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When, Where, and Who Invented Exams?

Who Invented Exams? It's Time to Go Back and Know About the Exam History

03 Jan 2023

19 minutes

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Who Invented Exams in the U.K.? A Brief History of the Origins of Written Examination?

An average scholar has an odd and complicated relationship with the examination. As a result, many freshmen wonder,  "Who Invented Exams?." It is a source of frustration for students who dread tests after every academic period. Yet, this form of evaluation serves as a determinant and is an effective way to learn and study. Also, according to the teachers, it is a worthwhile technique. This is because it gives scholars an informative educational experience.

Additionally, it aids professors to analyse the amount of information a particular student absorbs during lectures. Yet, for ages, freshmen have spent time detesting and disliking the test. Thus, some students might have searched "Who Invented School Exams?" on Google for curiosity's sake. As it is a cause of pressure among the students to succeed in the oncoming test. Also, the students are usually concerned with getting higher grades.

Nonetheless, exams are a significant way to judge the freshmen' knowledge. It also, helps them grow and gives students a sense of accomplishment. Still, the main goal of the test is to improve scholarly memory and recall skills. Finally, this leads to personality development. Thus, irrespective of the region or country, a large part of academic life is spent inside the examination hall. Therefore, if you are ever wondering about the true origin of tests. Don't spend another minute contemplating the exam's origin. So, let's dig deeper into who invented exams and when:

How and Who Invented Standardised Exam?

If you look into the history of exams, you will find that it is completely different all around the world. Yet, out of all the old tales, the one that is highly popular and stands out is discussed in this section. Thus, the first country that introduced this assessment concept was China. This testing approach was originally termed the Imperial Examination. This idea was introduced by the Sui dynasty. This evaluation technique was the best way to check the potential of the candidate based on merit. Also, it helps identify if the participant is qualified to be part of the government's official group. This was usually under the leadership of Emperor Yang of Sui. The dynasty adopted the notion of this written exam to choose a worthy candidate.

Now that you know this oddly simple story about the invention of examination. You might have developed an interest in the individual who invented these types of assessments. Well, the first person who invented exams was Henry Fischel. He was an American businessman and philanthropist in the late 19th century. He is considered the true inventor of this philosophical test.

Yet, there is an almost amusing controversy also contributing to the invention of these standardised exams. It involves another man with the same name (i.e., Henry Fischel). The latter was a brilliant professor who taught religious studies at Indiana University. It is a known fact that he is the one who invented school exams in the early 20th century. And that is all! You finally know all the secrets that led to the invention of these terrifying forms of the test. Later, this evaluation system spread to other parts of the world. Thus, this examination style is a vital aspect of today's education.

Discover the Origins of Tests. How Have School Exams Drastically Changed Over the Past Years?

Exams, in laymen's terms, only imply a deep observation, inspection, or study of a particular phenomenon. Thus, the word "exams" is always associated with the assessment process. Yet, it is a huge stress builder for freshmen during the academic journey. This formal test is a way to analyse a person's knowledge and proficiency in a specific subject. Thus, the educational institute conducts these exams as a screening concept to check the calibre of each fresher.

Yet, in the past few years, assessments categorised into different formats. It includes an open book, take-home, oral, short answers, the MCQ, etc. These are all pen-based tests that have become quite popular in recent times. Besides, with technological advancement, computer-based exams are now the norm. This is further segregated based on various modes, structures, and the difficulty level of exams. Thus, it is easily concluded that examinations nowadays have evolved. If you read this post to the last. You will end up with a quick crash course in the evolution of the assessment field.

Moreover, tests are conducted at the end of the academic year. It is to evaluate the overall performance of scholars in a specific sector. Furthermore, in the long run, this will improve the freshmen's ability to grasp knowledge and assist the students in correcting flaws. Thus, the exams are a big part of the overall learning experience. Additionally, teach freshers humanitarian values such as patience, leadership qualities, and proper discipline. It also develops the thinking as well as the logical aspects of the student for later professional years.

The Growth and Expansion of Testing Throughout the Ages

Evolution is vital for moving forward. This type of development always happens fast, and it is difficult to digest and adapt. It is human nature to resist any new change. This problematic reason is why the introduction of new concepts should have a slow and gradual pace. This will help people warm up to an entirely new idea. Moreover, the two sectors of society that saw the most advancement generally cover the medical and educational areas.

Yet today, let's keep the focus on the ways education has risen and progressed in the modern era. This evaluation is driven by three major factors.

  • The first reason is the democratisation of higher education.
  • Secondly, you require learning as the credential for career success.
  • Finally, to keep up with the rapid pace of technological change.

Thus, the bookworms out there, who are curious about the humble beginning of the test to date are on the right path. Therefore, take a moment to stop and read about who invented exams and the drastic boom in this learning sector:

Introduction to Plato’s Academy in 387 BCE

Instead of traditional lecturers, this first-ever classroom lesson was conducted through dialogue. So, students don't have to engage in the continuous torture of endless classes, different subjective homework, or a monthly test. Instead, the senior members of the institute posed daily philosophical problems for freshers to resolve through discussion. This concept is intimidating to some scholars who are shy and break out in a cold sweat when it comes to public speaking. However, just as every coin has two sides, the student does not require cramping.

