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Old July 5 2014, 01:32 AM   #1
Last Redshirt
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Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

Was it only Command Division cadets, specifically going on a track to command a starship, or did every cadet have to take the test? It seemed that only members of the command division ever took the test, since I don't recall McCoy or Spock, whether it be in the movies, the series, or the expanded-universe books ever bring up that they had taken it.
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Old July 5 2014, 02:06 AM   #2
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

Last Redshirt wrote: View Post
Was it only Command Division cadets, specifically going on a track to command a starship, or did every cadet have to take the test? It seemed that only members of the command division ever took the test, since I don't recall McCoy or Spock, whether it be in the movies, the series, or the expanded-universe books ever bring up that they had taken it.
Scotty took the KM test in one of the novels, I believe.

nuSpock actually creates the KM test in the JJverse when he is an instructor at Starfleet Academy.

As for myself, my entire life has been one no-win scenario after another.
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Old July 5 2014, 02:08 AM   #3
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

Kobayashi Maru started with THE WRATH OF KHAN and was mentioned in later movies. Naturally, the exact same scenario could not be used over and over again, as word would get around to the other cadets. One could argue that TOS vaguely referenced such tests in "Bread and Circuses." Capt. Merrick explains that starships have very special crews, and Kirk said something about a test Merrick failed.

I vaguely recall a TNG episode where Wesley was subjected to some kind of "intrusion"-type test with a simulated explosion and emergency situation at the academy.
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Old July 5 2014, 02:12 AM   #4
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

Spock said he never took it. This was after he had been give command of the Enterprise, while only a cadet training ship at the time, it was apparently available for non-training missions on a emergency basis.

So you can be a starship commander without taking the KM test.

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Old July 5 2014, 03:43 AM   #5
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

Push The Button wrote: View Post

Scotty took the KM test in one of the novels, I believe.
But he's a fully qualified command officer in addition to being an engineer.
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Old July 5 2014, 03:44 AM   #6
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

I don't know why they don't just google the test and find out that its unwinnable. Unless the Feds have such control over the internet this information is never released which I think likely.
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Old July 5 2014, 03:46 AM   #7
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

Cadets who are on the command track are probably arrogant enough that they think they can win it regardless of the reputation of the test.
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Old July 5 2014, 04:16 AM   #8
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

True but there would always be someone who couldn't help themselves and had to look. I would certainly look. I suspect information is tightly controlled.
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Old July 5 2014, 04:27 AM   #9
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

teacake wrote: View Post
True but there would always be someone who couldn't help themselves and had to look. I would certainly look. I suspect information is tightly controlled.
Indeed. I wouldn't be surprised if recipients of the test are told beforehand and afterward to not reveal anything about the test, and if they do, they could face whatever punishment.
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Old July 5 2014, 04:38 AM   #10
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

It is a given that you won't be able to "beat" the test. What is important is what you do, how you react in the face of certain defeat and imminent destruction.

Using Saavik's test in TWOK as an example, she ordered her ship into the neutral zone and attempted to rescue the crew of the KM. When the Klingons attacked, she tried to fight them. When it was clear that the battle was lost, she ordered her crew to abandon ship.

She could have not attempted to rescue the KM, saving her own ship and crew, or she could have destroyed her own ship when the battle seemed lost, or surrendered, or she could have had a panic attack or ran screaming from the simulator. The candidate's reaction is the real purpose of the test, and what she and every other command candidate is evaluated on.

It is interesting that prime universe Kirk cheats the test and is given a commendation for original thinking, while his JJverse counterpart is reprimanded for the exact same action.
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Old July 5 2014, 04:43 AM   #11
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

I've always viewed the Kobayashi Maru test as being more of a psych test than a test of actual command ability, although it can also serve as that. I think cadets go into it knowing that no one had ever beat it before and it was actually infamous for that.

I think whent Saavik took the test, she knew that it was unbeatable too and resented the very nature of that. Another cadet a couple of decades earlier had resented it for that very same reason...but he actually went and did something about it one day.
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Last edited by C.E. Evans; July 5 2014 at 06:24 AM. Reason: typo
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Old July 5 2014, 05:10 AM   #12
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

Assuming you don't "cheat" like Kirk did and you really have only two options, does the outcome of the test actually have any impact on your marks? Is a cadet who chose not to violate the treaty (and thereby abandoned the freighter crew to their fate) considered any better or worse than one does, and is promptly overwhelmed by the Klingons?
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Old July 5 2014, 05:31 AM   #13
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

^ It seems that if you go ahead with the rescue, the outcome of the actual test is always the same - you always lose. It's how you act while losing, that's the sticker.

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Old July 5 2014, 06:06 AM   #14
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

Say, what's the point of administering the test if you "can't pass it"? Is it just something that the admiralty uses to determine priorities for captaincies?
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Old July 5 2014, 06:12 AM   #15
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Re: Who takes the Kobayashi Maru test?

^ No; like we said, the point is never to win - it's all about how the cadet handles a crisis. It's a test of character, nothing more than that.
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