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The Answer to Life, the Universe, and the 42 School Pre-Registration Exam

Sep 18, 2022

A picture of the 42 school in Paris

I recently enrolled in the pre-registration competition at 42 school in Paris, also known as the "pool." Unfortunately, I haven't had enough time to document my thoughts and experiences weekly as I had hoped. However, I still want to keep a written record of this experience as a memory, inspired by a video I saw by IciAmyPlant.


I have been interested in attending 42 school for many years. I have completed a baccalaureate and a BTS, but neither of these traditional education paths were a good fit for me. 42 school offers an alternative approach to education that is suited to those who prefer self-directed, project-based learning and working with peers. It is also a great option for those who want to learn a new skill or profession.

What's a peer?

Peer-to-peer (P2P) learning is a type of education that occurs when students learn and teach each other. It is different from traditional teacher-centered education, where the teacher is the primary source of information and the students are passive recipients of knowledge. In P2P learning, students take on more active roles in their own education and are encouraged to share their knowledge and skills with their peers.

One of the benefits of P2P learning is that it allows students to learn from different perspectives and experiences, which can enhance their understanding of a subject. It also helps students develop important skills such as critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. P2P learning can also increase student engagement and motivation, as students feel more invested in their own education when they have the opportunity to teach others.

The 42 school is one educational institution that heavily rely on the P2P learning method. There are no teachers and the students are in charge of their own curriculum and learning process. This can be challenging for some students but many find that it allows for a deeper understanding of the material and greater flexibility in how they choose to learn.

How to get in?

42 school is a unique educational institution that has an open enrollment policy, meaning that anyone can apply to attend the school, regardless of their background or prior education. To be admitted to 42, a student must pass a rigorous pre-registration process that includes a coding test.

The coding test is done over a period of about a month, and is known as the "pool". During this time, students are given access to a set of coding exercises and challenges, which they must complete on their own. These exercises cover a range of topics and difficulty levels, and are designed to test the student's knowledge of programming concepts and their ability to write and understand code.


My experience at 42 school has been truly remarkable. The progress that participants made in just one month of the program was astounding. The diversity of the participants, composed of at most 450 individuals from various backgrounds, ages, professions and countries, created a rich and enlightening environment. One of the things I appreciate about 42 is the strong sense of community and socialization. The support and camaraderie among the students is remarkable, and the opportunity to learn from and work alongside my peers was invaluable. The connections and friendships that I have formed during my time here are priceless, and I am consistently inspired by the drive and determination of my fellow students.

Besides study

Beyond the curriculum, one of the things that sets 42 school apart is the variety of extracurricular activities and events available to students. From foam parties and blind tests, to coding workshops and guest speaker events, there is always something happening at the school. In conclusion, I can confidently say that my experience at 42 school has surpassed my expectations. It's a one of a kind and life-changing educational experience and I'm honored to be a student and be a part of it 🥳

Key to success

If you're considering applying to 42 school, it's important to understand that passing the pre-registration process, particularly the pool, requires a combination of knowledge, effort, and the right mindset. Here are a few tips for success:

  • Prior knowledge of coding is not required to pass the pool, but having some basic experience with programming can be very helpful. Before taking the pool, consider taking an online course or tutorial to learn the basics of a programming language like C.
  • The most important factor in passing the pool is consistent progress. The pool is designed to be challenging, and it's unlikely that you will be able to complete all of the exercises perfectly in the first try. The key is to focus on making steady progress in your understanding of the material and in your ability to solve the problems.
  • Another key to success in the pool is being social. 42 is a unique educational institution that emphasizes self-directed learning and peer-to-peer education. The pool period is not only a test, but it's also an opportunity to work with and learn from your peers. Don't be afraid to ask for help, share your progress, and give feedback to others. You will be surprise how much this can help you to go forward.
  • Finally, Keep in mind that the pool period is a test of your problem-solving skills, your determination, and your ability to learn on your own. Remember that it's not about being perfect, it's about making progress and showing the ability to learn and adapt.

By keeping these things in mind, you'll be well on your way to success in the pool and in the 42 program.