The Test

Originally published on February 16th, 2013 by Dimitri Bouniol. #FNADNST

Welcome to Hillside Private High School, a specialized academy who's successful students are bound to succeed in the future.

Things are done a bit differently in this school.

First of all, admission is only given to student's who have been recommended by alumni of the school itself.

Despite that, some people try to fake such recommendations.

Unfortunately for them though, just having a recommendation is not enough to get in.

After all, if everyone who graduated the school became instantly successful in life, it really tells you what kind of a person you need to be to get in in the first place.

What most don't realize is that it's not so much the school that is special.

They simply try to get the very best students, and nurture them to perfection.

These students are a selected crop that managed to pass the Entrance Exam.

The Entrance Exam isn't so much an exam as it is a week-long boarding camp that the school hosts at the beginning of the academic school year.

Of course, there is a test at the beginning of it, but just because you passed that doesn't mean you'll get in.

In fact, in the past there have been 2 students that didd get perfect scores on that test, but they withdrew after only 2 and 3 days respectively.

Yes, it is more accurate to say that everyone will fail this test.

But failing it doesn't mean it's the end of it for you.

It's what comes next where the fun begins!

"Welcome everyone to day one of Hellside Private High School's admission camp. I will be your proctor for the day, Mr. Hiethfield."

One student whispered to another: "Did he just say Hellside high school? Wasn't this place called Hills…"

"Silence!", yelled the proctor. "We will now be passing out the tests. You have 4 hours to finish it, and are allowed one bathroom break. You will also be allowed only a single question, so choose it carefully."

"… One more thing. If anyone is caught cheating, you will immediately denied entrance to this academy. Have Fun!"

The boy in the middle of the room was disturbed by what the proctor meant by "Have Fun".

After all, how could they have fun on such a hard exam that would last no less and no longer than 4 hours…

He was quite smart though, so he had confidence in his abilities.

The minute he was handed the exam packet, he started working out the first few questions.

They all had to do with analyzing a situation, and using advances logic to solve the problem.

As an advanced mixture of mathematics, linguistics, and cultural knowledge mixed in one, he wondered how normal high school students would be even able to solve such an exam.

Suddenly, a student in the front-right of the room with back hair and a white shirt asked the first question:

"Would you like us to fill out the test with a pencil or a pen?" he asked.

How could you waste your only question on such a silly thought!? the boy thought.

"Either is fine" the proctor answered.

After about 20 minutes had passed, he managed to answer the first few questions on the packet, continuing to the next one.

"Number 23, please hand in your exam and leave" The proctor suddenly said out loud.

Everyone looked over towards number 23, who stood up immediately: "What!? Why?"

"I believe I said this already, but perhaps you weren't listening to my instructions: Anyone caught cheating will be asked to leave." the proctor calmly said.

"Now please turn in your exam and leave."

The boy looked cornered, and after only few moments, he kicked his table and just left.

One of the nearby instructors came by to pick up his paper and bring it to the front.

The boy in the middle could only think of how desperate number 23 must have been to cheat on such a test.

But he wasn't without reason; even he himself wasn't sure he could answer enough of it to pass.

After about an hour passed, the boy in the front right rose his hand up again to ask a question.

"May I go to the bathroom?" he asked without warning.

"You were only allowed one question", the proctor said.

On that answer, he got up and walked to the back of the room towards the bathrooms.

Immediately after, a girl rose her hand and asked a similar question: "Although he just went, may I go as well? I've been holding it in this whole time…"

"You may" the proctor said with a smile.

She left the room by herself in a hurry.

What a bad excuse to cheat… he thought to himself…

After another 5 minutes, someone else rose his hand.

"Could you give me the answer to number 6?" he calmly asked.

Upon hearing such an atrocious question, the boy turned around to personally see who would have the balls to ask that.

"The bridge will be a total of 746 meters long, and would need 5 legs to hold it up over the cliff, angled at 30° each." the proctor said with a smile.

He actually answered it!? the boy thought to himself with much surprise.

Immediately, someone else asked a similar question for another part of the exam, and soon, a third student did the same.

