It has been years since I last saw this but thought it was interesting how far our education system has fallen.
Remember when our grandparents, great-grandparents, and such stated that they only had an 8th grade education?
Well, check this out. - - - This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , KS , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , KS , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.
8th GRADE FINAL EXAM Grammar (Time, one hour)
- Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
- Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no Modifications.
- Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
- What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of lie, lay and run
- Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
- What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.
- 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)
- Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
- A wagon box is 2 ft deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
- If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1050lbs. for tare?
- 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?
- Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
- Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent…
- 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.
- What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
- Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.
U. S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
- Give the epochs into which U. S. History is divided.
- Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus .
- Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
- Show the territorial growth of the United States .
- Tell what you can of the history of Kansas .
- Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
- Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
- Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.
Orthography (Time, one hour)
- What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
- What are elementary sounds? How classified?
- What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, sub vocals, diphthong, cognate letters, and linguals?
- Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
- Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.
- Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
- Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup
- 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.
- Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
- Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
Geography (Time, one hour)
- What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
- How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
- Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
- Describe the mountains of North America .
- Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena , Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall &Orinoco.
- Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
- Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
- Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
- Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
- 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 “she/he only had an 8th grade education” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?
What happened to us? It is kind of humbling, isn’t it?