Public Service Entry Test

Do you think we can get away with this?

If I didn't think so, I wouldn't be suggesting it, would I?

Ok, I'm in. But so that I am quite clear, please explain it thoroughly.

Right, this is it. The employment office intends helping 60 dole recipients toward gaining entry into the public service. They are to be given hands-on experience of the public service entry test-paper by trialling them with an old test-paper. This group, of whom we are part, is thus given a considerable advantage over other applicants, even those of far greater ability. Those applicants have no means to gain access to test-papers and therefore can gain no experience of the type of questions that are posed. That is absolutely unfair. I endeavoured to point out that this was hardly a level playing field and ought not be allowed. For making this point, I was howled down by both the employment office instructors and by my fellow unemployed colleagues. To express my disgust for their bias, I intend making my own farce of this bureaucratic farce. Also, I will revenge myself on my colleagues by taking them down a peg or two. What's more, I can achieve both ends using the test-paper as my weapon.

The test-paper has 100 questions, each with four alternative answers, A, B, C and D, each with a box, with a tick needing to be put in the box of one's choice. The test is to be done in the morning and the group's results given in the afternoon. Because the test will take place in a suburban location, there will be no computer marking and the 6000 answers will have to be checked manually in a very short time. Some short-cut method will be needed. I have assessed that a grid sheet will be used, this grid being a sheet of paper perforated by holes at the locations of the correct answers. Place this grid over a student's answers and the ticks can be seen and quickly counted to get his score out of 100.

What you propose is simple, yet brilliant: Don't bother answering any questions, simply put a tick in every box on the paper. Both of us will score 100% and leave everyone amazed. Why, though, do you wan't to tell them about it?

Most practical jokes only succeed when the victim realises he has been fooled. Undoubtedly, we will be castigated as cheats and be disqualified. But is that any worse than the employment office showing unconscionable bias by giving special help to this group knowing full well that other applicants will be relatively disadvantaged. Their method will lead to mediocre and incompetent people and not their betters, getting governmental jobs.

Also, you were annoyed by the attitude of the unemployed group and were going to do something about it. What have you in mind?

I snitched the grid sheet that was to be used for marking the test papers and made a copy of it. I cut 100 marking holes in this copy, except that I deliberately cut quite a few holes in the wrong locations. I then put this sheet where I had found the original. The result will be that many correct answers will be marked as wrong and many wrong answers will be marked as correct. The less intelligent will get the higher scores. That will take the wind out of the sails of the smarties. As they say, revenge is sweet.

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