only an eighth grade education? look at this

  1. Remember when our grandparents, great-grandparents, and such
    stated that they only had an eighth-grade education?

    This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 Salina, Kansas, USA.

    It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey
    Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, Kansas and
    reprinted in the Salina Journal.


    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 do, lie, lay 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.


    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 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. bushel, deducting 1050 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 cost of 6720 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 meter?
    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 around which is 640 rods?
    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.


    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.


    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, sub vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
    4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
    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, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.


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

    This gives the saying of an early 20th century person that
    "he only had an eighth-grade education" a whole new meaning.
  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   Mkue
    very impressive for 8th grade !!!

    thanks, Marie
  4. by   MIKEY LIKES
    Is this the Pioneer GRE?
  5. by   cindyln
    I don't think that I could have passed this and I have a college education.
  6. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by MIKEY LIKES
    Is this the Pioneer GRE?
    The test is from Kansas. My guess is that most kids growing up in Kansas in 1895 were probably staying there and continuing on the family farms...hence the need to calculate bushels and such....
  7. by   Beach_RN
    Wow That's Hard! I'd have to look up most of the answers to those questions!
  8. by   Mkue
    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, sub vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?

    ???what the heck are those?, I have no clue what a trigraph is, diphthong? lol..

    I would have been held
  9. by   cactus wren
    Wow !!

    And here in Az, the legislature is confounded by having some sort of test you must pass, before getting a HS diploma....I bet that the AIMS test is nowhere as tough as this was
  10. by   nurseman
    Originally posted by rncountry
    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?
    They were teaching the metric system back then?
  11. by   fab4fan
    And all this time I thought I are and edicated person.
  12. by   Lausana
    hmmm, that was obviously before television...without dumb people who'd be on Maury & Jerry?

    lol, that's frickin' hard
  13. by   emily_mom
    I think dipthong is when it gets stuck up your butt...
  14. by   karenG
    I cant answer any of the questions!!

    stupid question- what is 8th grade?