History of Standardized Testing

The earliest evidence of standardized testing based on merit comes from China during the Han dynasty. The concept of a state ruled by men of ability and virtue was an outgrowth of Confucian philosophy. The imperial examinations covered the so-called Six Arts which included music, archery and horsemanship, arithmetic, writing, and knowledge of the rituals and ceremonies of both public and private parts. Later, the five studies were added to the testing (military strategies, civil law, revenue and taxation, agriculture and geography).

The first large-scale use of the IQ test in the US was during the World War I (circa 1914-18). The Educational Testing Service (ETS) established in 1948 is the world's largest private educational testing and measurement organization, operating on an annual budget of approximately $900 million.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1994 requires standardized testing in public schools. US Public Law 107-110, known as the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 further ties public school funding to standardized testing.

The USA educational system judges the academic qualification of applicants on their test results of standardized tests, standardized college and graduate-school entrance tests:

ACT - American College Test

DAT - Dental Admission Test

GRE - Graduate Record Examination, for graduate school

GMAT - Graduate Management Admission Test for business school

HSPT - High School Placement Test for entrance into High School

IELTS - International English Language Testing System

LSAT - Law School Admission Test for law school

MAT - Miller Analogies Test

MCAT - Medical College Admission Test

MOAT - for medical school,

PCAT - Pharmacy College Admission Test

PSAT/NMSQT - Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

SAT - Scholastic Aptitude Test, developed in 1926 for college

SSAT - Secondary School Admission Test for preparatory school

TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language

TOEIC - Test of English for International Communication

TSE - Test of Spoken English

TWE - Test of Written English