Classroom of the Elite Volume 12 Chapter 2 Part 1
Several days had passed since the opening ceremony. The weekend came and went, and it was Monday once again.
A peaceful school life. A daily routine constantly repeating itself over and over again.
The start of the new school year brought about many changes, the most notable of which being that the blackboards had become digital and that all of our textbooks had been replaced with electronic tablets. I looked down at the brand new tablet that the school had distributed the week before.
All supplementary class materials were also now on these tablets, truly highlighting just how popularized electronic books had become these days.
Each student had been given one of their own, and high-speed charging ports had been freshly installed at the back of the classroom. Portable battery chargers had also been made available to us whenever we needed, just in case our tablets were to run out of power during class. While, as a general rule, we weren’t allowed to bring our tablets back to the dorms with us, we could always transfer any data we needed over the school’s wireless network and use that at home instead.
The cumbersome number of textbooks we used to have was now stored within one 12-inch tablet. Not only did it make it easy to utilize visual aids like graphics or photographs, but it also had support for more globalized uses, allowing us to seamlessly communicate with foreigners during our English classes.
For a school overseen by the government, it seemed rather behind the curve when it came to introducing these changes.
At the same time, it was hard to say whether or not these changes had been the right thing to do.
The value of these changes would greatly depend on whether or not the students needed them in order to integrate with society later on down the line.
This year, the scope of our studies would naturally be more difficult than it was during our first year. I had no frame of reference to compare this to, but it seemed reasonable enough to assume that this school was at least above average in terms of difficulty. I found myself wondering if Sudō, Ike, and some of the other students would be able to keep up on their own. In order to prevent any of them from being expelled, they’d need more support than ever before.
All in all, most of the major changes had to do with the digitalization of the education system, but if I had to name something else, it would probably be how we could now choose where we wanted to sit through the use of private points. I moved from my old window seat to the desk right next to the hallway at the back of the room. The seats next to the hallway generally weren’t very popular because of all of the traffic, but that wasn’t really something I cared about.
And, while I was running into the new first-year students more often over the course of my day to day life, I wasn’t involved in any club activities, so I hadn’t actually spoken with any of them yet. Last year, the first time I properly spoke with one of the upperclassmen was when I needed to collect old exam questions for a special exam, so it wasn’t exactly strange that they hadn’t spoken with me yet.
In short, the first several days of the new school year had been pretty quiet.
“Everyone’s here, right?”
Our homeroom teacher, Chabashira, walked in the classroom only seconds after the bell rang.
As morning homeroom began, she took her place behind the teaching podium with an extremely serious look on her face.
This, coupled with the fact that there were no regular classes scheduled for both first and second period today, meant that it was safe to assume something was about to happen.
Our brief, peaceful break was about to come to an end.
“Sensei, is there a special exam?”
Ike asked a question before Chabashira even had a chance to open her mouth.
From the look of it, he had probably spoken because of restlessness, not as some sort of joke.
Chabashira understood this as well, so she didn’t reprimand him for speaking out of turn.
In the past, every time a new special exam reared its head, most of our classmates would feel consumed by anxiety and suspense.
But now, special exams felt more like hurdles we had to get over on our road to the top.
The class’s mindset had begun to change, to face toward the future.
“I understand that you’re concerned, but there’s something I’m gonna need all of you to do before I get to answering that. Something very important for the rest of your life here at this school.”
Chabashira took out her phone and held it up for us as she spoke.
“Everyone, take out your phones and place them on your desks. If you didn’t bring it with you, you’ll have to go back to your dorm and get it, but… I doubt any of you forgot.”
Nowadays, cellular phones have become one of life’s necessities. You could probably even say that it was the number one most important thing to have on you at all times.
Before long, 39 phones had been placed on the desks. After quickly checking to make sure nobody had forgotten theirs, Chabashira continued speaking.
“So, the first thing you all need to do is navigate to the school’s homepage and install a new application. It should be available to download any second now. The official name of the app is ‘Over All Ability’, but once it’s finished installing it’ll show up as just ‘OAA’ on your phone.”
