The conventional compression test, in which a short, right cylinder is loaded axially, is one of the most widespread experimental procedures in rock mechanics. This configuration is used in studies of both brittle and ductile behavior, in long term creep studies as well as in studies of elastic behavior. In view of this wide usage, it is rather surprising to find so little concern with what are widely recognized as bad features of this test (Seldenrath and Gramberg, 1958; Fairhurst, 1961).