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 Post subject: yes.
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 4:08 am 
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Well put. And let me add that I agree with you that the tests should be more challenging. It is a joke to have a 100 question multiple choice exam for a course that has the depth and breadth of the Colored Stones material in all of its double-volume glory.

I quite frankly wanted to show off when I took the tests. I wanted to show that I did flashcards of every single chapter's main themes and vocabulary, and that my retention was 99%+ because I worked those poor little flashcards ragged. I never got the chance. The point isn't that people are competitive or give a darn about their test score- the point is that exams should thoroughly cover the material that was taught. In the end it is all the same because I know the material. But 300 questions would have been better, and a mix of different types of questions is in order as well.

And as far as instructors willing to teach more than the material at hand, I think GIA Thailand excels in that aspect. You get a good idea about your instructors depth of knowledge when they go off on those little "tangents" and give you well-presented, applicable knowledge that is so valuable that you feel compelled to write it down even though you know it will never be on a test. This happened over and over again during my Gem Iden course in Bangkok. That makes time fly by so quickly.

I sometimes found myself baffled that they knew so much and could relate it so well. I know that at least one of them has a bachelor's in gemology that is available at a university in Thailand but it is my understanding that it is only offered in Thai language. I would tell you the name of the school if I could spell or pronounce it but I can do neither. One of the instructors is GG/FGA.

They were just as focused on teaching characteristics, inclusions, and properties that are NOT diagnostic as they were one the traits that are. That in and of itself increased the value of the class. I know everyone talks about how expensive GIA is, and if and when I do the FGA I will be able to make meaningful comparisons, but I don't feel I have overpaid for anything that GIA has offered me.

And I have to agree- even as outspoken as I am- we are ALL humbled by this science and this business!

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Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. ~Mark Twain


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:04 am 
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Hi davegimchee:

The only problem with increasing the number of questions by 3X or any number is that you go beyond knowledge and start getting fatigue being a factor. I know that interns are worked to the bone to teach them to make decisions when tired and stressed, but can't see the point when it comes to GG's.
Exam theory says that any random set of questions drawn from the course will test the knowledge of the candidate. it isn't necessary to have a question on each and every item in the course. Also any cndidate who has "worked" his/her flash cards to the point the edges are "frayed" and has reasonable retention will do well regardless of the content of the questions.

anyway just my 2 cents

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 Post subject: YES!
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:21 am 
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Outstanding point and well taken, Wolf.

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Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. ~Mark Twain


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:24 pm 
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With the Colored Stones exam I was left feeling like "I know so much more beyond what I was asked on the test". The sheer mass of it I did find challenging. Honestly though, I am less concerned about the exams than I am the quality of the teaching and course material. This is definitely a field for the self motivated student. I found the coursework and teaching to be very well developed and administered. I also supplemented my work with other reading and discussion. So some folks may think multiple choice exam is wimpy. I think the program works. You have been repeatedly quized and reviewed the material so much by the time you take the exam, then combine that with the lab classes, you do gain good understanding of the material. My best advice, don't go too fast and only skim the text, ask lots of questions, cross reference and read other books on the subject, ask more questions till you fully understand, take many notes, review and practice, and never stop reading because the field is ever evolving.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 10:17 am 
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Carrie wrote:
I think the program works.

I think the program is genius in how well it works; I more than agree with your post -- I am one of GIAs biggest fans. In my previous post I was venting frustration at how I find myself defending it for one reason or another - which is what struck me about the warning as such carried in davegimchee's post - he hit on what I run up against out and about - and I am trying to find some way of changing those misconceptions or finding out how they get started.

I was thinking about something else I observed - aside from the giant binders which come with any of these courses - if one also studies the texts associated with the programs, that is Liddicoat which comes with the GG materials (or Hurlbut) and Gemmology by Read which is a companion to the FGA materials - you will find that the books fill in and equalize the programs. I am not sure how many students actually read their Liddicoat book while they are busy trying to keep up with the rest of the program (by the time you are doing 100 stones a day, the mind can feel numb). Between Liddicoat, Read and Hurlbut you aren't missing much unless you want to enroll in a mineralogy course or work through Kraus' Gems and Gem Materials on your own. Well, add in Gems 5th too, but the point being that the equalizing information is readily available as part of the courses.

