The Testing

The Testing Essay Questions

  1. 1

    What was Cia’s father’s aim in not giving Zeen credit for his invention?

    Cia’s father did not want to bring attention to Zeen’s intelligence. He was afraid that Testing officials would discover his aptitude and force him to undergo the Testing. Even though Cia’s father could not exactly remember what happened during his own experience in Tosu City, his suppressed memories slip through his dreams and warn him about the dangers of the government.

  2. 2

    Why does Cia look up to her father more than her mother?

    Cia looks up to her father more than her mother because she sees herself in her father. They both have a natural talent for science and mechanics, and they both have the same helpful, generous personality. Cia loves her mother, but she feels like her mother is too practical.

  3. 3

    Why does Cia pay attention to the corncakes that Ryme offers her?

    Cia notices that Ryme did not touch the corncakes for a few days, regardless of how hungry Ryme became in their room. Cia hypothesized that Ryme tampered with the treats in order to eliminate Cia from the competition. Her father warned her that many candidates would try this tactic, so Cia was diligent even with her own roommate.

  4. 4

    Why does Cia lie to Dr. Jedidiah Barnes about her emotional state after seeing Ryme’s body?

    Cia already knew that the Testing officials were watching her every move and reaction. While her initial shock was a reflex, she concealed her horror in order to trick the officials into believing that she was resilient. She was upset about seeing Ryme’s body, but surviving the Testing processes was more important than grieving for her roommate.

  5. 5

    When does Cia first realize the penalty for failure during the Testing?

    Cia realizes that stakes for failure are life and death when Malachi Rourke died during round two. His incorrect answers to the questions caused him to experience deadly symptoms, and Cia became more careful - both in her work and in her reactions to the seeming indifference of the officials towards the candidate. She learns that her father's suspicions were correct and that no one, not even those in charge, are to be trusted.

  6. 6

    Regardless of the other candidates' choices to sabotage each other, why does Cia remain honest during the Testing?

    Cia cannot betray her upbringing that taught her to be helpful and kind to everyone. She believes that cheating and sabotage are dirty tricks, and that people who indulge in these practices do not make strong, reliable leaders. Most importantly, though, she tries her hardest to remain faithful to herself and her personality during the Testing. She knows that she will have to live with these decisions, so she makes the choices that are best for her as well as everyone else.

  7. 7

    Why does Cia not consider what Tomas might bring into the fourth round of testing before she makes her choices?

    Cia’s father told her to never trust anyone during the testing period. While she wanted to believe that Tomas would come through for her, she had to make sure that her bases were covered in case she had to fend for herself.

  8. 8

    Out of Cia and Tomas, why is Cia the one who makes it through the finish line on her own?

    During the fourth round of testing, Tomas showed that he was too headstrong and willful. He did not listen to Cia concerning the oasis, which nearly killed him. He also was too trusting of Will when all of his instincts told him not to trust him. For those reasons, he was shot in the stomach.

  9. 9

    Why does Cia eventually take the serum that will allow her to counteract the effects of the truth-telling drugs?

    Cia knows that the Testing officials will ask her about her family and why nobody from Five Lakes Colony was chosen as a Testing candidate for a decade. She was afraid to take the serum and trust the man at the fence, but protecting her family was ultimately more important to her than her safety. She needed to lie about what her father told her in order to keep them safe.

  10. 10

    How does Will justify his murderous actions to Cia?

    Will believes he did what was necessary to survive. He did not take his victims’ deaths lightly, but he rationalized his actions by saying that great leaders kill people and let people die all the time. He believes that the true purpose of the Testing is to see whether the candidates can do what is necessary while still living with their choices afterwards. Will believes that he can.