The Development of Examining at Sixteen
Sixteen is, however, a crucial age because it is the end of formal education. Written examinations are not the only types of assessment, one of the features of recent years has been the attempt to spread the forms of assessment more widely. With the introduction of the new General Certificate of Secondary Education for the bulk of 16 year old pupils, authors must not relegate this aspect of assessment to those at the bottom end of the ability range alone. The development of a system of vocational examinations was begun by the Royal Society of Arts who introduced their examinations from 1854. The Bath and West of England Society led the way with a competitive examination held in Exeter in 1857 for seniors (up to 18 years old) and also for juniors (up to 15). This examination was intended as an experiment to show the way, today we would call it a feasibility trial.