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The Ultimate Test
Pokémon Certification Test!?
First broadcast
Japan July 30, 1998
United States April 24, 1999
English themes
Opening Pokémon Theme
Japanese themes
Opening めざせポケモンマスター
Ending ポケモン音頭
Animation Team Ota
Screenplay 冨岡淳広 Atsuhiro Tomioka
Storyboard 井上修 Osamu Inoue
Assistant director 井上修 Osamu Inoue
Animation director 平岡正幸 Masayuki Hiraoka
No additional credits are available at this time.

The Ultimate Test (Japanese: ポケモンけんていしけん!? Pokémon Certification Test!?) is the 56th episode of the Pokémon anime. It was first broadcast in Japan on July 30, 1998 and in the United States on April 24, 1999.

201 Spoiler warning: this article may contain major plot or ending details. 201


Ash, Misty, Brock, Todd, Pikachu, and Togepi are enjoying a nice lunch until Misty points out that Ash hasn't won a Gym Badge in a while. After nearly choking on his food and washing it down with a glass of water, Ash claims he wins all his battles with skill, then challenges Misty to a Pokémon battle. Todd steps in, takes pictures of Pikachu, then tells Ash that he should take the Pokémon League Admissions Exam.

The group arrive at the Pokémon League Admissions Exam building so Ash signs up and gets the testing number 7. Nearby, Jessie, disguised as a schoolgirl, complains that she didn't get number 7, causing Ash to briefly suspect her. Then, Nurse Joy enters and Brock follows her. Ash then is told by the head instructor to leave all his Poké Balls at the counter, as well as temporarily leave Pikachu in Misty's care. Shortly, Nurse Joy tells Ash, Misty, and Brock that she signed up for the exam to become a Pokémon Master. Soon after, James walks in, disguised as a schoolboy with glasses, but quickly heads for the counter once Ash sees him. When the head instructor reads James' registration form and calls out his name, James tells him to keep quiet. But unfortunately, Jessie hears this and takes James outside. Once outside, Jessie takes off her glasses and asks James what he's doing here. James confidentally says that he too wants to become a Pokémon Master, as well as ask Jessie what she's doing here. Jessie explains that she wants to add another talent to her collection. Suddenly, Meowth shows up and scratches both their faces. James quickly throws Meowth a ball of yarn, then runs off with Jessie back inside for the exam.

Exam #1 tests a person's knowledge of Pokémon, where they answer true or false questions. Ash does his best to answer each of the questions correctly. At the Magikarp question, James is so angry because of the time he had that Magikarp, as well as notice Jessie giving each question a "true" answer, hoping that she gets half of them right.

Exam #2 tests a person's ability to recognize Pokémon. The Pokémon to recognize on the screen looks like a ball. Ash think it's a Voltorb, James thinks it's a Poké Ball, and Jessie thinks it's an Electrode. The head instructor reveals the answer: a Jigglypuff seen from above. The next Pokémon to recognize looks like a swirl. Ash guesses it's a Poliwhirl, James believes it's a Omanyte, and Jessie guesses it's an Arbok when it's all coiled up. Unfortunately, the correct answer is a Poliwag. The next Pokémon for all the students to guess has a firey tail, and Ash guesses it's a Charmander, but the right answer was Ponyta. A furious Jessie demands that she be asked easier questions, and the head instructor expells her. Once outside, Jessie wakes up Meowth and says that they're going to get revenge.

When the scoreboard comes down, Ash wonders where his score is. Misty points out that Ash's score is on the scoreboard for all the students who got the lowest scores, as Todd takes a picture, much to Ash's chagrin. Meanwhile, James stands alone in a corner, vowing that he will try extra hard for Jessie.

Exam #3 involves Pokémon battles, as Nurse Joy uses a Squirtle against a fellow instructor's Charmander. Next, the head instructor tells Ash and James that they each have to select a belt of three Poké Balls, even though they don't know what Pokémon are inside them. They choose their belts, and James is up first against the head instructor. The first Pokémon James sends out is a Pikachu, as the head instructor sends out a Graveler. James commands Pikachu to use Thunderbolt, but the attack doesn't work on Graveler. Then, Graveler sends Pikachu flying with a Tackle. James then sends out an Ivysaur and a Charizard. But unfortunately, the head instructor expells James for bringing out two Pokémon at once.

