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Thread: Your 8th Grade Education.....

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    Default Your 8th Grade Education.....

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    Are you smarter than an 8th grade student in the year 1895? No way! Not these 8th graders!
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    This gives education, as we know it, a whole new meaning!
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    What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895...
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    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.

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    8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895
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    Grammar (Time, one hour)
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    1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
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    2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
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    3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
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    4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of 'lie,''play,' and 'run.'
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    5. Define case; illustrate each case..
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    6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
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    7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
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    Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)
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    1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
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    2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
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    3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?
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    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?
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    5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6..00 per ton.
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    6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
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    7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
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    8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
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    9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
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    10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt
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    U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
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    1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
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    2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
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    3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
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    4. Show the territorial growth of the United States
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    5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas
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    6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
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    7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?
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    8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.
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    Orthography (Time, one hour) [Do you even know what this is??]
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    1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
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    2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
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    3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
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    4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'
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    5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
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    6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
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    7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
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    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.
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    9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
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    10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.
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    Geography (Time, one hour)
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    1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
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    2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
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    3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
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    4. Describe the mountains of North America
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    5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco
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    6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U..S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
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    7. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
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    8. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
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    9. Describe the movements of the earth.
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    10. Give the inclination of the earth.
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    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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    Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. It gives the saying "he only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it? It also shows you how poor our education system has become.
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    ....And, no, I don't have the answers to the test.
    Libertatem Prius!


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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Malsua's Avatar
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    Default Re: Your 8th Grade Education.....

    This one makes the rounds pretty regular.

    Snopes does a pretty good job of explaining why the answers aren't easy.

    http://www.snopes.com/language/document/1895exam.asp
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt


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    Default Re: Your 8th Grade Education.....

    I don't have to read snopes... haha. But I can tell you that the knowledge they passed along in those days, is different than we pass along THESE days.
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    Default Re: Your 8th Grade Education.....

    The only issue I have with Snopes is that they don't always tell the truth. USUALLY they get it right, but not always.

    I happen to remember MY 8th Grade tests and they were not only difficult, they are NOTHING like my 8th grade kids took in school. I saw their work.

    So, regardless of the assertion that the "test is difficult" or "this is what 8th graders took back when..." the schools HAVE been dumbed down considerably just in MY lifetime.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Your 8th Grade Education.....

    i can say that i took honors classes in high school and never "had to" read a single required novel to pass a class (not bragging, just stating). i think the most I read was All's Quiet on the Western Front, 1984, The Jungle, Black Like Me, Lord of the Flies...and honestly, that's most of what I remember. we got away with Cliff's notes. i regret it now but just adding to the conversation.

    however, i disagree with the math/science aspect of this discussion. in 8th grade i was going through pre-calculus and programming. by the time i graduated high school, we covered physics, biology (down to cellular reproduction), chemistry, etc. as I see it, as times changed, so did the knowledge required of us.

    land acquisition is not taught in school (interesting huh) therefore I couldn't even tell you how big an acre or a bushel is. Liters i reserve for alcohol (sad huh).

    history. now that's the one i wish i could go back to school for. i didn't wake up to history until my first year in college. i woke up to the fact that slavery was not a "white thing". learned about how in early USA, there was a division amongst scholars on whether or not federal banks were good for america (hamilton versus jefferson). the goofy thing is both of those guys had very good points. credit and banks DO help economy. but jefferson was right too in that too much federal control will decrease freedoms. but, that was in college, not in 8th grade (where in my opinion it SHOULD be taught).

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