I'd say to the beginner, concentrate on the zero range on the day as to where your shots are going. If you rangefind 55yds as such, and the zero target is definitely at 55yds, then go with the adjustments you need to keep it on zero. So if your shots are low or high by 4 clicks, work with that.
That said, it does depend on your ability to rangefind 55 well, often a bright white paper will rangefind differently from a dark target plate for many, so you need to know how your scope copes with that, and how to get around it. For me, I look for the smallest detail that the scope will resolve and work with that. That might be a bit of type on the paper, a staple, or the bark pattern on the post that supports the paper target... but i choose something detailed and in the midrange of brightness.
It's also based upon the UK where we might not see dramatic changes that perhaps happen elsewhere in the world.
It's a case of refinement of the mitigating factors, but to the new shooter i'd say concentrate on fixed aspects and then work from there. If it's on zero on the zero range, shoot as such. If you start missing in a consistent manner you can work out from there, but if you do see that, then pop back to the zero range at the end of the comp and see what's what. Has the POI shifted, are you rangefinding differently etc?
I like to leave my gun for 20 mins or so to 'acclimatise'. I also like my eyes to settle behind the scope for a few mins before making any rash judgements as to my rangefinding, as I can be sometimes out if I don't give them a chance to settle. I also tend to rangefind sometimes in an empty quadrant in the scope so the crosshairs don't distract.
BFTA/NSRA County Coach
CSFTA Chairman/BFTA Rep