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Early history[ edit ] Ancient China was the first country in the world that implemented a nationwide standardized test, which was called the imperial examination. The main purpose of this examination was to select able candidates for specific governmental positions. England had adopted this examination system in to select specific candidates for positions in Her Majesty's Civil Servicemodeled on the Chinese imperial examination.
Civil service[ edit ] From the mid 19th century, universities began to institute written examinations to assess the aptitude of the pupils.
This is an excerpt from the Tripos examination in Cambridge University. As the profession transitioned to the modern mass-education system, the style of examination became fixed, with the stress on standardized papers to be sat by large numbers of students.
Leading the way in this regard was the burgeoning Civil Service that began to move toward a meritocratic basis for selection in the mid 19th century in England.
British civil service was influenced by the imperial examinations system and meritocratic system of China. Thomas Taylor Meadows, Britain's consul in GuangzhouChina argued in his Desultory Notes on the Government and People of China, published inthat "the long duration of the Chinese empire is solely and altogether owing to the good government which consists in the advancement of men of talent and merit only," and that the British must reform their civil service by making the institution meritocratic.
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Influenced by the ancient Chinese Imperial Examination, the Northcote—Trevelyan Report of made four principal recommendations: This was a tribute to its success in removing corruption, delivering public services even under the stress of two world warsand responding effectively to political change.
It also had a great international influence and was adapted by members of the Commonwealth. Education[ edit ] Students taking a scholarship examination inside a classroom in Written examinations had been unheard of before for European education.
In the US, the transition happened under the influence of the educational reformer Horace Mann.
This shift decisively helped to move education into the modern era, by standardizing expanding curricula in the sciences and humanitiescreating a rationalized method for the evaluation of teachers and institutions and creating a basis for the streaming of students according to ability.
Tests were used to determine the mental aptitude of recruits to the military. Inthe first Advanced Placement AP test was administered to begin closing the gap between high schools and colleges. In contrast, high school students in other countries such as the United States may not be required to take a standardized test to graduate.
Moreover, students in these countries usually take standardized tests only to apply for a position in a university program and are typically given the option of taking different standardized tests such as the ACT or SATwhich are used primarily to measure a student's reasoning skill.
Depending on the policies of the test maker or country, administration of standardized tests may be done in a large hall, classroom, or testing center. A proctor or invigilator may also be present during the testing period to provide instructions, to answer questions, or to prevent cheating.
Grades or test scores from standardized test may also be used by universities to determine if a student applicant should be admitted into one of its academic or professional programs.A test or examination (informally, exam or evaluation) is an assessment intended to measure a test-taker's knowledge, skill, aptitude, physical fitness, or classification in many other topics (e.g., beliefs).
A test may be administered verbally, on paper, on a computer, or in a predetermined area that requires a test taker to demonstrate or perform a set of skills.
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