Everyone know's its JUST a test. Realistically, wouldnt EVERY Starfleet cadet pass with flying colors for acting supremely confident in the face of.....a test. You would NEVER get the real reactions of future captains because you cant simulate certain death experiences if they arent ACTUALLY certain death experiences.
Kirk deserved a commendation for original thinking because Kirking your way through a silly test is the only respect that test deserved to be treated with.
So the difficulty and reverence for the test was based on the academy myth among cadets that the test WAS passable, but that no one was smart enough to do it? Only Kirk had the balls to realize Spock was trolling them?
STO: @AGNT009 Since Dec 2010
Capt. Will Conquest of the U.S.S. Zorro