The blackboard switched over to a different screen, where a captioned live-action video demonstration began to play.
You could say that this was one of the various conveniences that had been brought to us thanks to the new technology.
After following along with the explanation given to us in the video and successfully installing the app, an icon of what appeared to be an illustration of the school together with the letters ‘OAA’ showed up on my phone’s home screen.
“Put your phones down after you’ve finished installing the app. Raise your hand if there’s something you don’t understand.”
The installation process was extremely simple. Everyone here was experienced with using their cell phones, so everything progressed without a hitch.
“You’re not the only ones doing this either. Right now, every student in the school is installing it. From here on out, this app will be a very useful tool for you here at Advanced Nurturing High School. Well, seeing is believing as they say, so go ahead and get it running.”
I pressed the icon on my home screen to launch the app, but my phone’s camera came up instead.
“Just take a picture of your student ID card with your camera and it’ll take care of the initial setup process.”
Following along with her instructions, I took a picture of my ID card. The app then scanned the card for various pieces of information like my ID number and portrait photograph and continued with the login process.
“At this point, each of you should have your own personal account. Moving forward, you won’t need to login anymore, as your account is linked directly to your phone, so please be careful not to lose it.”
After finally logging into the app, several different menus showed up.
“This app holds the personal data of all students across every school year. For example, if you press on the menu for Class 2-D, your names will be displayed in alphabetical order. Go ahead and try it.”
The school pictures and full names of all 39 of us were listed in alphabetical order on the screen, just like she said they’d be.
“You’re free to look at any profile you want, but you should probably take a look at your own first.”
I tapped on my own name as Chabashira suggested.
I expected to be met with basic information like my date of birth, but that wasn’t the case at all.
Instead, I was presented with data I had never seen before.
Class 2-D – Ayanokōji Kiyotaka
Academic Ability: C (51)
Physical Ability: C+ (60)
Adaptability: D+ (37)
Social Contribution: C+ (60)
Overall Ability: C (51)
“S-sensei, my scores look like they’ve been converted into video game stats!?”
“That’s right. The school calculated those ratings for each of you based on your accomplishments up until the end of your first year. Of course, you also aren’t the only ones who can access this information; It’s possible for students of any class or school year to access whoever’s info they want. The system was adopted because we believe it’ll be an important tool for the future of your education.”
In other words, the purpose of this OAA app was to provide a numerical evaluation of everybody’s abilities. On the side, it also seemed like it could be used to send public messages to every student in the school.
There was a question mark icon on the top right corner of the screen that, upon being pressed, presented me with a detailed description of each of the different categories on my profile.
Academic Ability: Primarily calculated based on your written exam scores conducted throughout the school year.
Physical Ability: Calculated based on your performance in physical education classes, club activities, special exams, and other physical endeavors.
Adaptability: Calculated based on your capacity to adapt to the world around you. This includes, but is not limited to, whether or not you consistently demonstrate the ability to think on your feet, your communication skills, the size of your social circle, and whether or not you act in a way befitting of your social standing amongst said circle.
Social Contribution: Calculated based on a variety of factors, such as your general attitude during class, your attendance record, the presence of any potentially problematic behavior, or your contribution to the school through programs like the student council.
Overall Ability: A student’s comprehensive ability is derived from each of the four values calculated above. However, the effect Social Contribution has on the overall score is reduced by half compared to the other three values.
※ Formula for how Overall Ability is calculated:
(Academic Ability + Physical Ability + Adaptability + (Social Contribution * 0.5)) ÷ 350 * 100 (Rounded)
I see. With evaluation criteria like this, I could understand why my Adaptability rating was lower than the others.
After all, the size of my social circle and my communication skills weren’t very high by any standard.
My ratings for the other categories were reasonable, given that they were calculated based on various things that I did on a day-to-day basis.
Alongside the information for my first year, there were additional pages for my second and third-year information, but those were currently blank.
