Go Elementary Training and Dan Level Testing
FredK: The program offers two modes of use, "test yourself" and "promotion". I usually just test myself. That mode is itself presented at three levels, beginner, middle, and high. For the time being, I am happy enough with "beginner" level, which seems to be actually aimed at about 3 kyu or thereabouts.
Each test consists of three problem sets, life and death, corner patterns, and whole game, apparently selected at random from some large internal library. The life and death problems, each displayed on a kind of applet board, are an attractive assortment with many themes and tesujis. The program responds to the user's moves until either a solution or a crashout is reached. We get up to two tries. The program will supply the correct sequence if queried.
Each corner pattern problem consists of two diagrams, one with the initial few moves of some joseki and a second with the outcome of some variation, five to ten moves later. The user's task is to supply the missing sequence for both sides. I have not seen this kind of problem in any printed text. Again, the user is given two chances to get it right, after which the program will supply the correct sequence, if queried.
Both life-death problems and joseki study material are readily available in printed form, of course, but it is always nice to have a supply on the computer, though nowadays there is so much of this material readily available at various websites. There seems to be no way to summon up specific problems, only a random selection.
The "whole game" problems would potentially be the most useful to an aspiring seeker of improvement, but read on. Each one consists of a whole board diagram from middle to late fuseki or very early middle game, and the user is to select one point, from five that are labeled A to E, as the correct answer. Here we get only one chance and, exasperatingly, there is no way to query for the right answer, nor does there seem to be a way to summon the problem again in order to think about it more (or just to learn the right answer by trying all possibilities, if necessary).This is really too bad, as I think that most players at the intended level would have the most to learn from studying this category of problem.
Each three part test is followed with an estimate of the players strength. (I am usually between 3k and 2 dan, so this tells me that my play is fairly erratic.)
This description is based on the version I purchased some eight or nine years ago; I don't know whether there is a newer edition.
Does anyone else have much experience with this program?