Science Fiction Books/Short Story/Novella


I am trying to remember the title of a short story or novella that I read in the mid to late 70s. It was in an anthology of what I remember to be SF award winners. The main character was a boy, not an overachiever, who was about to complete high school.Upon graduation everyone was required to take a placement test that would determine their vocation. I think the boy took the test but because he had not prepared he was assigned a vocation that was not to his liking so he ran away (possibly to Earth). There was a girlfriend involved and I believe they ended up at some kind of "Olympic" competition. The boy was eventually found and it turned out that he had done so magnificently on the test that his job was to be the Test Writer. I would love to know the title/author. Thanks, Eric

The short story is Profession, by Isaac Asimov.  It appears in several collections including Nine Tomorrows, Garden City, NY: Doubleday 1959.  One of my favorite short stories.  This anthology is popular and found in most public libraries.  It's still in print.

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Sue Kayton


Engineer who has read thousands of science fiction books and short stories. Can recommend stories on specific subjects and comment on technical feasibility. Especially good at older out-of-print books and authors.

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