The Best of Creative Computing Volume 1 (published 1976)

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Test For System Analysts (humor)

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Test For System Analysts


INSTRUCTIONS: Read each question carefully. Answer all questions. Time limit: 4
hours. Begin immediately.

HISTORY: Describe the history of the papacy from its origins to the present day,
concentrating especially, but not exclusively, on its social, political,
economic, religious, and philosophical impact on Europe, Asia, America, and
Africa. Be brief, concise, and specific.

MEDICINE: You have been provided with a razor blade, a piece of gauze, and a
bottle of Scotch. Remove your appendix. Do not suture until your work has been
inspected. You have fifteen minutes.

PUBLIC SPEAKING: 2500 riot-crazed aborigines are storming the classroom. Calm
them. You may use any ancient language except Latin or Greek.

BIOLOGY: Create Life. Estimate the differences in subsequent human culture if
this form of life had developed 500 million years earlier, with special
attention to its probable effect on the English parliamentary system. Prove your

MUSIC: Write a piano concerto. Orchestrate and perform it with flute and drum.
You will find a piano under your seat.

PSYCHOLOGY: Based on your knowledge of their works, evaluate the emotional
stability, degree of adjustment, and repressed frustrations of each of the
following: Alexander of Aphrodisias, Rameses ll, Gregory of Nicia, Hammurabi.
Support your evaluation with quotations from each man's work, making appropriate
references. It is not necessary to translate.

SOCIOLOGY: Estimate the sociological problems which might accompany the end of
the world. Construct an experiment to test your theory.

ENGINEERING: The disassembled parts of a high-powered rifle have been placed on
your desk. You will also find an instruction manual, printed in Swahili. In 10
minutes a hungry Bengal tiger will be admitted to the room. Take whatever action
you feel appropriate. Be prepared to justify your decision.

ECONOMICS: Develop a realistic plan for refinancing the national debt. Trace the
possible effects of your plan in the following areas: Cubism, the Donatist
controversy, the wave theory of light. Outline a method for preventing these
effects. Criticize this method from all possible points of view. Point out the
deficiencies in your point of view, as demonstrated in your answer to the last

POLITICAL SCIENCE: There is a red telephone on the desk beside you. Start World
War Ill. Report at length on its socio-political effects if any.

EPISTEMOLOGY: Take a position for or against truth. Prove the validity of your

PHYSICS: Explain the nature of matter. Include in your answer an evaluation of
the impact of the development of mathematics on science.

PHILOSOPHY: Sketch the development of human thought, estimate its significance.
Compare with the development of any other kind of thought.

GENERAL KNOWLEDGE: Describe in detail. Be objective and specific.

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