Standardised Testing Begin in 605 CE

This evaluation style was initially implemented across the lands of the unifying Sui dynasty. Also, pretty soon everyone from various backgrounds could easily enter this exam. Additionally, this examination covered the philosophy and mythology section. This assessment process carries the key to countless professional and academic spheres. These generally involve SATs, MCATs, LSATS, GMATs, and GREs, which are unique gateways to riches. Thus, this will ultimately lead to a rise in the social hierarchy. Additionally, these civil service written tests also proved worth it if the candidate was eligible for the leadership position. To prevent any cheating, the papers were even anonymised by the grading tutors.

The Era of Viva Voce in the 1088 Century

The mediaeval European university of Bologna employed public oral examinations. The debate usually happens between university juniors and seniors. If the freshmen performed adequately, they will carry on to pursue higher studies. Therefore, the student will get a master's degree. Yet, the pursuit of higher learning is not as easy as it sounds. The discussion can go on for several hours and, on rare occasions, turn into a scholarly debacle. If you are wondering if this is even possible, a modern-day version of this learning concept is seen in thesis defences.

Beginning of the Written Exam in 1702

The first modern version of the written exam dates back to Trinity College, Cambridge, in the early eighteenth century. This version of learning was first introduced by a renowned university master named Richard Bentley. As with every good thing, there are a few sets of problems. This pen-and-ink system also made examiners less forgiving of all the errors. Here, the students accounted for every minute mistake or slip-up they made. Also, in this particular technique, a comparison of different scholars' performances was done. Thus, this evaluation style brought a wave of cutting-edge competition among the freshers.

The Standardised Assessment Hits the West in the 1900s

In the first year of the last century, the British technocrats took up the ancient Chinese idea. Therefore, throughout the entire Victorian era, exams were used to evaluate colonial administrators. Yet, this form of testing leads to the creation of a college entrance exam board. Also, this identical test series was usually given to nine subjects throughout the United States. This assessment style was also used for intelligence, vocational aptitude, and admission in the decades that followed. It is not just for higher education but for all sorts of development. Yet, these large-scale tests are criticised for encouraging cramming for memorisation. Thus, it does not focus on deep learning.

In the 1970's Professors Were Given TAs for Assistance

In this era, students understood the true value of education for great career opportunities. There was a drastic growth in the number of scholars admitted to and attending the schools. Thus, the size of classes started to grow faster. Thus, the instructors have given larger classes. It led to more workload in terms of taking lectures, checking weekly assessments, or conducting monthly tests. This resulted in a maximum workload for the scholars. Therefore, to reduce the stress, the university came up with the concept of teaching assistants. These academic helpers provided aid to teachers in grading the papers and taking classes in the absence of teachers. But this technique had its burdens and risks. As the TAs have no experience looking after students, that can lead to unnecessary drama at times.

Essays Started Grading by the Algorithm in 1999

This computerised era took essay ranking to another level, which made the lives of the professors easier. Thus, the era of Robo-scoring software came into existence. This technical evaluation tool doesn't read the write-up. Yet, its main feature is to compare dozens of features of sentence structure. Also, it checks if the scholars have maintained the paragraph flow throughout. This is one of the parameters to check the quality of the writing. Yet, in some recent research, it's found that this programme evaluates scholars more harshly. It is all thanks to the accurate focus on spelling and grammatical errors and not on the creative aspects. Irrespective of this drawback, it is still a popular grading tool. One such similar software that has earned recognition is " e-Rater". This system is generally used for entrance exams such as graduate record examinations, TOEFL tests, and other exams.

The 2000s brought the Revolution of Clickers

This physical tool was invented to make the lives of teachers more convenient. Here, professors presented multiple-choice quizzes to the class for an interactive and engaging study session. After the question is presented on the board, all fresher have to do is use their physical clickers to vote on the correct solution. Also, the device instantly calculates the results and showcases the final scores in real time. However, this software is notoriously easy to cheat. It is because it allows another individual to fill in. It is only on rare occasions that the scholar is not present. Thus, it is not a perfect solution to evaluate students' academic performance. Therefore, these became less popular in universities. Yet, to this date, teachers use this technique to create a more interactive learning environment.

The Introduction of Top Hat in the Early 2010s

The growth in cloud computing has brought more possibilities for testing. Also, mobile device usage in the algorithm has opened up flexible learning modes for scholars. One such device is the top hat, which allows professors to curate complex online exams. These usually involve multiple formats and styles. It is to incorporate written, visual, multiple-choice, and other question types. Following that, the data was administered directly on the student's device. This proprietary lockout system prevents students from cheating in exams. Also, it has an auto-grading submission system to notify scholars with immediate results. It is a quick technique to analyse the productivity of freshmen. It also maintains the student's yearly marking records.

In conclusion, the futuristic goals for education are:

The new advancements in education address issues with earlier testing techniques. For example, using artificial intelligence to modify exams for students from various backgrounds. Additionally, virtual reality is used in learning in addition to other fields. Hence, there is no stopping new technology from producing both new issues and new opportunities. There you have it, a chronological breakdown of who invented school exams. Thus, follow the development of higher learning from the early metaphysicians to the current possibilities. It involves flexible software, such as the DIY paraphrasing tool available to polish any writeup. Also, marvel at how far our human species has progressed. In the end, the fact that there is more to come is surreal.

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