First, the entire session is a test. Marie is an expert psychologist. How people are reacting to taking the tests, and to being with each other in this situation, forms an important part of her assessment of, and treatment plan for, each individual she’s treating.
The first printed booklet is an I.Q. test, though the one she uses is neither the Stanford-Binet or Wechsler, and doesn’t test for how fast you can finish a problem; only whether you can. Being from a working-class, single mom family, the heroine was never taught the way these tests work; and having been bullied for being stupid the vast majority of her life, and not getting very good grades in school, she lacked a natural curiosity to investigate these kinds of tests. Also, the tests she was given at school were given en masse, had a large portion on working speed (on which she scored quite low in elementary school), had to be completed within the allotted class time (these tests stop when you’ve hit your ability level; if she hadn’t hit her ability level, but they stopped the test due to time constraints, her score would show lower than it should have had the test been administered properly), and she spent (wasted) too much time filling those little bubbles in completely (which was difficult due to her lack of fine motor skills in elementary school, and which she enjoyed filling in exactly right– a very bad combination for answering questions as quickly as possible). As a result, she didn’t recognize Marie’s test for what it was, and didn’t realize that being able to finish every question meant that her I.Q. was so high that it was untestable. (Bob realized this, though, and seemed to feel a little threatened by it– that, and it was yet another thing for him to admire in her, the girl who’s off-limits to him for SO many reasons. Not that Bob likes her, or anything. If you asked him, he’d probably snort, curse at you, and then use you in his next experiment.)
The second printed booklet is a psychological test that’s similar to the MMPI. It’s supposed to give a psychologist a wide range of information about the psychology of the person taking the test. (For examples of what it checks for, click on “product details” and scroll down to the heading “Scales” on the Pearson Clinical Website for the MMPI, and be prepared to read for a long time.) The heroine’s more rigid posture, hurried responses, and worry that she answered things wrong, tells Marie much about the heroine’s psychological response to this assessment.
The last printed booklet is a psychological test that’s similar to the MCMI. It’s supposed to give a psychologist an idea of some of the psychological disorders a person might be suffering. (For examples of what it checks for, click on “product details” and scroll down to the heading “Scales” on the Pearson Clinical Website for the MCMI.) Thomas takes longest to finish this because he’s suffering from more severe psychological issues than anyone else in the room (some of which have been developing his entire life).