However, this wouldn't be enough to solve it.

There might have been around 80 students taking it in this room, but with over 500 questions to go through, it wouldn't be enough.

Something else worried the boy: The test was clearly graded out of 1000 points, as the cover page indicated, but each question, added up, amounted to only 800 points.

After the 20th person tried getting an answer for one of the questions, the boy also rose his hand.

"On the front of the test, it clearly said the exam is out of 1000 points, however if you add up every question, it only comes out to about 800. Would you mind explaining why this is so?" he asked.

"Although answering every answer perfectly would get you 800 points, we still need a way to separate out the exceptional students from the others."

"We reserve the right to award more points to students with exceptional answers. As you have no doubt realized, this is also a way to make up points if you cannot finish in time…"

The teacher next to the proctor jabber her elbow to his side as if telling him to shut up.

"How many points are necessary to pass then?" the boy immediately asked.

"I already answered your question." the proctor proclaimed.

Finally understanding the true purpose of this exam, he sat back down to gather his thoughts…

"How many points are necessary to pass?" the boy that sat to his immediate right asked out loud.

"Only 1 point is necessary to pass this stage of the exam, but you will need a total of at least 800 to be admitted." the proctor answered with a smile on his face.

After getting his answer, he sat down calmly.

He started scribbling rather furiously, making audible noises as his pen sic collided with the paper on the wooden desk.

After 10 minutes of this knocking, he couldn't take it anymore… it was knock after knock, never stopping…

"… y o u s e e m s m a r t e r t h a n…" he started to automatically make out from morse code.

"You seem smarter that the rest of these kids. Let's work together on this one" the student next to him said via morse code.

"What questions do you want to take care of? We can start exchanging during the last hour" he replied with.

"I'll take the last half then. Pleased to work with you, I'm David." the boy replied with.

"Same here. I'm Ken." the boy in the middle told to his new companion in crime to his right.

They had both realized it — this exam was impossible to score highly on without working together.

It encouraged cheating so long as you could do so without getting caught, like number 23 did.

But you were also expected to use your resources like those students who asked questions regarding questions did.

Everyone had to work together to get through this if they all wanted to pass with high marks.

An hour later, less than half the allotted time left for the exam was left.

Their plan was going well, and they could even start to see other groups forming between the remaining students.

Suddenly, from the back of the room, the boy with black hair and the white shirt, along with the girl, both came back from the bathroom.

How long were they there for… Ken though to himself.

As they reached their own seats, both of them grabbed their exam packet and proceeded to the front of the room.

They both turned in their packets, and then just left through the door at the front as thee proctor instructed them to.

"It seems they also figured it out" said David next to him.

"They must know more than us though. It's almost like they didn't even try to get a good score." Ken replied back with his pencil.

"You're right. Want to finish this up?" David asked.

"Its a risk, but let's take it." Ken said.

As he pocked that message out, another student got up to ask a question.

"If I finished everything, would it be better to turn it in now or wait until the end?" he asked.

He had short, light red hair, and everyone looked over at him with surprise that he was able to finish in less than 3 hours.

"If you can manage to leave early, we'll award you the 200 extra points, but the choice is up to you." the proctor said.

"Let's turn ours in too." David said.

The two boys got up immediately after the redhead to turn in their exams, but it seemed no one followed after them.

The risk of gaining 200 points at the risk of not finishing the rest of the exam might have been too high for them.

Having turned in their packets, they left the room towards the front and joined the three others outside.

After they all sat down on the sun bathed bench, David spoke aloud: "That was some test, wasn't it?"

Suddenly two girls opened the door from inside the exam room, and ran out in a hurry.

"Wait for us!" one of them said, as she tripped on her own shoe and landed face flat.

Ken recognized the two as another pair of cheaters that were in front of them.

As the girl got up with the help of her friend, another girl, much taller than the two who stumbled in front of her, calmly left the exam room.

Even after another hour and a half had past, no one else seemed came out of the exam room.

These eight were the only ones who passed the first exam from this group of 80.


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