If I remember my QI the first exam was invented at Oxford. I mean written tests rather than interviews.
This sort of testing is a scientific method and the new advance of mass schooling required mass testing techniques.
Today exam grades and academic achievement are important for social and employment status. The best people have lots of letters before and after their names. They also have better paid jobs.
Those who do well in academic constructs can manage exam stress. They have to.
One day though there will be a different system. I don't know what it is but the system wouldn't create the peaking of anxiety and stress which the current written examination system causes.
Coursework is already an important part of many discipines and examination systems. Many though still retain a test of everything in an examination day or whatever - a short period.
Sent from my smartphone