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1895 --8th grade test: could you pass it?

  1. Rochelle Frank profile image89
    Rochelle Frankposted 8 years ago

    (Forward from anon. email)
    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 Arithmeti c.

    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 b attles of the Rebellion.

    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?

    8. Name event s 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.

    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 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!

  2. Sally's Trove profile image98
    Sally's Troveposted 8 years ago

    Check out snopes.com...


    Food for thought.

    1. Rochelle Frank profile image89
      Rochelle Frankposted 8 years ago in reply to this

      I usually "Snopes" almost every forwarded thing I get-- but didn't think of it this time.
      So what it says is-- this may be an actual test, but it would be on specifics that had actually been  specifically studied.
      I can see that it DOES presuppose things like "everyone knows how much a bushel of wheat weighs".  It makes a lot of other good points too-- like what subjects were NOT studied.
      Thanks for balancing this out.

  3. Sally's Trove profile image98
    Sally's Troveposted 8 years ago

    Rochelle, I keep coming back to this test, and I'm not sure why.  Yes, it's out there on the net to make a false statement about what some perceive to be the lack of education today, but nonetheless it is fascinating.

    For example, number 9 under Orthography: "Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays."  I admit I had to look up fane and fain, for I had no idea what they might be.

    These days, especially on the net but also in print, there doesn't seem to be an understanding or even a caring about words that sound alike but are spelled differently and have entirely different meanings.

    There and their, its and it's, bear and bare, shear and sheer, and the list goes on.

    In the last few years, as I've become more involved on the net, I tolerate these orthographic mistakes, even though it means putting more energy into understanding the author, something I would never have done in the past.  I do want the information, but it pisses me off that I have to work so hard for it.  And sometimes I also wonder about the credibility of an author who doesn't know the difference.

    Thanks for posting this test.  Maybe some Hubbers will look up "orthography" and use it for what it is intended:  to make meaning clear and to engage rather than frustrate the reader.  smile

  4. Rochelle Frank profile image89
    Rochelle Frankposted 8 years ago

    I don't think  I had ever encountered the term 'orthography' before but I did write a hub on homonyms or homophones which does have to do with correct writing, word usage and spelling.
    I'm thinking that the test did have some useful elements of knowlege for the time. Measuring your land, and your crop, and the economic implications in farming was quite important.

    Today, kids should know about credit cards and checkbooks. Do they?