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  #1  
Old 08-17-2010, 04:50 AM
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Post How smart are you?

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..[/COLOR]
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 7percent per annum.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft long at $20 per yard?
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'.
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, 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.


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Last edited by layback40; 08-17-2010 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:01 AM
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It is interesting to see what they thought was important to learn 100 years ago; rote facts, practical arithmetic, arcane rules of gramma, US and local history, very little interpretation but lots of facts, etc. It probably was an appropriate education to live in a very narrow "industrial age" world. Very strange to us, but it probably served them well.
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Old 08-17-2010, 07:42 AM
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havent snopes'd this, but if its true...

What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft long at $20 per metre?

Even back then, they were teaching English AND metric measurements...


edit - NEVERMIND....

http://www.snopes.com/language/document/1895exam.asp

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Last edited by Angel; 08-17-2010 at 07:44 AM. Reason: pwnt
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Old 08-17-2010, 08:31 AM
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i was sent that a long time ago as an email and it said that it was in fact the teachers exam not the students.
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Old 08-17-2010, 09:34 AM
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Interestingly snopes doesnt declare the test to be false, just the concept that it suggests that students today have it easy.
There is another test mentioned that is for teachers.
Snopes does not properly reference their source of information.
I guess that some one along the line has changed yard to metre.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:13 AM
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And how would grandparents done on the current 8th grade test HERE. Or - how did you do?
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by TX76513 View Post
And how would grandparents done on the current 8th grade test HERE. Or - how did you do?
I hope that this current 8th grade test is a small subsection of what 8th graders actually learn. It says "computer test" so hopefully I'm right. Because other than training an ape to do tricks it has bugger all to do with education.

- Peter.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:47 AM
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I did pretty well answering all of these. Heck I did pretty well memorizing these back in 8th grade, but one has to ask:

What is the importance of remembering these facts when problem solving and critical thinking skills are much more important?

Pretty basic memorization skills. I had to memorize the Gettysburg address. Doesn't really help me much now other then impressing kids during a sound check on set.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by TX76513 View Post
And how would grandparents done on the current 8th grade test HERE. Or - how did you do?
Another bogus test. SPSS or similiar programs are much better than any lousy spreadsheet.
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Old 08-17-2010, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by okyoureabeast View Post
I did pretty well answering all of these. Heck I did pretty well memorizing these back in 8th grade, but one has to ask:

What is the importance of remembering these facts when problem solving and critical thinking skills are much more important?

Pretty basic memorization skills. I had to memorize the Gettysburg address. Doesn't really help me much now than impressing kids during a sound check on set.
I dont see much evidence for the efficacy of "problem solving" and "critical thinking" skills in contemorary America. In fact as far as critical thinking skills are concerned that appears to be an area of complete failure for contemporary education.

- Peter.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig View Post
It is interesting to see what they thought was important to learn 100 years ago; rote facts, practical arithmetic, arcane rules of gramma, US and local history, very little interpretation but lots of facts, etc. It probably was an appropriate education to live in a very narrow "industrial age" world. Very strange to us, but it probably served them well.
Pretty much, it was interesting none the less.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by pj67coll View Post
I dont see much evidence for the efficacy of "problem solving" and "critical thinking" skills in contemorary America. In fact as far as critical thinking skills are concerned that appears to be an area of complete failure for contemporary education.

- Peter.
I agree. I went to a public school where my class completely passed the PSSA test for No Child Left Behind. I think they basically said we teach skills that can be applied towards the tests our students take.

Either way I did well on a test that I thought was a complete joke. The SAT was a different matter. I never did very well on the math section,but reading and writing were my strong points.

It's pretty funny to know that because both my grammar and spelling have generally been pretty poor as of late.
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Old 08-17-2010, 11:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig View Post
It is interesting to see what they thought was important to learn 100 years ago; rote facts, practical arithmetic, arcane rules of gramma, US and local history, very little interpretation but lots of facts, etc. It probably was an appropriate education to live in a very narrow "industrial age" world. Very strange to us, but it probably served them well.
Yes, but without all those "rote facts" etc, there is very little to work with regarding interpretation.
Today we may spend a lot of time on interpretation of arcane facts, but our students do not even know the arcane facts. 0 facts X interpretation still =0
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:23 PM
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Higher math should be replaced with financial planning. I think learning how to live within one's means, understanding interest rates, etc. would do far more good than learning to solve quadratic equations.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:41 PM
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Higher math should be replaced with financial planning. I think learning how to live within one's means, understanding interest rates, etc. would do far more good than learning to solve quadratic equations.
Nah. Financial planning isn't something any kids going to learn wether they sit in the class or not. Spending beyond your means is a psychological problem, not financial.

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