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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An 8th Grade Education

I thought this was interesting, and wanted to pass it on for whatever it's worth.


1895 Eighth Grade Final Exam

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, lay and run

5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.

6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.

7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.


Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

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 50cts/bushel, deducting 1050lbs. 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.


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)

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 follow ing 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.


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 & Orinoco.

6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.

7. 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

9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of

10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.


Also notice that the exam took five hours to complete.

Gives the saying 'he/she only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it?


Travis said...

I find this test to be a bit humbling.

Sarah Salter said...

I did a screenwriting seminar with a group of Academically Gifted 6th graders last Friday. At the end of class, I had them do a dialogue exercise. There were students in this class who weren't capitalizing proper names or using punctuation. And it was an Academically Gifted class. Can somebody tell me how we have "progressed" from your example of an 8th Grade Education to what we currently have in our schools?

But then, who am I to throw stones? I'm college educated and can't answer all of the questions on your test.

Amy Deardon said...

Sarah, I am a great believer in allowing people to work up to their potential. If they're not able to understand how to use punctuation, fine, but PLEASE don't say it's OK if they can. CS Lewis wrote a great piece about lowering standards for all in his postscript to The Screwtape Letters.

Will, I'm with you. Not a clue!

Billy Coffey said...

I work at a college, and I know without a doubt that 80 percent of them would fail this test.

HollyMag said...

Wow! This is a humbling test, considering I'm almost done with a Master's degree and I couldn't pass this! Thanks for sharing. You're right those with a 8th grade education were better off than I am today! Blessings.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

American education has suffered from our wealth and our democracy.

I'm a lover of democracy, but as a former teacher, I would be the first to testify that widespread parental pressure for children to get A's with no effort has ruined our schools. (Many parents aren't too fond of having their children disciplined, either.)

Perhaps our dropping standard of living and burgeoning population will help American kids realize that they have to work hard, just like Indian or Chinese kids.

Great post, Amy!

Brandie said...

I can't help but agree with the other comments--my college education sure wouldn't help me on this test! I think part of the problem is that year after year, the schools repeat the same things. My older kids (11th & 8th grades) wonder why I send them to school, as they aren't learning anything new. Back in the days of this test, students were expected to remember the things they'd been taught, so education could move forward.

Allie said...

I've seen tests like this circulate before. It does amaze me at what kids were taught back then, but then we have to also realize that when we were growing up we were taught things that they'd never heard of (Computers, for starters) - so some stuff had to go.

Still.... the Orthography one was fun - I didn't know the term, but I took linguistics in college (1 term). Fun class.

And I was a history major....wonder what they considered epochs back then :D