Fw: Interesting

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Subject: FW: Interesting

Interesting – Final Exam for 8th grade in 1895. Take a peek at it.

This is tough...

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 hour 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
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, 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 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 and, NO, I don't have the answers!


Emma said...


Well, I could've well enough gotten an A on this assuming it's graded on a 7 point scale when I was in 8th grade. But I've been going to godless liberal scum schools.

The whole thing isn't too hard if you understand what the questions are asking.

I wonder what's being suggested here. Do they want relatively archaic forms of measurement taught? Do they want diacritics taught?

Considering how much they've done to utterly destroy science education, I'm a little suspicious of the apparent concern in this email.

Anonymous said...

Good for this school, although one must consider that education was not in any way standardized in the last century, so the quality would vary from school to school and from teacher to teacher. I'm not sure the standards are really as high as a modern eighth-grade curriculum, either.

But more importantly, in those days, that was all the education most kids would get. They had to go back to their families to help with the farms or tending business. These days, most parents will want their kids finding jobs with skills a bit more competitive than doing sums.

I do wish I knew more people with that command of English, though.

Anonymous said...

They had eight years to teach to the test so I would expect any child that spent eight years in that school would know all of those things.

Most state standards for education are the same. I am sure I could go through my states standards and match things up.

They also omitted that whole pesky evolution thing. That makes teaching science a little easier.

Anonymous said...

I do feel that former generations, as well as boomers, got a much better PUBLIC SCHOOL education than what is available today, which is a shame. Not to "diss" any schools, but bc the rightwing is intent on not paying taxes ever for any reason, public education has declined, and IMHO is nowhere at the top level it once was.

I believe that this is the goal of corporate America: to have dumbed down citizens who are easily brainwashed and manipulated into taking crummy jobs for low wages, lousy working conditions and few, if any, benefits. Oh, and btw, kiss the corporations @ss while doing so... and never complain except about facistsocialism...

If this rightwinger found this particular exam "difficult," than I rest my case.

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting. No literature at all, that does surprise me. It is also rather Anglo-centric. But I believe our current educational system still tends to focus that way also.

Anonymous said...

Snopes says this is false and dates at least to 1999: http://www.snopes.com/language/document/1895exam.asp

I find their explanaiton as to why its fake a little sparse, but there are several points in this test where the questions are vague, predicated on incorrect assumtions, and generally not worded terribly well. Maybe parts are real, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

I would've love to have seen their "view" on American History, especially since there would've still been a lot of old Civil War vets still living as well as former slaves...hmmm...Kansas - John Brown (I know he was a transplanted Northerner)...

dave clark said...

Dear 1895 8th graders:

- Create a microsite for a hospital using only HTML in Microsoft Notepad.
- Create a PowerPoint presentation going over the microsite's highlights.
- Drive a car.
- Understand that racism is wrong, and be able to argue against it.

I could do all of these by the time I was in 8th grade. I, thus, am superior to these idiots in every way.

gruaud said...

The GOP did their level best to underfund and destroy public education (no need to fund brown children, after all) and then they screech about how the system is broken, so we shouldn't ever fund public education.

The conservatives don't create things. Their only reason for existence is to hold back progress or to destroy any progress made that doesn't directly benefit THEM.

They are as predictable as irritable bowel syndrome.

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