I think another thing that is amazing about GIA is that the resources seem bottomless. I expressed an interest in seeing more Mong Hsu rubies... 3 days later I had a bag full of them and time after class to study them. Another day it was Brazil law twinning in amethyst... another bag appeared. Lighting techniques for spectroscopy in difficult stones.... another day after class and a bag full of stones to practice with. How can you beat that?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:42 pm 
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Has anybody heard of this school, International School of Gemology. The prices are way cheaper than the GIA, but the question is the informaiton. Has anyone gone to this school, or completed any of the programs through the ISG online? Reply's are greatly appreciated, with any inforamtion


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:14 am 
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Click here for a list of gemology schools that we recommend on Gemology Online and The Gemology Project
This is a list of accredited schools whose credentials are recognized within the industry.
Certainly the ISG offers a great deal of information within its courses, but be aware, there are several sources online where much of this information is available without charge.
Notice some of the links on the left, under Free Online Gemology Courses and check out the wealth of information on The Gemology Project
Free online Live Gemological Chats are hosted on Saturdays and Sundays.
These chats reinforce the curriculum of the British Gemmological Association. Links are also on the left.

Let us know if we can give you any more information.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:21 am 
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Barbra Voltaire wrote:
Click here for a list of gemology schools that we recommend on Gemology Online and The Gemology Project
This is a list of accredited schools whose credentials are recognized within the industry.
Certainly the ISG offers a great deal of information within its courses, but be aware, there are several sources online where much of this information is available without charge.
Notice some of the links on the left, under Free Online Gemology Courses and check out the wealth of information on The Gemology Project
Free online Live Gemological Chats are hosted on Saturdays and Sundays.
These chats reinforce the curriculum of the British Gemmological Association. Links are also on the left.

Let us know if we can give you any more information.


Thank you Barbra for the Info. I know that I want to take my 10 yr hobby to the next level, just I live in Wisconsin and a ways away from either GIA or Gem-A. Does anybody know if GIA or Gem-A will start offering Financial Aid to distance students like other college/universities across the country are doing now, or opening up more schools like say one in the upper midwest lol :lol: .
Thanx again Barbra.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:12 pm 
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earthdragon26 wrote:
Has anybody heard of this school, International School of Gemology. The prices are way cheaper than the GIA, but the question is the informaiton. Has anyone gone to this school, or completed any of the programs through the ISG online? Reply's are greatly appreciated, with any inforamtion


I have earned my Registered Gemologist Appraiser credential with the ISG. The info is quite good and has really evolved over the last couple of years. It gets better all the time in all sincerity. The ISG does have some darn fine,thorough gemologists among it's number.

I also looked into the GIA first but the cost for their distance course far exceeded the price of the ISG distance course and my finances dictated my decision. The cost at the ISG has crept up of late too because the curriculum is ever-expanding and I'd guess the costs of mailing test stones and the like back and forth is contributing to that as well. I will say the course now is light years ahead of what I have seen of it's original composition.

The largest downside is that the RGA title is much less well known in the industry than the GG and so that is a bit of a hinderance for now although I believe that will change over time as more ISG graduates move into the industry and continue to do good work.

Many of us have gone on to enter the trade at different levels. I'm a member of the AGTA and NAJA and own my own appraisal business. I'm really enjoying it and do my best to improve the image of the jewelery business in general at every turn and provide my customers with good, accurate documents to protect their interests. My best typically isn't too shabby but I'm always learning along with every other gemologist :lol:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:18 pm 
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Thank you C S Smith. :smt042 I believe that this is the route I am going to take, then move onto either the GIA or Gem-A. Right now I need to get get into the field and use the ISG as a stepping stone.

All schools had to start from somewhere. I believe that the ISG will get bigger. Especially with GG students going to ISG at the same time to get more hands on with the equipment. lol

Thanks again C S Smith. :smt041


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:34 pm 
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earthdragon26 wrote:
Does anybody know if GIA or Gem-A will start offering Financial Aid to distance students like other college/universities across the country are doing now, or opening up more schools like say one in the upper midwest.

Check GIA's Financial Aid site and don't over look applying for available scholarships both through GIA and elsewhere. http://www.gia.edu/education/30766/home.cfm. GIA does offer Distance Scholarships and there are awards elsewhere for distance Gem-A study - read this for some insight into how some have entered this field of study - esp. Kate D. who won a scholarship for the FGA http://www.womensjewelry.org/awards/shining_stars.htm


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