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Some of the top schools on this list only let in people who are already extremely good _before_ they even get in the school (École normale supérieure for example), 42 accepts almost anyone. If people getting into a school are already very good before they get in, how do you know they got better thanks to the school? They would probably have scored very high at any school.

I think, if you consider that the job of a school is to educate people, then if 42 can turn someone with little education into an average to great programmer, that's a great accomplishment. In comparison, Ecole normale sup turns extremely bright and knowledgeable people into great programmers, not such a great accomplishment IMO.

> 42 accepts almost anyone

Well, that's not what the article says.

"Last year, 70,000 people attempted the online qualification test. ... In the end, 890 students were selected for the school’s inaugural class"

But I agree that it's difficult to judge the quality of formation considering that the student populations are different. But still, I don't see how how throwing programming challenges at CS beginners with no supervision can be better than university professors.

The "Ecole normal superieur" of the Ulm Street takes only 11 students in CS. So yes, in comparison, 42 accepts anyone.

The article certainly doesn't make it sound like they let in anyone:

""" Last year, 70,000 people attempted the online qualification test. 20,000 completed the test, and of those, 4,000 were invited to spend four weeks in Paris doing an intensive project that had them working upwards of 100 hours a week on various coding challenges. In the end, 890 students were selected for the school’s inaugural class, which began in November, 2013. """

French here who know a few people from 42. The tests to get in 42 are very basic and they're more about testing your patience than anything else. However, in order to get in the other top schools on this list, you need very high grades in math and physics among other things from high school. 42 let people in that haven't even finished high school. Not comparable. The reason they get 70000 people applying is because it's free, most applicants don't even finish the whole test (it lasts many days).

The real test is the pool, not the internet test. Learning up to binary trees in a month in c with no experience in programming at all ain't nothing like very basic

>42 accepts almost anyone

Not true :( Even though I thought I completely blew the preliminary tests I then received a mail telling me I wasn't accepted.

Although as an aside, my female friend who gave up before finishing and completed less of the tests than me got in, so I'm not sure I would even want to be accepted now but still, there is some heavy pruning going on.

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