Science-Fiction Tests
from Fancyclopedia 2 ca. 1959
Alvin Earl Perry suggested to the SFL the idea of granting "degrees" to graduates of a "University of Fantastic Fiction" and Thomas S Gardner promptly developed the idea into the Science Fiction tests, which enabled participants to win egoboo and display their knowledge of the field. The things came in seven sections; the first four comprised 100 questions on SF, the fifth two 250-word essays (on such subjects as your friends' reaction to stf, the plot of your favorite story, time-travel, ktp), the sixth your opinions on such matters as your favorite author, the future of SF, space travel, and the destiny of man. The seventh part was a quiz on elementary science. A minimum grade of 70% qualified one as a B Stf (Bachelor of Scientifiction). Baccalaurei, if they had helped put out a fanzine or had a story published in the proz, were entitled to sit for their Master's degree by writing a thesis of 5000 words on (ghod help us!) the subject of stf's educational value and its aid in the improvement of civilization. Five stories in the prozines would have qualified an M Stf for his Doctorate.

All seven sections of the test were published together (January '35, matriculating 42 fen including Lowndes, Wollheim, and Ackerman — the latter one of the top 3 graduates, with 97% — and July '35, producing 35 more Bachelors) but Gernsback lost control of the magazine soon and under the TWS aegis of Standard Magazines the SFL got much less space and executive zeal.