“Right now, only the ratings for your first year are displayed, but from today onward, new ratings will be reflected on the second-year page as they become available. They’ll be updated on the first day of each month, the same day private points are distributed. As an example, Sudō, your current Academic Ability rating is an E, but if you were to get full marks on the next written exam, you’d receive an A+ for Academic Ability on your second-year page.”
This meant that our second-year ratings would be evaluated separately from our first-year ratings. Furthermore, the ratings for each year would always be held on record. Even if Sudō were to get full marks on April’s first written exam and get an A+ rating, if he were to take a zero on the next exam, he’d end up with a C rating, or something along those lines. And after a full year of that, our average rating would be what’s left in the end.
One of the most noteworthy features of this app was that it allowed us to check up on not only our own class, but every other class as well. Before this, I couldn’t find out about students I had never interacted with without personally going out and gathering information, but now, with just a glance at the app, I could find out anyone’s name, face, and what kind of ratings they had gotten, regardless of whether they were in my school year or not. Incidentally, the data for the first-year students seemed to be based on information from back in their third year of middle school along with the results of their entrance exam. This meant that Academic Ability, Physical Ability, and Social Contribution ratings aside, it was possible that their Adaptability ratings may not be very reliable.
It was a useful grade checking tool… Or, no, there had to be more to it than that.
The app was obviously meant to play an important role of some sort.
“There are probably some students here who aren’t satisfied with their ratings and feel frustrated with how they’ll be kept on a record like this. But to those students, I can only say that you’re the ones who spent the last year acting as you did.”
The closer one’s important ratings like Academic Ability and Physical Ability were to an E, the more disgraced one would feel as a student.
“However, your first-year ratings are a thing of the past, and they won’t have any influence on the evaluations you’ll be getting as a second-year. In other words, it’s important that those of you who received unsatisfactory results take advantage of this opportunity to improve yourselves. The school expects that being able to visualize your progress will help promote growth like that.”
Since the app holds a record of personal ratings that anybody can look at, many students would probably start putting in effort in order to make themselves look as good as possible. This would probably have some sort of promotional effect on getting better ratings like Chabashira said it would, but…
“Sensei, why is Social Contribution the only one that’s factored in differently than the other three categories?”
This question came from Hirata Yōsuke, who had been wondering about why the Social Contribution category had less than half of the influence on Overall Ability compared to the other three.
“Academic Ability, Physical ability, and Adaptability. The school considers these three categories to be extremely important. Social Contribution, on the other hand, is a little different. Social Contribution is based on morals and manners. It’s an assessment of what you look like as a student in a general sense, considering things like the tone and attitude you take with your teachers, the presence of absences or tardies on your attendance record, whether or not you’re willing to abide by various rules, and even the influence of your voice and the accuracy of your words. It covers the type of common-sense abilities that you can’t afford not to have, so the impact it has on Overall Ability is lower as a result.”
Unlike the first three categories, where you couldn’t just improve dramatically overnight, you had the ability to greatly improve Social Contribution-related skills any time you wanted just by changing your mindset and the way you went about doing things. That was the difference.
“This app considers everyone equally. It doesn’t matter what class you’re in or where you are amongst your peers, the app evaluates you just the same. As it is now, you could say that those of you with high ratings in the Overall Ability category have done something worthy of praise as individuals.”
In the app, the students were listed in alphabetical order, but it also seemed to be equipped with a sorting function.
And thanks to that, there was no need for me to look through each student in Class 2-D one by one to find out who had the highest Overall Ability rating.
Upon testing out the sorting feature, I found that Yōsuke was the one to take that spot.
Class 2-D – Hirata Yōsuke
Academic Ability: B+ (76)
Physical Ability: B+ (79)
Adaptability: B (75)
Social Contribution: A- (85)
Overall Ability: B+ (78)
Yōsuke’s excellence was obvious after just one look at his numbers. His ratings were objectively high-level all across the board. If he hadn’t exposed his weakness at the end of the first-year, his scores might’ve been even higher.
On the other hand, when sorted in descending order, Ike was the one to take the top spot with an Overall Ability score of 37.
Right below Ike was the name Sakura Airi, with the same Overall Ability score of 37.
