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2.96  ·  Rating Details ·  440 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Pass, and have it made—fail, and suffer the consequences.
A master of teen thrillers tests readers’ courage in an edge-of-your-seat novel that echoes the fears of exam-takers everywhere.
Ann, a teenage girl living in the security-obsessed, elitist United States of the very near future, is threatened on her way home from school by a mysterious man on a black motorcycle. Soo
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Harry N. Abrams
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 29, 2008 Sara rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult, hated, 2008
This book had such potential but ultimately did not deliver. Its premise is both interesting and timely: everyone's future depends on passing a standardized test; if you don't pass it, you can't graduate high school, and you will never get ahead in life. The class differences are very obvious - there is terrible traffic and smog on the ground, whereas the rich fly around in their own helicopters and attend private schools that don't require the test to graduate. Ann, the main character, discover ...more
Apr 21, 2009 Tricia rated it did not like it
I hate this book. It's one of those suspense novels, so it has all this bad stuff happening (a motorcycle! a test! uh-oh!), but I HATE how it's written. The author is writing about teenage girls, and he tries to have a couple of love story lines that just failed. They seem really contrived and awkward, and they just seem weird in with all the suspense. He also writes a lot of stuff like, "She put on her hottest pink silky top. She knew that with her tight top, padded bra, and tight jeans, no guy ...more
Jul 02, 2008 Tori rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I was so enthusiastic about this book at first. what a great concept! It sounds just like schools of today (on purpose, I'm sure). But it is set in the future - a future where people who don't take and pass the XCAS test are doomed to a life of pollution and traffic. Teachers, naturally, have to teach to the test, and success is measured by how well the school does overall. Sound familiar? the first quarter of the book was good - it set the stage. But, the author did not write as if he really un ...more
Oct 02, 2008 Brandy rated it it was ok
I read about 2/3 of this, and I'm not really inclined to finish it up. I don't care about the main character, or her friend, or the Rich Girl we flash to periodically. I don't know if this is supposed to be a scathing response to No Child Left Behind, or a tongue-in-cheek one. The writing oscillates between lackluster and poor.

This is a huge disappointment to me. I didn't expect to love this book, but as a kid I loved Sleator's books, starting with the creepy-dollhouse story Among the Dolls and
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
uggggh!!! This book was sooooo stupid!! Okay, first of all, the writing just made me plain angry; it was like a fifth grader wrote it. No, I take that back--I wrote better stuff than this in fifth grade. Or at least more original stuff. ANYWAY, so the writing was just plain awful and stupid, with no thought put into it whatsoever; the plot was lame, about how everyone's lives depended on this high school test called XCAS (hahaha...); the characters had no depth; overall, it was a predictable, sh ...more
Megan E. McCarthy
Nov 28, 2013 Megan E. McCarthy rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned-dnf
Ok, kiddos, get out yer pencils. What's worse than having your life ruled by standardized testing?

A) persistent foot fungus
B) getting beat up every day at lunch
C) a painfully unsubtle YA novel about a standardized testing dystopia
or D) all of the above.

So, ok, yes, I think that standardized tests are bad, absurd... the whole system is fucked-up in so many ways... Sleator is totally preaching to the choir with me. But come on. If all he wanted to do is give a bitter, sarcastic (but too awkward to
Adrian Meyers
Aug 10, 2015 Adrian Meyers rated it did not like it
Truly one of the worst books I have ever read in my entire life. I was a huge fan of Sleator in my adolescence and really looked up to him; I always felt that he was a great way to get into science fiction. Truly, Sleator's strength lies in watering down the greats of sci fi for young adults. His foray into the world of horror was bleak at best (The Boy Who Couldn't Die was a delightful read at the age of 11, but does not hold up to the test of time even a quarter as well as House of Stairs, Int ...more
Aug 18, 2013 Deborah rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, reviewed
Part of the reason I read through to the end of this book was because I knew I would enjoy critiquing it. This, perhaps, says quite enough.

But that won’t stop me.

