My daughter is a The Divergent Series fan and when I read the first book of the Series recently, I could swear that I had read something very similar during my teens in the 1980s.

It was a short story about a young boy who was going for an important test that day with his sibling, and he was very worried about the outcome because their society places people in certain careers based on that test.

Eventually the boy gets an "invalid" result and runs away from the test facility and after several pages gets caught and told that he is one of the people that should be able to create tests and decide the fate of other people. Can anyone remember this story?

  • Did it involve him essentially breaking into further parts of the building, I think at one point impersonating a janitor, until he winds up at a meeting of people who decide the education?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Mar 9, 2016 at 13:13

1 Answer 1


You are almost certainly remembering the Asimov story "Profession", which is something of an FAQ.

From Wikipedia:

George Platen is determined to be a Computer Programmer, a profession in demand, and he hopes to qualify for "export" to a top-flight Outworld. On Reading Day, however, concerns are raised about George's ability to be Educated. On George's Education Day, he is told that his brain is unfit for any form of Education. He is drugged and sent to a House for the Feeble Minded.


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