Who Invented School Tests? History of standardized testing

We’re all familiar with school tests. Whether you’re tested in kindergarten or when you graduate high school, I’m sure you went through at least one testing process. But who invented school tests?

School tests began in the 1800s in the US. The first standardized test was developed by American educator Horace Mann in the 19th century. He influenced early education and school reform, introducing a series of public education reforms that included the development of high standards for primary and secondary schools, which included school tests.

This article shows you all you need to know about who invented school tests, when and why he introduced them, as well as a little bit about the grade. Let’s find out more about it!

Let’s find out who invented summer school and high school.

Who Invented School Tests and Why?

who invented school tests and exams

When you try to find out who created tests, the trail will take you back to the 19th century and the United States.

The man who invented school tests was Horace Mann. He was born in 1796 and he died in 1859.

Horace Mann was an American educator who spent his life fighting for the rights of children to receive a proper education.

He also founded the Massachusetts State Board of Education, which helped to create public schools across America. 

He believed that every student should be able to learn by listening to their teachers, so he started out by writing textbooks that were easy to understand and easy to read.

He had high hopes for these textbooks, but they did not sell very well because most people wanted books with more pictures in them than words.

Mann then, together with Henry Fischel, began working on a new type of book that would have pictures and words together on each page.

They were easy enough for any child to understand without needing help from an adult first.

These books became very popular with both teachers and parents because they were easier for everyone involved than any other type of book before them had been!

Who Invented School Essay?

Horace Mann was the inventor of the school essays. He is the one who invented exam tests and made school essays popular.

He’s known worldwide as an American educational reformer and is credited with the invention of the modern school system.

Mann was born on May 17, 1796, in Franklin, Massachusetts. He was born to a wealthy family and later became a lawyer after graduating from Brown University in 1819.

In 1838 he also served as an assistant teacher at the Concord School of Philosophy before returning to Boston to become a Unitarian minister.

Who Invented School Grades?

William Farish is recognized as a person who invented school grades. He is a British educator and philosopher who was born in 1796.

Farish’s first major work, The Philosophy of Education: A Treatise on the Principles of Education (1828), laid out his vision for teaching children based on their individual needs, interests, and abilities.

He believed that teachers should encourage students to learn while they were interested in what they were learning, and teach them subjects that would keep them interested.

Inventor of School Tests Online

The invention of online school tests made it possible for students to take tests from home or anywhere they wanted using their own personal devices.

This meant that students could study on their own time and attend class online education, rather than having to go somewhere else to take them on a scheduled time.

Before, they were only available in classrooms during school hours.

It also made it easier for teachers because they didn’t have to worry about setting up an entire classroom just for one assessment.

That could be expensive and time-consuming if done repeatedly throughout each school year (and especially if you’re looking at multiple classes per day!).

Who Invented Standardized Tests?

When did schools start standardized testing?

Schools started standardized testing in the late 1800s when Horace Mann was Secretary of Education for the State of Massachusetts.

He believed that education should be equal for all students, regardless of their social class or family background.

Therefore, he invented school exams and spent his life researching how to get and prepare a different form of examination and assessment.

Mann also believed that schools should focus on teaching students how to think about problems and how to solve them, rather than just memorizing information.

He developed a system called “unit testing” that would allow schools across the state to compare students’ progress and determine how well each school was performing.

When Were School Tests Invented?

School tests have been around since the 18th century, when Horace Mann invented them in Massachusetts, US.

There, Horace Mann, together with Henry Fischel came up with the idea to implement exams as a standardized way of assessments around the US. 

The first written test was used by the ancient Greeks to assess students’ knowledge of literature and history.

The modern version of this assessment was invented by Horace Mann, who served as Secretary of Education for Massachusetts from 1837-1848.

Mann wanted to create an objective way to measure how well students were learning.

He developed a system that involved grading each student on their performance on multiple choice questions related to specific topics.

These tests were designed to be taken at school during class time rather than on paper at home like they are today.

Mann’s first test was designed to assess students’ knowledge of English grammar and spelling.

It was administered to all students in Massachusetts who were between the ages of 11 and 13 years old (though it didn’t take into account their grade level).