Its biggest flaw as a book is the target audience. Because the characters are in their late teens (and due to the shelving location at my local library), the book seems like it is for teenagers, but the writing is more appropriate for perhaps 11-to-12-year-olds. The simplistic style is mimicked in the characters, who are poorly develope
Apr 14, 2011 Jen rated it it was ok
When I picked up this book from the library, I thought it was a great concept and was really interested in the story. It's set sometime in the future where the poor are forced to take and pass the XCAS test in order to escape their lives of traffic and pollution. The rich do not have to take the test and are not subject to the traffic or the rigors of pollution, housing shortages, etc. The success of passing the test not only impacts the students' futures, but also how much money the schools rec ...more
Jan 05, 2010 Evan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
TEST IS 300 PAGES. Test is a wonderful book that takes place in the future. It's about Anne, a 17 year old girl. She is going to take the final XCAS test that determines if you get to go to college or not. One day a person wearing black on a fancy motorcycle with a symbol on the motorcycle and helmet with a red symbol made up of three reptilian creatures forming an egg-shape. That day she tells her parents about the motorcycle person and they think it's the symbol of Replico, a company run by a ...more
Rebecca Heywood
Jun 29, 2011 Rebecca Heywood rated it really liked it
I would have given this a five, but the ending was disappointing. Not in a "I didn't like how it ended" kind of way. More of a "sudden and unsatisfying" kind of way. It's like the author suddenly was tired of the book and decided to just to a brief synopsis of how everything turned out. It was such a different style from the rest of the book, it didn't seem to fit. It was like one of those cop shows where they tell you briefly what happened to everyone. 'Joe served time for extortion, Mary and J ...more
Apr 12, 2010 Reb rated it it was ok
picked this up from free box and was disappointed. loved his sf writing when i was young. were his plots this implausible? his political messages this ham-handed? his characters this flat? boo. two stars for being unabashedly progressive.
Thien Thanh
May 12, 2012 Thien Thanh rated it it was ok
Shelves: summer-2012, 2012
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alex Telander
May 06, 2010 Alex Telander rated it liked it
William Sleator has been thrilling and terrifying readers for decades now with the fantastic, unbelievable, and at times scarily close to a possible doomed future, as he does with his latest book, Test. In this world, the United States is a little different to what you or I know. There are now an untold number of cars on the roads and highways of the country, clogging the asphalt and air with exhaust fumes; it takes many hours to get just a few miles, as traffic inches along at a pathetic pace. ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Aug 12, 2009 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Karin Librarian for

In a world not much different than ours, people are divided into two classes. In one, the rich and powerful travel by helicopter to their luxury houses and jobs. In the other, people are stuck in hours of traffic going to and from their low-level jobs - all the while breathing air poisoned by pollution.

The Test is what determines your future.

Ann lives with her parents in the low-level class. Her parents leave hours before they have to be at work be
Oct 01, 2008 Karin rated it liked it
In a world not much different than ours, people are divided into two classes. In one, the rich and powerful travel by helicopter to their luxury houses and jobs. In the other, people are stuck in hours of traffic going to and from their low level jobs - all the while breathing air poisoned by pollution. The Test is what determines your future.

Ann lives with her parents in the low level class. Her parents leave hours before they have to be at work because it takes so long to get there in the tra
Ron Bajrami
Aug 31, 2009 Ron Bajrami rated it it was ok
Test is about a girl named Ann whos being threatened by a building manager named Tony, of Grand Diamond which is a tenant building. The setting is not said, and the main character is Ann and Lep. Ann and Lep are friends and they soon know about each other that may affect both of their lifes. Ann main external conflict is, Ann being threatened by a building manager named Tony, of Grand Daimond which is a tenant building. The company who owns the building is called Replico, owned by Mr. Warren. An ...more
Jan 27, 2011 P.M. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ann Forrest is worried about passing the XCAS test. Her English teacher Mr. Wells spends every day on test prep since his job and the school's funding depends on making AYP. The class' scores are threatened by Lep, a Thai immigrant, who is limited English proficient. When Ann is threatened by a man wearing a jacket with a familiar logo on it, she becomes embroiled in a major scandal. The scandal involves cheating on the XCAS, substandard housing for legal and illegal immigrants, intimidation, an ...more
Feb 09, 2009 Bobi rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alliana Vivares
Jun 22, 2012 Alliana Vivares rated it liked it
It IS a good book. It's just that I expected so much more from William Sleator that I felt disappointed and betrayed. Still, the whole concept is interesting and I did like some of the characters although I think Ann is a little annoying. Too outspoken. No discretion of any kind. Lep is an okay guy. I liked him. His faults made him so... real.

