Tuesday, August 10, 2010

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , Kansas 1895

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 . 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 , Kansas 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. 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 feet deep, 10 feet long, and 3 feet wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cents/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. of 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 which measure 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 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 United States . Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
7. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
8. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
9. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Notice that this exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

Gives the saying "He only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it? This also is a perfect demonstration pointing out how poor our education system has become. And, NO - I don't have the answers.

Kathy Stemke's websites:
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Bill Kirk said...

Oh, brother. I'm thinkin' I cudda done OK with four years of book learnin'. Is the first fundamental rule of arithmetic: "Get out before you reach 8th grade?

Suzanne Lieurance said...

Yikes! I'm not Smarter than a 5th Grader, so I KNOW I'm not as smart as the 8th grader of yesterday!

Interesting exam. I think I could pass the grammar section, but that's about it. Makes me want to study all that other stuff, though, so thanks for sharing, Kathy!

kathy stemke said...

Pretty tough exam, hugh? I enjoyed seeing it.

MiaZagora said...

Cooooool! Thanks for sharing, Kathy!

Anonymous said...

WOW! What a final exam. I'll have to look up Orthography. That one has me totally stumped.

Thanks for sharing.

Karen Cioffi said...

Wow! Great post,Kathy. Who would've known.

It really does put perspective on the meaning back then of an 8th grade education.

And, yes we are certainly 'dumbing down' in regard to teaching standards.

NancyCL said...

Ohmigoodness, Kathy...I wonder how many could pass this test now???

Carma Dutra said...

I think I could figure out most of it in a day or two or three until you get to the geography part. What in the world does the process of water of the ocean returning to the source of the rivers have to do with geography? It might be relative to creation. Hmm. One might need to look up that answer in a book other than a school book.

Great idea Kathy. You got us all thinking.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

This is fascinating, Kathy. I’d like to see what would happen if our eighth graders took this test today.

Super Mom | Maternity Belly Bands said...

Incredibly you remembered all of those stuff? That's really cool! And the picture can already claim as antique It's 105 years old already can you imagine that, Amazing.

anthony stemke said...

A very interesting article. My dad only had an 8th grade education and he was the smartest personI ever knew. Now I know why.

Michele said...

And to think, they learned all that wonderful stuff and not a computer in sight. Or is it site. lol

My grandmother was ashamed that she never graduated high school. Perhaps if she had seen that joke of a statewide test I had to take to graduate high school, she would have stopped calling herself dumb.

Great post. I'd seen sections of the test before but this is the first time I've seen the whole thing.