There is nothing realistic about shooting on any range, let alone shooting a qual course. It is not supposed to be realistic. It is a test.
Take the word realistic out of your vocabulary when talking about qualifications. The purpose of the qual is merely to satisfactorily demonstrate you know which end of the gun to point at a target, you have rudimentary marksmanship abilities, and you understand the most basic manual of arms for the platform you are using (loading, unloading, reloading, safety/de-cock, malfunction reduction, etc…) That is it.
Passing an HQC doesn’t make you Wyatt Earp and more than buying a guitar makes you Jimmi Hendrix.
If you want to use a gun to protect yourself, or do do well in competition, you need to train accordingly.
Everyone is shooting the dice, no pun intended. The concern with the "low ready position" is that it may be what other states are doing, but not what NJ is asking for! The HQC1(revolver) or HQC2(semi-auto) officially require drawing from a holster.