It is Ash's turn to face the head instructor, who sends out a Flareon. Ash pulls out his first Poké Ball, which reveals a Weezing. Flareon uses Flamethrower, and Ash tells Weezing to dodge and counter with Smog. Flareon uses Leer, but Weezing knocks him down with a Smokescreen followed by a Tackle. Next, the head instructor sends out a Jolteon, and Ash sends out an Arbok. Jolteon uses Agility, but Arbok stops it with Glare. Then, Arbok uses Wrap but gets hurt by Jolteon's spikes. For the final round, Ash opens his last Poké Ball, revealing a Meowth, and the head instructor sends out a Vaporeon. Meowth tries Fury Swipes, but gets frozen in its tracks when Vaporeon uses Ice Beam, giving the victory to the head instructor. Team Rocket's Meowth scratches Ash's face, then frees his fellow Meowth. The head instructor is impressed by the talking Meowth, so he goes to capture him. But then, Team Rocket return with James' Pikachu, Ivysaur, and Charizard. The head instructor demands that they return those Pokémon immediately. Jessie and James then say their motto and remove their disguises. Then, Team Rocket order Ivysaur to use Vine Whip, Charizard to use Flamethrower, and Pikachu to use Thunder. Before the Pokémon attack, the head instructor orders them to about-face, causing Pikachu, Ivysaur, and Charizard to attack Team Rocket. Ash realises that those Pokémon listened to the head instructor because he raised them. Then, Ash orders his Meowth, Weezing, and Arbok to also stop Team Rocket. And finally, Weezing uses Explosion, sending Team Rocket blasting off again.

Back inside the PLAE building, the head instructor tells the whole class that due to Team Rocket's interference, they have to do the entire exam all over again. The head instructor then offers Ash another chance to pass the test, but Ash refuses, saying that he's better off winning Gym Badges from Gym Leaders. Misty is now convinced that Ash has got skill. A short time later, as Ash, Misty, and Brock say goodbye to the head instructor and Nurse Joy before heading off for Cinnabar Island, Todd comes up to Nurse Joy with one of the two Meowth's that got hurt in the Explosion. The Meowth then talks, revealing that it is Team Rocket's Meowth, meaning that the head instructor finally got his talking Pokémon. Meanwhile, as Jessie and James vows revenge on Ash and his friends, they quickly discover that they ended up with the wrong Meowth.

Major events





Who's That Pokémon?: Vulpix (US and international), Template:P2 (Japan)

Pokémon seen at the exam:


  • The Pokémon Ash uses in the exam are the same species as those that Team Rocket uses to battle him outside of it: Arbok, Weezing, and Meowth. James does almost the same, in reverse: he gets a Pikachu, Ivysaur, and Charizard to use.
  • This is one episode where Charizard doesn't keep its Japanese voice and its voice is provided by Eric Stuart.
  • According to the dub, Jessie is 17 years old. It is not known how accurate this is.
    • Interestingly, in this same episode, she also mentions that she desires to ace the exam for a college resume, which may lead credence to her being 17.
  • James receives the a similar team to the one that Pokémon Trainer has in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, except with a Pikachu instead of a Squirtle.
  • Jessie and James combined were given the lowest score on the exam, and Ash was given the second lowest score in the exam. If Jessie and James were separated, then Ash would have gotten the third lowest score, James would have gotten the second lowest score, and Jessie would have gotten the lowest score.
  • Even though Kanto seems to have an entrance exam, it doesn't seem that the other regions require an exam to enter their leagues (however, considering that Ash stated that he "prefers getting to the League by challenging gyms", it can easily be assumed that, even IF the other regions did have an exam, he certainly wouldn't have taken them.).


  • The instructor shows an image of a Poliwrath and Poliwag but calls them Poliwhirl and Poliwag.
  • The instructor says Template:Type2 moves don't work on Rock Pokémon, in reference to Pikachu's Thunderbolt failing to affect his Graveler. In actuality, Electric moves don't work on Template:Type2s, which Graveler is also, but have normal effectiveness on Rock-types.
  • In one scene where the gang talks to Nurse Joy and Todd takes pictures of Pokémon, there is a trainer with a green-colored Weedle. Though it may merely be a coloring error, Weedle is green when Template:Shiny2 in later generations.
  • The computer's image of a Caterpie leaves a section of its body colored the purple on the screen.

Dub edits

In other languages

  • Finnish: Ratkaiseva koe
  • French: L'Ultime épreuve
  • Italian: L'esame
  • Latin American Spanish: ¡La prueba máxima!
  • Spanish: El examen final
  • Swedish: Pokémonprovet

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