Sudō, somebody that many students had expected to take the lowest place on the rankings, was actually placed several places above that.
Class 2-D – Sudō Ken
Academic Ability: E+ (20)
Physical Ability: A+ (96)
Adaptability: D+ (40)
Social Contribution: E+ (19)
Overall Ability: C (47)
His Academic Ability and Social Contribution ratings were both profoundly low, given his bad behavior last year. However, his rating for Physical Ability was more than enough to compensate for that, saving him from the bottom of the list. Upon further inspection, I found that, out of every student in the second year, he was the only one who had gotten A+ in the Physical Ability category.
Sudō had grown both academically and mentally when compared to when he first came to this school, and his ratings would probably only continue to get better as time went on.
“On another note, while this doesn’t directly have anything to do with Class D, there are special exceptions in place for second-year students. Class 2-A’s Sakayanagi Arisu’s Physical Ability rating will take on the same value as the student with the lowest Physical Ability rating in the school year.”
Sakayanagi Arisu had been physically handicapped from birth.
She had to use a cane to get around, even while walking.
In other words, physical activity wasn’t something she was capable of, even if she wanted to.
Having said that, the Physical Ability category couldn’t just be removed from the calculation for her overall score. So in that sense, having her take up the same score as the lowest placed student seemed like a reasonable compromise.
At any rate, this tool for visualizing abilities was probably an integral part of Nagumo’s proposed individualist meritocracy.
“I’m sure this app will distinguish itself as an important tool, not only for changing your mindsets and improving yourselves, but also for interacting with others since you’ll now have a medium to quickly familiarize yourselves with the names and faces of students regardless of what school year they’re in. However… I also think there’s more to it than that. This is just my own personal speculation, but… maybe a year from now, students who fail to keep their Overall Ability rating above a certain threshold will be given some kind of penalty of sorts.”
“Penalty… You’re not saying, like, expulsion, are you Sensei…?”
“It’s possible. But, as I said, this is just speculation. It’s not a cold hard fact or anything. But the closer your Overall Ability rating is to an E, the more dangerous of a position you’re in. It’s best you keep that in mind.”
For the time being, Ike and Airi were ranked at the bottom, with both of their Overall Ability ratings close to an E.
If they spent this next year doing the same things they did last year, they’d be in hot water.
“Some of you are also probably dissatisfied with how the school’s assessment may not line up with what you think you should’ve gotten, but keep in mind that this is just how the school sees you as of right now. If you’re dissatisfied, then you’ve got this next year to prove us wrong. After all, the school isn’t infallible.”
“B-but Sensei, how are we supposed to do that!?”
Ike frantically raised his hand as he asked, having realized that he was at the bottom of the ranks.
“Well, as an example, the accuracy of the Physical Ability rating depends on whether or not a student takes part in club activities. If you’re confident in your abilities, it might be a good idea to join a club.”
Chabashira was saying that students who showed their abilities to the school would generally end up getting better results. That being said, it still depended on the individual. If a student were to appeal to the school in a bad way, it could end up coming back to bite them.
“It’s like we’re fighting on our own.”
Horikita’s quiet muttering didn’t go unheard by Chabashira.
To Horikita, it probably felt like the introduction of this app did away with the notion of class-focused competition she had come to expect during her first year here.
And she probably wasn’t the only person who felt this way either.
“You’re both right and wrong, Horikita. The school approved and implemented a proposal by the current student council president, Nagumo Miyabi, and that is the very system we’re introducing this year.”
So Nagumo’s dream of creating a system where individuals are evaluated based on their own merits was finally being realized. The reason why he wasn’t very active last year must’ve been because he was busy pouring his time and resources into making this app.
“But, the fact that the school’s emphasis lies on working together as a class still hasn’t changed. Keep that in mind as you work hard to improve yourselves every day.”
With the apps installed and the following explanation finished, the first period came to an end. As soon as the break between periods started, everyone’s eyes were immediately glued to the screen of their cell phones. Not only did they want to see their own ratings, they also wanted to know how their classmates and the rest of the school were doing.
