Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Examination System
(1,476 words)

During the imperial era, the examination system comprised a whole complex of competitions which served the selection of candidates for official posts. The examinations derived from the measures introduced by the Han Emperors for recruiting their imperial administration from outside the hereditary nobility. They constituted an effort at establishing an official Confucian education, combined with the provision of literary examinations, which were to provide qualification for titles and public offi…

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Bastid-Bruguière, Marianne, “Examination System”, in: Brill’s Encyclopedia of China, Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese. Consulted online on 29 November 2023 <>
First published online: 2008
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004168633, 20121018

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