In Divergent, Tris was assigned to Abnegation by her test results, but she picked Dauntless.

That sort of gives away that she is a Divergent, right? That's supposed to be secret. Doesn't the government know that her test results don't match her faction choice?

The plot resolves around powerful people trying to hunt Divergents. Yet we have a bunch of people choosing different factions than their test results. Kind of strange that those people aren't suspected to be Divergent.

Also, why are people actually allowed to choose anyway?

  • 1
    Perhaps partly the same reason that Western countries let you choose your major in college after the high school career aptitude test and SAT's. The importance or illusion of choice/freedom, depending on your perspective.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Jun 21, 2016 at 1:06

2 Answers 2


The test determines aptitude. Choice is separate

The purpose of the test is to determine which faction is the best fit for an individual. Although people usually choose the faction that their parents are in, and even more frequently choose the faction determined by their test results (most of whom, yes, are probably Divergent).

As to why people can choose at all, why not let them choose? The system may have been oppressive and manipulated by outside forces, but they weren't trying to stifle every spark of individuality and choice. Quite the opposite, in fact: producing more Divergent was a major goal of the program.

Why didn't the government suspect that Tris was Divergent?

Well, first, it's not really the government that one would have to worry about, since most of them are Abnegation, and Tris's parents occupy important positions therein. It's more about whether Erudite's leader suspects.

After all:

She is the danger Tori and my mother warned me about, the danger of being Divergent. Sitting right in front of me.


And she most certainly did:

“Correct. The aptitude test is by far my greatest achievement as a scientist,” she replies. “I looked up your test results, Beatrice. Apparently there was a problem with your test. It was never recorded, and your results had to be reported manually. Did you know that?”


“Did you know that you’re one of two people ever to get an Abnegation result and switch to Dauntless?"


She was suspicious for exactly the reason you mentioned.

The other, of course, was Tobias. This is a very small number, and Jeanine almost certainly suspected that both were Divergent.

I understand only one thing: She is lying to me. She doesn’t care about the technology—she suspects that something is awry with my test results. Just like the Dauntless leaders, she is sniffing around for the Divergent. And if my mother wants Caleb to research the simulation serum, it is probably because Jeanine developed it.


  • Well, tris is definitely not a candor. So she can't be that divergent doesn't she?
    – user4951
    Commented May 14, 2016 at 7:19
  • 1
    @JimThio - She's pretty Divergent. She has aptitude for three factions, whereas most only have aptitude for two.
    – Adamant
    Commented May 14, 2016 at 7:22

The test is actually just a test that lets you know which faction you would be most suited for, and only one aptitude is allowed, to identify the Divergent, which would be for the benefit of the people outside of the factions and Jeanine Matthews. This means that it is not the Harry Potter world, where something tells you that you have to go to a certain group. The aptitude test finds out this information by putting you through a series of virtual situations where your choice affects you result. You are told which faction you are best suited to, and then you are supposed to go home and do some thinking about the test and your future faction.

“Our father had to work late,” Susan says, “and he told us we should spend some time thinking before the ceremony tomorrow.”

“Good,” he says. “I’m sure you have some thinking to do. You should go to your room.”

And people are allowed to choose, because humans have the right to pursue happiness, which means getting in with the crowd that you will most likely not become factionless because of. Wouldn't you want a choice? The government didn't suspect anything because of her choice (but they suspected something because of her results, alright), because choosing a faction other than you aptitude test result is not limited to the Divergent. Choosing another faction just means that you want to join a certain faction. It does not mean that you necessarily have the aptitude for it. For example, if a non-Divergent got Abnegation but chose Dauntless, if would just mean that the non-Divergent wants to be in Dauntless.

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