Who Invented Exams? A History of Examination

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Introduction

Many students are frustrated by the idea that they have to write challenging exams after every academic period. These exams serve as a determinant to prove the effectiveness of their learning and studying activities. A large chunk of a student’s educational experience is spent in the examination hall. The type of examination written by students varies from one region or country to another.


Students have spent a long time dreading, detesting, and disliking examinations. As the examination day gets closer, the student will feel more pressure to succeed at the oncoming test. Before reaching the question paper, most of us are already thinking of why not write an exam.

Even though most students don’t like the idea of exams, they still share an odd and complicated relationship with it. The amusing thing about writing examinations is that many students are only concerned about getting high grades. They hardly ever wonder; who’s the person behind the idea of examinations? Or who invented exams? In this piece, we’ll be reviewing the history of examination and the activities that led to every academic campus adopting this principle.

Who Is the Inventor of Exams?

According to the oldest historical sources, exams were invented by Henry Fischel, a Philanthropist, and a Businessman in the 19th century. He created exams to indicate students’ overall knowledge in subjects and test their ability to use their knowledge.
Henry Fischel was a man who traveled to the US and many other parts of the world. His idea of examinations focused on two main aspects; interior and exterior testing. He postulated that these assessments would test how much students are familiar with what they have been taught. Henry is one of the first people to have a philosophy about examinations. His philosophy has shaped the history that many of us have learned.

Some other sources state that another person invented the invention of the modern-day assessment system using his name, Henry Fischel. The latter was a professor of religious studies during the 20th century.

Notable Historical Evidence of Examination

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Now, let’s take a quick look at the history of examinations around the world. The first country to widely implement the concept of examination was ancient China. The country’s government organized a national assessment known as the Imperial examination. The Sui Dynasty set up this exam in 605 AD, and its purpose was to select people for government positions. China abolished this general examination appointment system in 1905.


After China, England was the following country to adopt an examination system in 1806. The exam was to test potential candidates to serve in Her Majesty’s Civil Service. Later on, this assessment system was applied to education and became a popular tool used by teachers to test the knowledge gained by students during an academic session. Gradually, the concept of examination spread to other parts of the world and became a crucial aspect of different educational systems.

In our modern-day society, examinations have evolved into different assessments such as multiple-choice questions, essay assessments, personality tests, research papers, and term papers. In some scenarios, students are tested with a combination of different types of evaluations.  

For instance, many college students have to overcome writing their term papers before completing their academic training. This activity will signify the student’s level of expertise in their field of discipline. However, term paper writing is far from straightforward and comes with its technicalities. It may be almost impossible to successfully write a good term paper amidst numerous pressures and activities of an academic calendar. Students who cannot handle this task may opt for online help and hire a term paper writing service. The purpose of a term paper writing service would be to alleviate the pressure of delivering a good term paper. And making sure the student passes with excellent grades.

Have you ever wondered what makes Cambridge one of the most reputable educational institutions in the world? Part of the reason can be attributed to the university’s role in the proliferation of modern-day exams and tests. Towards the end of the 19th Century, English schools requested that Cambridge and Oxford Universities create a general standardized test for young males all across England. During this period, only boys were allowed to write examinations.

The first Cambridge assessment took place on 14 December 1958.  It was administered to churches and schools all across England.

This examination focused on subjects like Mathematics, English, History, Latin, German, French, Politics, and so on. It was a widely accepted occurrence in the United Kingdom. External invigilators traveled from Cambridge University to different parts of the country to hold the assessment.

And that’s all on the history of examination. Now, you’re familiar with all the events that led to the modern-day examination.

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