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A guy invited his friend 伊理戸 to hang out in his room. Unfortunately, he only wants to study for a test. So the guy thought

伊理戸のやつテストばっかしててつまらねー!! 雰囲気で点が取れるとはなんだったのか

I am not quite sure about the meaning of「雰囲気で点が取れるとはなんだったのか」. The translations said "so much for very little effort" but I can't see where this meaning came from. I think it means something like "What is the point of getting high marks from atmosphere"? I don't understand what 雰囲気 means.

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The literal translation of 雰囲気で点が取れる is indeed "can get high marks from atmosphere". Here, 雰囲気で is a slangy phrase that means something like "relying on one's guessing ability or intuition (rather than knowledge, logic or experience)". So it's a kind of test where you can guess the correct answers just by reading the questions carefully and using your common sense. If you happen to know 空気を読む, this 雰囲気で is in the same vein. There is a net meme 俺たちは雰囲気で~している. 雰囲気で in the title of this book is the same. 雰囲気で話す人 is someone who says plausible-sounding things that are not based on logic.

~とは何だったのか means "What was ~?" or "What was the point of (saying) ~?". So since Irido is studying hard now, this guy is wondering why he said 雰囲気で点が取れる earlier.

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  • Thank you for the answer. Also, I forgot to ask what form the verb 取れる takes. Is it spontaneous? Jan 29, 2023 at 9:42
  • @JohnDavies No, it's the potential form of 取る (i.e., "can get").
    – naruto
    Jan 29, 2023 at 9:43

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