There are plenty of questions about the Kobayashi Maru test, but there's one facet of the test that I don't recall ever being discussed.
Do the cadets know anything about the test before it runs?
Officers who have graduated have all (presumably) taken the test, and understand that it's a test of character, rather than a puzzle to be solved. If that was a fact known to the cadets, surely there'd be endless discussion groups, public threads, what have you about how to "win" the test, or at least steps to take to come out as well as possible. All of which would serve to invalidate the purpose of the test.
Kirk took the test three times, and cheated to "win". This suggests either that he wasn't made aware of its purpose, or even once he was, he did it out of spite, due to his disbelief in a "no-win scenario". I suspect that the fact that you CAN re-take it (at least could at the time) adds to the fact that the cadets think it can be won, and the desire to do so could be seen as a positive, a desire to improve.
It seems to me that in order for the test to be valid, the cadets have to know virtually nothing about it, or at the very least know nothing about its true purpose.
But how could that be done? I wonder if there's a "code of silence" about the test between officers, where they all see the value in the test, and agree to keep mum about it to cadets. There might even be a rule about discussing it amongst cadets, on the argument that learning about its purpose beforehand would be tantamount to getting the answers to a test.