomplished very little in my last hour, though I was making active efforts on problems and trying to squeeze out some more points.

Then I looked up the cutoffs, and it was a pretty hard year! Nothing like the catharsis of missing a problem and realizing everyone else did too. The cutoff is in the neighborhood of 56-59 (I no longer think it's correct to look at raw cutoffs for year, because there was a significant quarantine drop in participation in 2021 and 2022, but because of score clustering, the adjustment doesn't affect 2021 that much), which is much lower than the 74ish for 2018. My SCORE ESTIMATE (see disclaimers in my other comment about partial credit and stuff) is 52.4. This includes some lucky guesses, but also excludes some problems I could have solved - there are two that I'm kicking myself on a bit. Certainly I was overly defeatist, but it's hard to sustain energy for over four hours.

Also, there was a small bug in my score calculator. My new best estimate for 2018 is 77 (revised UPWARD from 72) compared to the cutoff of 75-76 (revised upward separately based on participation from 74.2). There's still a great deal of variability on that, and I still don't fully know how they score partial credit.

On the other hand, adjusting for participation makes my 2022 almost-IOL performance less impressive. Multiplying by 190/124 (the participant ratio - this assumes that participant quality is constant as number increases) puts a rank of #13 closer to a rank of #20. But I've probably improved since then - I did zero practice Invitationals last year, and I've already done two this time (and I hope to do a third next weekend). The Open Round score of #68 is also cold hard evidence against me this year.

I think it's clear that my average performance is not currently at IOL level, but somewhere in the ballpark. Probably I could qualify if I perform well and get lucky on test day (March 16)?

predicted YES

@Conflux need a tl;dr for the dyslexic among us

predicted YES

@AsterTyche yeah sorry for the wall of text. tl;dr: did a practice test, thought I was doing relatively bad but actually did fairly good. Not good enough to qualify, but in the ballpark probably

bought Ṁ60 of NO

ugh @8 stop making me hold NO

I swear, I will do my best to make this resolve YES, but if someone buys NO into my limit orders, it’s probably profitable!

predicted YES

@Conflux i believeeeee

bought Ṁ80 of NO

@8 :/