Are you smarter than an 8th grader?

  1. A friend sent me this, and IMHO, anyone who doubts that the education system in the US is getting worse by the minute, may change their mind after they try to take this test.

    8th Grade Education in 1895

    What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895...

    Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education?
    Well, check this out.
    Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

    This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA .
    It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
    8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895
    Grammar (Time, one hour)
    1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
    2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
    3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
    4.. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,''play,' and 'run.'
    5. Define case; illustrate each case..
    6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation..
    7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

    Arithmetic (Time,1 hou r 15 minutes)
    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
    4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
    5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.
    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
    3... Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

    Orthography (Time, one hour)
    [Do we even know what this is??]
    1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals& nbsp;
    4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.' (HUH?)
    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
    6.. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
    8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
    9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, f ain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

    Geography (Time, one hour)
    1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
    4. Describe the mountains of North America
    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
    8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
    9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
    10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

    Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

    Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it?! Also shows you how poor our education system has become.
  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   FireStarterRN
    My daughter is just graduating eighth grade and I'm actually not totally displeased with what she is learning. Her education includes many things not on this test. The need to learn some of the items on the test has passed, and new information has superseded it in importance.

    Thanks for the peek into the past. I love this stuff, I have a collection of old textbooks from that era that are quite entertaining to read.
  4. by   FireStarterRN
    Rules for teachers in mid-1800s: (McKeesport Heritage Center Records; reproduced in Pgh-PG, 8/9/00).

    1. Teachers each day will fill lamps, clean chimneys.

    2. Each teacher will bring a bucket of water and a scuttle of coal for the day's session.

    3. Make your pens carefully. You may whittle nibs to the individual taste of the pupils.

    4. Men teachers may take one evening each week for courting purposes, or two evenings a week if they go to church regularly.

    5. After 10 hours in school, the teachers may spend the remaining time reading the Bible or other good books.

    6. Women teachers who marry or engage in unseemly conduct will be dismissed.

    7. Every teacher should lay aside from each pay a goodly sum of his earnings for his benefit during his declining years so that he will not become a burden on society.

    8. Any teacher who smokes, uses liquor in any form, frequents pool or public halls, or gets shaved in a barber shop will give good reason to suspect his worth, intention, integrity, and honesty.

    9. The teacher who performs his labor fruitfully and without fault for five years will be given an increase of 25 cents per week in his pay, providing the Board of Education approves.
  5. by   Spidey's mom

    As everyone knows, I love watching Jay Leno out on the street asking simple questions to random strangers.

    Jaywalking rocks!
    Last edit by Spidey's mom on Jun 9, '09
  6. by   tntrn
    [QUOTE=Spidey's mom;3674121
    As everyone knows, I love watching Jay Leno out on the street asking simple questions to random strangers.

    Jaywalking rocks!


    Yes, Jaywalking is probably my favorite Leno thing. I wonder if he'll have a similar thing on his prime time show.