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"I realized there was a heavy-duty change coming in biology, and I could write a really compelling novel about catastrophic evolution, punctuated equilibrium."
- Greg Bear

Machine Test Scoring  
  A device that scans a specially prepared grade sheet and determines a student's score.  

In the story, Margie has a mechanical teacher in her house, like every child old enough to need schooling. She must present homework in a particular form so the machine can read it and grade her work.

The part Margie hated the most was the slot where she had to put homework and test papers. She always had to write them out in a punch code they made her learn when she was six years old, and the mechanical teacher calculated the mark in no time.
From The Fun They Had, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Children's Magazine in 1951
Additional resources -

Punch cards or tape have been in use for a long time; the Hollerith 1890 census tabulator is a famous example. Most students today are familiar with the Scantron system, which combines machine-readable test papers with a reader/tabulator. I don't know how old mechanical test grading is.

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