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All About The History Of Examinations

All about the History of Examinations

Exams are the scariest thing in the life of students. If you are a student, then you might have wondered at some point or another about the person who invented exams. Well, in this blog, we will learn about the history of examinations and who invented them. Let us take a detailed look at it.

An examination is a formal assessment conducted to evaluate the knowledge and skills of a person in a particular subject. Apart from the subject knowledge, it also assesses the student’s aptitude, learning, physical fitness, and other necessary skills. Exams are conducted to measure all these qualities of a student based on the answers submitted by them. The main purpose of exams is to identify the personality, memory, and revision skills of students. It also motivates the students to improve their learning and knowledge.

Types of exams

MCQs, oral exams, essay exams, open-book exams, case study exams, take-home exams, short answer exams, and practical exams.

Who invented exams?

Based on previous studies and historical evidence, Henry Fischel is the one who invented exams. He was the first person who introduced the philosophy of exams. His idea of examination focused mainly on two aspects – interior and exterior testing. According to him, examinations would help evaluate the student’s knowledge and understanding of the subject that has been taught in the classroom.

History of exams

Based on the research, the first country to implement the concept of exams was Ancient China. In the name of imperial examinations, people were selected based on a national assessment for government jobs and other government-related work. But it was during the Sui Dynasty in 605 AD the exams were set up for the first time. Later, in the year 1905, China abolished the appointment system through exams.

After China, it was England, during the year 1906, who adopted the examination system to select candidates who were eligible to serve in the Majesty’s civil service. Later, the same concept of assessment was adopted in academics as well. With a few advancements, examinations became a popular tool of assessment for the teachers that could help them assess the knowledge and skills of students.

Later on, the idea of conducting exams in the academic system was spread to all parts of the world, and many countries came in its favor. Even today, different types of examinations are conducted by various countries based on the needs of their educational system. But it was Henry Fischel who first introduced the core idea of exams into academics. He is considered to be the founder of examinations.

The concept of tests and assessments

If we speak about modern times, the education system has changed drastically so is the examination system. Exams today involve various tests and assessment stages like research papers, essays, multiple-choice questions, term papers, and personality tests. Other than the academic purpose, many organizations also use a holistic approach for the job interview process. This involves a lot of individual components, which are further evaluated to identify the actual competence of a person.

Difference between tests and exams

As part of your academic life, you might have heard these two terms quite synonymously, tests and examinations. But do you know the actual difference between tests and exams? Here is a short comparison between these two terms-

  • The test is conducted in an informal format, whereas the exam includes a formal format.
  • Exams are usually conducted at the end of each semester to evaluate the overall performance of a student. On the other hand, tests are conducted to prepare the students for their finals. They can be conducted at any time of the academic year.
  • If you do not perform well in tests, then you can make it up for it by performing well in the other ones. But this is not the case in an exam. If you fail an exam, you fail the whole semester, and you might have to reappear for it.

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