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Imperial Exam: Passing the Cut

by gooie629


The Imperial Examinations are finally beginning in Shenkuu. Everyone is going to want to participate... and I mean everyone. The good spellers and the bad. Of course, someone has to help weed out the hopeless cases from the huge line of scholars. Are you up to it?

In Imperial Exam, you play a Kacheek that has been assigned the unfortunate position of sorting out the many citizens that have come to take the test. The number of people that can take the test is limited, though, so you may only let the true scholars past. If you fail to do so, you could end up losing your job!


The gameplay is pretty easy. A speech bubble will appear above the Neopian at the front of the line. Inside that speech bubble will be a word. Your job will be to determine if the word is spelled right. If it is, press the Up key on your keyboard to let the scholar pass. Your friendly Grarrl guard will lower his spear to let the Neopian pass. However, a number of non-qualified Neopians will try to enter as well, so if the word isn’t spelled right, then you must press the Down key on your keyboard to send the would-be scholar on his way out of there!

In the game, you are given three chances. If you accidentally let in a non-scholar, then you will lose one of your chances. If you accidentally send away someone that did spell their word right, then you will lose two points from your total, but you will not lose a chance. If you mess up, the Grarrl that is standing guard will kindly tell you so.

There are five levels in the game. To pass a level, you must let a certain number of Neopians into the examination hall. However, you only have seventy seconds to do so, and each level has a higher number of Neopians that you must let into the hall than the previous one. This will require you to move faster and faster as the levels go on.

In the first level, you only need to pass ten scholars, so take your time and make sure you retain all of your chances. During the second level, you must pass twenty Neopians. Again, you can take your time and make sure you don’t lose a chance. In the third level, you need thirty scholars in the examination hall, so pick up the pace to make sure you can get them all in. The fourth level requires thirty-five scholars, which is where you really have to start going faster. Finally, the fifth level requires you to pass a whopping forty scholars. With seventy seconds, you have to pass the scholars at a rate of one every 1.75 seconds! Keep in mind that this does not include the time it takes to send away the failures.

There are also three difficulty settings in the game - basic, intermediate, and advanced. Obviously, basic is has the easiest words and advanced has the hardest. If you think you’re up to it, you can try advanced, but for a beginner, I recommend the basic level first. The reward for doing the hardest level is the largest point bonus at the end of the game (see information on scoring below).


Scoring in the game is pretty simple. If you pass a scholar, or if you send away a non-scholar, then you net yourself five points. Simple, huh? Oh, and remember, if you send away a person that spelled their word right, you will lose two points.

Also, by completing all five levels of the game, you get a substantial point bonus. These extra points can be enough to push you into the trophy range, and doing the hardest level will get you more points!


When in doubt, send ‘em out! Erm, OK, that was a little cheesy, but you get my point. Remember that you don’t lose a chance if you send away someone. So if you don’t know if the word is right or not, go ahead and send the scholar on his way. If the Neopian was wrong, you’ll get five points, but if they were right, you’ll only lose two points. I think that the risk of losing two points is a lot better than the risk of losing a chance, don’t you?

Practice, practice, and more practice! Now, you may be thinking what good practice will do for you since there’s so many words in the world. But in the Imperial Exam, the candidates only use a certain set of words. For example, in the Basic difficulty level, the Neopians only use about twenty or thirty different words, including guard, little, knowledge, galaxy, develop, happen, sneeze, even, and piece. Once you know how to spell all of the words that appear in a certain difficulty, it shouldn’t be too hard to sort out all of the candidates.

Other Notes

The Neopoint ratio for this game is 1:1, so, with practice, it shouldn’t be too hard to get your maximum one thousand points from this game. If you complete the basic level, chances are that you will have over a thousand points in the game (because the two hundred point bonus at the end of the basic level will push you up there). Of course, you can play the other levels too, but if you’re in it for the neopoints, then the Basic difficulty is the way to go.

Fortunately, even if you don’t speak English, you can still play Imperial Exam, because it comes in eleven different languages, just like the rest of the Neopets site does. So, if you play Neopets, then, according to my calculations, there’s a one hundred percent chance that you will be able to play this game! Nifty!

Also, if you look up at the Imperial Exam sign at the beginning of the game, you might notice a mysterious sign covering part of it. And that’s all I am going to say on that matter. :)

Hopefully, with my guide and your practice, you will soon become a champion sorter and snag one of those snazzy trophies for your user lookup. Thanks for reading, and of course, good luck!

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