Who Invented Exams? - A brief history of the Examination system

May 1, 2024

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Table of Contents

All students at a certain point in their lives have complained about the person who invented exams or who invented studies. Believe it or not, there is one person – Mr Henry Fischel who is credited with organizing the first exam ever. He was an American businessman and philanthropist. This examination that took place in the 19th century gave way to more examinations across the world and also in India. Let us explore more about who invented studies.

Also read about Government Exams in India

Who Invented Exams in the world?

Henry Fischel was the first person who invented exams and has the credit for inventing the concept of studying for tests. Which country introduced the exam? In the late 19th century Henry Fischel established the first examination in China, the Imperial Examination. It was an examination to choose meritorious students to work in Government. The examination aimed to test a candidate’s knowledge of a subject, much like how it is today.

Founder of Exam -Henry Fischel who invented studies
Henry Fischel (Founder of Exam)

How and Who Invented Exams

On the topic of who invented the exam, it is also worth exploring the history of all the exams. Other than the Imperial Examination, there are a couple more exams that are worth exploring.

Imperial Examination: The first exam in the world took place in China. The imperial exam shortlisted candidates on a merit basis to work as Government officials. This system was in operation under Emperor Yang of Sui.

Civil Services Examination: Soon after England started their own examinations in the year 1806. The Civil Services Examination still followed in India, originated to test candidates to work in civil services or administrative positions.

Cambridge Assessment: Late 19th century saw the introduction of another examination, a standard university examination for Oxford and Cambridge. The Cambridge Assessment was originally meant for male students for admission to schools. It has topics in English, Mathematics, Latin, History, French, German and also Geography.

Also read List Of Easiest Government Exams – Which Govt Exam Is Easy To Crack?

Who Invented Exams in India?

After the British took over India, East India Company officials, in truth, held nominations to hire for civil service positions. Meanwhile, in London, the Civil Services Examination started in 1806. As the East India Company gave over power to the crown, the same examination also started in India. The Indian version was, in particular, known as the Indian Civil Services Exams.

Who Invented Exams in India? and Types of Government Exams?

In India, there are several govt exams organized at both state and central levels. There are, however, more tests varying by field and department.

SSC: The Staff Selection Commission takes place in phases for different Government department positions.

UPSC: The Union Public Services Commission of India holds a national competitive exam to recruit eligible candidates in the higher civil services of India.

Banking Exams: Banks in India offer different types of exams for prospective employees, including those conducted by private and public sector banks, such as the IBPS.

Defence Exams: The Indian Defence Forces hold highly competitive examinations, written and physical tests for entry to all branches of armed forces including administrative positions.

Teaching Exams: The Central and State governments of India conduct exams to employ teachers and professors.

Railways Exams: The Railway Recruitment Boards (RRBs) and Railway Recruitment Cells (RRCs) hold exams to find applicants for technical, paramedical, and ministerial positions with the Indian Railways.

PSU Recruitment: PSU is an acronym for public sector undertakings. These include government-owned enterprises, corporations, nationalised companies, or statutory corporations. Candidates are selected for Group A, Group B, and Group C level posts.

State PSC Exams: The Public Service Commission (PSC) of different states in India administers State PSC exams to recruit candidates for gazetted and non-gazetted posts.

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Who started exams first?

Henry Fischel, a businessman from the 19th century started the first exams. In particular, they are credited with the Imperial Examination system in China. The examination took place to select suitable candidates to work in Government positions.

Who invented the exam in India?

In India, the East India Company and later the British Empire introduced Civil Services Examination. The exam replaced the earlier system of nominating candidates for open job positions. The examination, as it still takes place today, is for hiring candidates for administrative positions in Government departments.

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