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The general plot is a kid at a military school, along with a few other students (3-4) are selected to test out secret equipment that is essentially a virtual reality simulator. The kids start developing psychic powers as a result. The main character has recurring nightmares about a friend who was a former member of the team that had died. The friend warns the hero about another member of the team who is becoming dangerous.

I think the title had either the word "Virtual" or "Destruction" in it. I've looked at the book Virtual Destruction, but that is not it.

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    This is not really close enough to post as an answer, but there are elements of "Ender's Game" which almost match.
    – enkorvaks
    Commented May 2 at 6:18

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You say the book is not Virtual Destruction but there are at least three books by this name and Virtual Destruction by Nick Baron (aka Scott Ciencin) looks awfully like your description.

Virtual Destruction

I cannot find a copy of the book anywhere, but the Google Books summary says:

Marc McClaren loves video games. So when he gets the chance to preview some incredible new videos--including an awesome virtual reality game--he can't wait to get started. But after Marc straps on his helmet and enters the video's computer-generated world, he begins having nightmares. One by one, his friends die. Now he has to figure out a way to end it.

and the only review on Goodreads says:

Great writing, love the concept—an insidious virtual reality “game” used in military school training that turns out to be a mind control program of sorts.

so it does look as if a military school is involved.

The Google Books page allows you to search the book so if you can remember any details you could try searching for them to check. For example if I search for psychic I find on page 177:

"The program is meant to reproduce alleged psychic phenomena using technological means," Raskin said. "To some extent, we've already succeeded. You have achieved a form of telepathy with the program.

and that suggests the protagonist is developing psychic powers.

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  • this is absolutely it! thanks! As soon as i saw the cover i knew you nailed it. not sure how i missed it since i searched the same title, but glad you found it!
    – Jeebs
    Commented May 3 at 5:10

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