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In today's fast-changing world, the world is changing fast. This I hold beyond dispute since I find myself typing a different word than I was a mere eight seconds ago. Holding the tumultuous nature of the word as axiomatic, we must venture forth and propound theories. This is important since theories provide a pleasant balance between hypotheses and laws which, if allowed to numerically prosper beyond constrains, would make things too uncertain or certain. It is imperative then to propound a theory of test-taking to further ensure a warm and fuzzy quasi-certainty about the world.

Why tests must be taken

Tests are taken for many reasons by many people. Unfortunately, there is only one good reason to take tests and so most of our motivations for taking them are misplaced. Take, for instance, the case of a mildly-retarded Bihari railway porter. Impressed by the Nietzchian adage that "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger," he took it upon himself to take a series of grueling engineering entrance tests. Having finished the last in his batch of tests and finding himself still alive, he marched to Patna Junction to see how many sacks of army-issue, flood-relief sacks of Top Ramen he could carry. Much to his chagrin, he found that due to his recent sedentary studious ways, he was able to carry fewer sacks than before and thus, by implication, was now weaker. I am sure that you will concur with me if I said that he took those tests for the wrong reason.

The only good reason to take tests is to establish minimum incompetence. A prospective employer or academic institution needs to only to look at your test score to determine how incompetent you would be at the very least in a given matter. For example, a score of 72 out of 100 on an ichthyology test establishes that, at the least, you will not know one third of what there is to know about fish in a particular context. Your relative incompetence then determines your chances of everything from your becoming a marine biologist to succeeding at the sort of 3-D chess played aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise. Thus, tests must be taken whenever one needs to establish one's minimum incompetence for prospective employers, educators and benefactors.

How one should fare in tests

A score of 100 out of 100 might tell an employer that you are capable of being negligibly incompetent and all it would take is a few lashings of a sharp-edged whip to extract your best. However, since is it generally difficult to excel on a consistent basis (since otherwise a thing such as excellence would not exist) and due to the prevailing petulance of employers and the lot, it is very likely that heightened expectations would lead to severe beatings and torture of both physical and mental kinds should you fail to be perfectly competent. A much lower score of 30 out of 100 would be equally bad. It would be difficult to find employment (or whatever it is that you are seeking) since you would demonstrate a high potential for incompetence. If you did somehow find employment (or recruitment into the yakuza or whatever), you find yourself with a resentful employer already planning a lethal attack upon your being. Then, no matter how well you work, you will still be clubbed with prejudice, hatred and perhaps a blunt and heavy instrument. Given the above, it is best to aim for a score that is moderately high. In this way, you will catch the eyes of desired people, while generally avoiding both mental anguish and severe corporal torture. It will be easy to meet expectations and still feel good about your level of incompetence.

Preparing for tests

Having established that tests are taken to establish minimum competence, I declare that most people prepare for tests with the wrong motivation. They attempt to work harder than they ever have and generally do their best. This is clearly wrong since, in this way, they are only adding to their proclivity for receiving emotional and physical pain. It is best to prepare for a test in a way that does not push one's limits. At the same time, underperformance is equally bad since that would diminish one's chances of achieving immediate goals. People would best serve themselves by respecting their natural capacities and personality traits. Overachievers are only setting themselves up for future thrashings and underachievers also doom themselves to the same. People acting in conformance with this wonderful theory will find themselves in their rightful positions in the pecking order, with plenty of time to spare for recreations such as marble-collecting and underwater photography.


In all, we see that test-taking is necessary to progress in life and tests should be taken in neither a stressful nor carefree manner. It is also paramount that one remains motivated to perform in conformance with one's natural predilections and proclivities to find some marginal happiness in the world and to remain sane and healthy. I hope that this theory will have disabused you of your misconceptions about test-taking and paved the way to lifelong happiness and all-round metaphysical contentment.

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