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Chinese Civil Service Examination

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Chinese Civil Service Examination

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  • December 2012
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The Imperial Examination System in Ancient China
Abstract: Imperial examination in ancient China was developing based on the nine-rank system. From Sui and Tang dynasties to Guangxu year, Qing dynasty, it took more than 1300 years to evolve. The Imperial Examination is officially called Keju Examination in China, which was an important part of education system of feudal society in ancient China. In the mean time, it was a kind of officer-selecting system as well. It played a significant role in cultivating, selecting, and making use of talents. Modern examination system also takes example by the imperial examinations in ancient China. So we should attach importance to researching and studying it due to its enlightenment to the innovation of education system.

Have you ever wondered why there is an examination this kind of stuff which makes students “suffer” a lot and how it comes about? What is its origin? And how did it develop? Actually, China has a long history in examination system. So, I will talk about the imperial examination system in China which has a far-reaching impact to other Asian countries. The establishment of the nine-rank system

“A certain system cannot be created without foundation and time, it must have an origin, and before the establishment of the system, there must have been a predecessor originating gradually” ——Ch’ ien Mu① Imperial examination did not arise suddenly. Before the imperial examination was created, the nine-rank system was considered to be the precursor of it. According to Ci Hai dictionary, the explanation of the word “nine-rank system”: At the end of the Eastern Han dynasty, Cao Cao was in power, he advocated “Wei Cai Shi Ju”, which means everyone has an opportunity to be an official as long as he is outstanding enough. In the year 220, Cao Pi adopted Ministry of Personnel, Chen Qun’s suggestion that every prefecture could elect a reputable man to be the “Zhongzheng” (a kind of official), and the government classified...

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