The 1895 US Eighth-grade Test
Noting the disastrous results of the test recently administered to American college and university students (see blog entry below
), a high-school classmate sent me an article describing the test required to graduate the eighth grade in Salina, KS, back in 1895. The original document can be found at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library
in Salinas. The exam is divided into five sections. Five hours were allocated for the test. Do you think you could pass? Do you know anybody that could? Have a look!
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 to 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 metre?
8. Find the 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.
US History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which US 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)
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 US. 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.
Labels: Commentary, Education, History
A majority of American university students flunk test
A groundbreaking multi-year survey of 28,000 students attending 85 US colleges and universities found that American institutions of higher learning are not providing students even basic
instruction on American history, economics and government --probably not even enough for them to make informed decisions at the ballot box.
Even Ivy Leaguers could not pass a multiple-choice test on America’s foundational principles. Students at Harvard scored highest nationwide, but only managed an average score of 69 percent on the 60-question test –compared to 54 percent on average for seniors and 51 percent for college freshmen.
NOBODY GOT ABOVE A D+
. Less than half knew about federalism, judicial review, the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, and NATO. And this was a multiple-choice test, with the answers staring them right in the face.
Ten percent thought that «...we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…»
came from the Communist Manifesto. Only 49 percent - less than half of all college students – could correctly identify the three branches of the federal government. The dumbing-down of the American electorate from the days of the Founding Fathers has been precipitous. The Federalist Papers
were originally newspaper articles trying to persuade the common man. The common man can’t read them today.
Read more at the Washington Examiner