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Feb. 26th, 2003 | 10:39 pm

I wonder how many of our current eighth graders could pass this test.


Could You Have Passed the 8th Grade in 1895? ...Take a Look:

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 from Salina, Kansas.
USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smoky Valley
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
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
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 50 cts.
per 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
7. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
8. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance
around which is 640 rods?
9. 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:

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,
subvocals, 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, super.
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 sentence:
cite, site, sight,
fane, fain, feign,
vane, vain, vein,
raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate
pronunciation by use 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 Fermandez,
Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give 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 rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the

Imagine a college student who went to public school trying to pass
this test, even if the few outdated questions were modernized.

Gives the saying of an early 20th century person that "she/he only had
an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning!

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Comments {5}


(no subject)

from: guixian
date: Feb. 26th, 2003 09:31 pm (UTC)

Where did you get that?

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from: shoshiki
date: Feb. 26th, 2003 09:52 pm (UTC)

The instructor posted it in my class

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(no subject)

from: kryssicle
date: Feb. 26th, 2003 11:55 pm (UTC)

ummm..yea I could pass it if schools TAUGHT that junk....
Public schools now a days SUCK...it's really quite sad.
And yet we're still one of the most powerful countries...I just don't get it.

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(no subject)

from: luckydragongirl
date: Feb. 27th, 2003 01:31 pm (UTC)

In those days, few people made it past 6th grade. Many had no formal education at all. It's all relative. This test could probably be compared to college-level knowledge at this point. To be a teacher at that time, you only needed to be 15 and pass an examination. College was for people who were going to be doctors and lawyers.
I knew or could figure the answers to most questions but I know that these days there is much less emphasis on grammer in education. It used to be a lot more important. Our grammer system is based on Latin grammer, which is about as relevant as using Chinese letters to write Japanese. It works, but is more complicated than it needs to be.
Listen to my annoying overeducated self! You're just unlucky that history and linguistics are the two subjects I know the best!

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(no subject)

from: ophelia_speaks
date: Mar. 1st, 2003 07:01 am (UTC)

holy shit, i can't even answer all those!

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