Cia is the teenage protagonist of The Testing. She grew up in the Five Lakes Colony as the only daughter of the colony’s most prominent scientists. Cia shows similar aptitude for mechanics and chemistry like her father, and she always dreamed of following his footsteps and entering the University. Once she joins, though, she takes her father’s warnings to heart to not trust anyone during the Testing. Yet this proves to be difficult for Cia as the Testing pushes the limits of her emotions and endurance. Cia is smart, capable and loyal, and has a clear sense of morality.
Tomas is Cia’s romantic interest and only reliable friend throughout the Testing. He grew up with Cia in Five Lakes Colony, and the two become close when Cia told Tomas of her father’s warnings. Tomas sometimes becomes jealous of Cia as other boys in the Testing try to vie for her affections. He is more impatient than Cia and tends to rush into situations without thinking of the outcomes. Tomas has a dark side, though, and shows that he might be willing to get his hands dirty if it means surviving the Testing.
Michal acts as Cia’s mentor during the Testing. He immediately notices that she stands out amongst her peers, so he puts his faith into her that she might be able to help end the brutal nature of the Testing.
A Testing candidate from the Dixon colony Ryme, is Cia’s roommate. Ryme appears nice and friendly, but she is quick to flaunt her intelligence and aptitude in an effort to intimidate Cia. Ryme cracks under the pressure of the Testing, and takes her own life.
Will is a Testing candidate from the Madison colony. He arrived at the Testing with his twin brother but soon realized that he would have to fend for himself if he wanted to make it to the University. Though he does not present himself as a romantic interest, his friendship with Cia seems to be fueled by a rivalry with Tomas.
The man at the fence
Though he does not have a name, the man at the fence appears during the fourth stage of the Testing. He helps Cia a number of times, giving her food and supplies. When she approaches him, he discloses that he is part of a group that wants to change the way the Testing and the government functions.
Cia’s father is a scientist in the Five Lakes Colony. After Cia is admitted into the Testing, he privately tells her about his memories of his experience. He wants to prepare his daughter to succeed, even though he knows that if the officials learn of her advantage, Cia could be in danger.
Cia’s mother initially seems like a parent who wants to keep Cia from exploring her dreams, but she shows that she only wants her daughter to keep her future options open.
Malachi is a Testing candidate from the Five Lakes Colony. He accompanies Cia from their home to Tosu City but dies during the second testing stage.
Zandri is a Testing candidate from the Five Lakes Colony. She did not want to go to University but was forced to attend by law. She is a free artistic spirit, but she makes it all the way to the fourth round before she dies.
Zeen is Cia’s oldest and closest brother. When he was younger, he wanted the chance to attend University but was never selected as a candidate. After hearing about Cia’s opportunity, he becomes bitter. Zeen is a gifted mechanic and scientist, and Cia takes one of his inventions with her to Tosu City.
Dr. Jedidiah Barnes
Dr. Barnes is the highest Testing administrator. His family was among the first to establish the Testing criteria, and he is constantly judging the candidates during each interaction with them.
Brick is a Testing candidate who is paired with Cia during the third round of testing. He seems antisocial and uninterested in the other candidates. However, when Cia provides Brick with information that ultimately saves him, he tries to return the favor later in the Testing.
Roman is a Testing candidate who is paired with Cia during the third round of testing. He puts on an act to trick his fellow peers, and Cia knows that he feels no remorse for his actions.
Annalise is a Testing candidate who is paired with Cia during the third round of testing. She and Cia are similar in that they believe in teamwork and cooperation. However, she puts her faith in the wrong people and ultimately pays the price for it.
The Testing Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for The Testing is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
The setting is a dystopian future in the United Commonwealth’s colonies. Government control is a major theme. Much like Orwell's 1984, this is an omnipresent government that constantly monitors its citizens. From the first time that Cia enters...