“I ain’t happy with how they’re treatin’ me like I’ve got less common sense than Kōenji!”
Sudō complained loudly as he scowled at Kōenji, completely fixated on the ratings of the app.
I eavesdropped on his conversation (though, he was speaking so loudly it was hard not to hear him) while looking to confirm what he was saying on the app.
Class 2-D – Kōenji Rokusuke
Academic Ability: B (71)
Physical Ability: B+（78）
Adaptability: D- (24)
Social Contribution: D- (25)
Overall Ability: C (53)
Kōenji had received high ratings in both Academic Ability and Physical Ability, which made sense given that he had demonstrated a certain degree of proficiency during our standard classes and tests.
“What’re you on about? Your Physical Ability rating is like, way higher than his anyway.”
Ike, who didn’t have any particularly outstanding ratings of his own, enviously complained right back to Sudō.
“That’s cuz Kōenji isn’t taking this shit seriously. It’s hard to come to terms with.”
Kōenji’s physical abilities were extraordinarily high, just like Sudō said. His potential was on the same level as Sudō’s or maybe even greater, but, he wasn’t a member of any club and his participation during PE classes was largely dependent on his mood, so there was no way to tell for sure. Unless he’s personally invested, he was one to just suddenly give up on something or skip out on doing it altogether. It wasn’t even all that uncommon for him to not even lift a finger in the first place either. Sudō, on the other hand, tackled physical problems head-on and always pounded out top-class results, no matter what task he’s been faced with. Even though their physical abilities may be similar, it was obvious why there was such a great difference in the ratings they had been given.
That being said, the category Sudō was upset about was the Social Contribution category.
That is, the category that had to do with morals and manners.
In that regard, Kōenji, the one being singled out and criticized, was just as much of a problem child as Sudō.
It seemed that Sudō couldn’t stand the fact that his Social Contribution rating was the lower of the two of them, even though that was only just barely the case.
It’s not like I couldn’t understand why Sudō wanted to complain, but…
The reason why Kōenji’s Social Contribution rating was higher than Sudō’s was probably because he hadn’t had as many opportunities to cause problems for the class or the school. Given the suspensions and violent behavior Sudō exhibited last year, the fact that he was below Kōenji wasn’t all that surprising.
Even though Kōenji himself could hear everything Sudō said, he paid no heed to any of it.
He also hadn’t bothered with using the OAA app any more than necessary, unlike those around him who were completely engrossed with it.
Over the course of the last year, Kōenji was probably the one who had changed the least.
In any case, thanks to this app, we were now able to quantify the results of our first year at this school.
And, there were both advantages and disadvantages for us as a result.
For example, the existence of the Overall Ability category had created a provisional competency ranking of sorts.
Now, if a troublesome special exam were to take place again, the class probably wouldn’t even need to discuss who the expulsion candidates would be. The students with the lowest overall scores would be the ones in the hot seat.
Deep down, Airi, who was ranked at the very bottom together with Ike, probably wasn’t very happy about that either.
I made a lot of executive decisions in the translation of this part, mostly with regard to terms that’ll be used constantly from here on out in the series. Overall, I hope everything is super clear here since I took a lot of time to polish it up as best I could. These types of explanation parts are incredibly boring to translate, but I at least hope the reading experience is better than the translation experience was. Sadly, Part 2 looks to be another part much like this one, so I’ll have to bear with doing another tedious explanation part next.
Now for the timeline: My goal is to have Chapter 2 finished in the next 4-5 days. Part 2 is just a bit shorter than this part, so I’ll have it finished in roughly 3 days from now. Part 3 and Part 4 are the last parts of the chapter. The plan is to have Part 3 done and posted the day after Part 2 and for Part 4 to be posted a day or two after that. This isn’t a hard deadline, but you can count on it given how I’m scheduling out the volume. That being said, look forward to the completion of Chapter 2 in the near future.
Thanks for reading and staying patient while I was on break after finishing the translation of V11. I hope you’re all happy with my increased speed and I don’t plan on stopping said speed until V12 is translated and I’ve picked up V14.
See you guys in 2-3 days with Part 2.