A test to determine whether women can go braless in public. The tester lifts a breast, places a pencil under it, and releases the breast. If the pencil falls down, she can go braless (under a shirt, of course). If the pencil is held in place by the weight of her breast, she should wear a bra.
I took the pencil test and decided that the halter top was a bad idea.
In the days of racial segregation in Africa, people of mixed races, or those who looked like they were of mixed race were subjected to the penicl test to decide what race they were. A pencil was placed in thier hair, and should it fall through they were classified as white, and were given the priveliges that were assocciated with white people. Should the pencil not fall through thier hair, they were classified as black and treated as such.
The pencil test was humiliating, and even if someone were to be classified as white, they would still not be totally accepted, and would instead be refered to as 'coloured'.