Basically, the story revolves on Ann and Lep. Ann is an ordinary girl who despises her English class (they just memorize paragraphs and try to understand t
Erin Forson
Dec 09, 2011 Erin Forson rated it did not like it
by William Slaeter
Who wouldn't want to read a book that slams standardized tests that everyone has to pass in order to graduate? A book that challenges a government who requires kids to take this test while at the same time trapping them and their parents in dead-end jobs and poor living conditions. I was motivated to read it because I've read other books by Sleater, and I liked those. I also had dinner with him once at an event (along with some other librarians) and I thought he was cool so
I gotta say that Ann, the main character of this book, rocked. It is so rare to read a female character that doesn't apologize for her anger and faces danger without flinching. She is gutsy in a way that is refreshing.
Test takes place in a not too distant future where everything about a person's life (unless one is rich and therefore above the law) is staked on high school proficiency tests known as XCAS. Every minute of every class is spent preparing students to pass these tests. As Ann's fa
Aug 30, 2011 Bean rated it it was ok
It makes me sad to give this book 2 stars. I sped through the first half of the book, thinking that I MAY even give it four stars. It was refreshing to read a young adult book without angst, a love triangle, or some sort of hottie paranormal. The writing, which felt someone detached, reminded me of THE WESTING GAME, which I loved - which is to say that it felt somewhat old-fashioned, but not in a bad way. Unfortunately, the plot totally deteriorated at the midway point. Where did the oppressive ...more
Jan 21, 2009 Celestasaurus rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dustin
Shelves: young-adult
The test is the determining factor in everyone's life. Will they live a life of luxury, or a life of hardship? And how is it right to base one person's entire future on a single test? What is the test for, anyway? For power? For the corrupted, power-hungry individuals that practically own everyone already to have even more control over the country?

Test redeemed William Sleator for me. After reading The Boy Who Couldn't Die I though he flat-out sucked. Never wanted to hear about him again. But Te
Dec 29, 2013 Sylene rated it liked it
I thought that the writing was very simplistic - but every once in a while, it's a nice reprive to have a simple, easy-to-understand plot that you don't have to decode.
One thing I thought went VERY nicely was the parallel to a story they discussed WITHIN the book -
"The Machine." The book itself was an allegory to this allusion...particularly the character of Elise. She is comfortable with her luxurious life, later turns into a recluse and doesn't meet with many people, and mentions her being la
Julie S.
Jun 14, 2010 Julie S. rated it really liked it
I'd call this more of a 3.5 rating.

It was an interesting story about overly relying on standardized tests rather than having true education. It lacked something that Sleator's other novels had. I cannot quite put my finger on that, but I left this book with a vague feeling that I missed the "it factor" or whatever you want to call it.

For that reason, I would say that I somewhat enjoyed this book. However, I enjoyed some of his other books (like House of Stairs and Interstellar Pig) better.
May 31, 2008 Erin rated it it was ok
Not as good as Sleator's other books, the "twist" is basically nothing you already didn't know, and the main character, Ann, analyzes everything to the point of annoyance. "but I need to do ___________ so that ________ doesn't happen" over and over and over. This book had potential, but failed to deliver.

Also, some points in the story were unclear and unresolved, such as where did the teacher, Ms Summers come from & why had she never heard of the test? Ann had a little brother who appeared t
Mar 04, 2012 Calise rated it liked it
Test by William Sleator is a very interesting book, I would not recommend it though. It has violence, adventure and rebellion. Also there is a slow confusing plot and the chapters bounce around when it comes to perspective. The point if view is indirect. It only got exciting near the end, it sort of dragged on through out the beginning of the book. I also did not like Lep or the subsitute teacher. She was fun then went all diva on them. Lep was just a slow charicter, and I think the author made ...more
Aug 14, 2008 Atomicgirl rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Sometimes an author feels the need to make a strong political statement that destroys the credibility of the story. Like this one.

Sleator takes a strong stance against the "No Child Left Behind" Act and its subsequent focus on test-taking and scores, but along the way the story becomes lackluster and weary.

With the society embroiled in such a broad test-taking conspiracy, it is unsatisfying to have such a Hollywood happy ending. How realistic is it that the bad guys get caught and the good guy
Nov 20, 2011 Specialk rated it did not like it
About 70 pages in I started questioning if this book was really worth my time - I have a HUGE to be read pile going on, along with all my library books. So I checked out the reviews here on GoodReads...and well...apparently I'm not the only one.

Never finished it. The writing was atrocious for the bit that I did read. I realize my copy was an ARC...but apparently editing didn't save this book for the final copy, since plenty of other reviewers agreed with me. No offence Mr. Sleator, but how did y
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William Warner Sleator III was born in Havre de Grace, Maryland on February 13, 1945, and moved to St. Louis, MO when he was three. He graduated from University City High School in 1963, from Harvard in 1967 with BAs in music and English.

For more than thirty years, William Sleator thrilled readers with his inventive books. His House of Stairs was named one of the best novels of the twentieth cent
More about William Sleator...

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