The new Written is strictly for the egoists (or masochists) that seek National or Master ranks.  There is no other reason to take the Written, and taking the Written exam will not automatically make your competition score sheets any better.  That said, I hope the new shorter Written may be slightly more feasible since the endurance factor of completing the old Legacy exam in 2.5 hours was daunting.  Now the exam consists of five questions: the Recipe, two style, and two troubleshooting.  There are also 20 True/False questions that only count (against you) if you miss them.  Three observations on the new Written exam:

  1. All the questions are published, so expectations are high as to full and complete answers.
  2. Time-to-finish is a major factor, even on the shorter exam.  There is no time on exam day to ponder what you wish to write down.  Come game day, you are simply unloading what you have already prepared to write.
  3. Now, only serious judges seeking National or Master will be taking the Written, so gone are the days when half the grader’s set were incomplete and sub-par.  Going forward, every Written exam should be very good, so standing out and making Master may be tougher.  Hard to tell.