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Imperial examination in Chinese mythology Although, in a general way, the formative ideas behind the imperial exams can be traced back at least to Zhou dynasty times or, more mythologically, Yao such as imperial promotion for displaying skill in archery conteststhe imperial examination system in its classical manifestation is historically attested to have been established induring the Sui dynasty ; which in the quickly succeeding Tang dynasty was used only on a relatively small scale, especially in its early phase.
However, the structure of the examination system was extensively expanded during the reign of Wu Zetian: During the Song dynasty the emperors expanded both examinations and the government school system, in part to counter the influence of military aristocrats, increasing the number of those who passed the exams to more than four to five times that of the Tang.
Thus the system played a key role in the selection of the scholar-officials, who formed the elite members of society. During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the system contributed to the narrowness of intellectual life and the autocratic power of the emperor.
The system continued with some modifications until its abolition under the Qing dynasty. Other brief interruptions to the system occurred, such as at the beginning of the Yuan dynasty in the 13th century.
The modern examination system for selecting civil servants also indirectly evolved from the imperial one. This structure prevents cheating in exams. Tests had a lengthy historical background in Chinese thought, including evaluating the potential of possible people to fill positions through various contests, competitions, or interviews: Much of the development of the imperial bureaucracy in the Confucian form in which it was known in later times had much of its origin in the Han dynasty rule of Han Wudi Emperor Wu of Han.
Through the Three Kingdoms and the Sui dynasty recruitment would be viewed as basically a bottom-up process: In the modern sense of an open examination system, the imperial civil service examinations did not take place until the Sui dynasty, when they then began to recognizably take on the form of standardized teststhough under the prerogative of the Emperor.
The Tang dynasty saw most of the recruitment into central government bureaucrat offices performed by the bureaucracy itself, at least nominally by the reigning emperor.
However, the historical dynamics of the official recruitment system involved changes in the balances of the various means used for appointments all theoretically under the direction of the emperor ; including, the civil service examinations, direct appointments especially of members of the ruling dynastic familynominations by quotas allotted to favored important families, recommendations, clerical promotions, direct sale of official rank, and special induction procedures for eunuchs.
The regular higher level degree examination cycle was nominally decreed in to be 3 years.
In practice both before and after this, the examinations were irregularly implemented for significant periods of time: The jinshi tests were not a yearly event and should not be considered so; the annual average figures are a necessary artifact of quantitative analysis.
Recruitment and appointment in the Han dynasty was primarily through recommendations by aristocrats and local officials. Recommended individuals were also primarily aristocrats. Oral examinations on policy issues were sometimes conducted personally by the emperor himself during Western Han times.
Previously, potential officials never sat for any sort of academic examinations. The examinations did not offer a formal route to commissioned office and the vast majority of appointees were through recommendations.
Though connections and recommendations remained more meaningful than the exam, the initiation of the examination system by Emperor Wu had a cultural significance, as the state determined the most important examination material were Confucian. During the Han dynasty, these examinations were primarily used for the purpose of classifying candidates who had been specifically recommended.
Even during the Tang dynasty the quantity of placements into government service through the examination system only averaged about nine persons per year, with the known maximum being less than 25 in any given year.Nov 16, · LIST OF IMPORTANT TOPICS FOR ESSAYS It is the list of those essays which has been asked in previous css exams and intend to b most important.
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