The test included questions about parts of speech, such as nouns and verbs; it also covered punctuation rules and capitalization rules.

Mann’s idea spread quickly throughout schools across America; however, it wasn’t until after World War II that standardized testing became widespread in public schools.

When Was the First School Test?

The first school test was given in the mid-nineteenth century in Massachusetts schools. In the early years of public education, there was no formal assessment system.

Instead, teachers used informal methods to evaluate students’ progress, such as asking them questions and taking attendance.

In 1842, Massachusetts became the first state to implement a formal state-wide testing program that was mandatory for all students.

The test consisted of three sections:

  • an essay section that asked students to write about their future life plans
  • a math section that tested their ability to solve simple arithmetic problems
  • an essay section asking them to describe their favorite book.

Students who did not pass all three sections were not allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies or receive a diploma.

When Did Exams Start in Schools?

In 1858, the first ever exams were held in schools. They were designed to test students on their knowledge of mathematics, literature, and science.

It was a way for educators to ensure that students learned what they needed to learn in order to prepare them for university.

When are IQ Tests Given in School?

IQ assessments are given to children between the ages of 5 and 8, as that is when their intellectual abilities are at their peak.

IQ tests are not given to children under the age of 5 because they do not have a fully developed brain, and so it would be difficult to determine if they were gifted or not.

IQ tests are also not given to children over the age of 8 because by that age there is a risk that they will have already begun to lose some of their cognitive abilities due to aging.

What are School Tests?

How to define what school tests are?

Tests are an important part of the educational process, as they allow students to demonstrate what they have learned in a measurable way.

The test is usually conducted in order to determine whether a student has learned all that was taught in his course and whether he has attained mastery of its contents.

Whether it is an exam or a quiz, it all boils down to one thing: getting the student to demonstrate his or her knowledge and understanding of a given subject.

There are two types of tests:

  1. Formative – used to provide feedback about learning progress and to help students learn. They may also be used as placement tests when students start at a new school.
  2. Summative – used at the end of each unit or course to give information about how much has been learned.

History of School Testing

History of School Testing

The first standardized test was created by Horace Mann, who developed what he called “Intelligence Tests” to identify children with learning disabilities.

Binet did not intend for these tests to be used as a means of ranking students’ intelligence; instead, they were designed to diagnose children who needed special services.

The first large-scale school testing program in the US came about during World War I.

President Woodrow Wilson ordered all public schools to administer intelligence tests to all students over the age of ten. 

The goal was to identify young men who had poor mental abilities and could not serve in combat.

The results were dismal: only one in four tested qualified for military service.

These test results led many people to question whether IQ tests were accurate measures of intelligence or simply reflected cultural differences among different ethnic groups.

In the early 20th century, debates about how best to assess students’ academic knowledge were common among educators and psychologists alike.

One school of thought held that educational progress should be measured by how much each student learned from his or her teachers rather than on standardized tests administered by outsiders

History of Standardized Testing

Standardized tests have been a part of American education since the mid-1800s.

In 1845, the states of Massachusetts and New York implemented their first statewide assessment program.

By 1890, many states had followed suit and were administering statewide assessments as part of their public school programs.

The first national standardized test was created in 1901 when the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) was founded.

The CEEB administered its first SAT exams in 1926, which were used by colleges as one factor in determining admission decisions.

History of Testing in Education

In Europe, the history of testing in education starts with French psychologist Albert Binet (1857-1911), who developed the first intelligence test in 1905.

The test was meant to identify students who would need extra help in school.

It was later revised by Lewis Terman and became known as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale.

This test, known as the Binet-Simon Scale, consisted of 30 items that were designed to measure intelligence by observing the child’s ability to solve various problems.

The test became popular in Europe and the US, where it was used to identify children with learning disabilities and other special needs.


At last, we’ve gotten to the good part. We’ve taken a look at what tests are and how they evolved into the modern standardized tests that we use in schools today.

We looked at their initial purpose, who invented school tests, and a little about how they were developed, why they were created, and who they were created by.

This is always a hot topic for discussion, so feel free to share your views and discuss by leaving a comment and I’ll gladly respond.