Are You As Smart As A 19th Century 8th Grader?

“I was thrown out of college for cheating on the metaphysics exam; I looked into the soul of the boy next to me.” – Woody Allen


8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, Kansas, 1895

Part I: Grammar (1 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 the Principal Parts of do, lie, lay, and run.

5. Define Case. Illustrate each Case.

6. What is Punctuation? Give the 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.


Part II: Arithmetic (1.25 hours)

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 pounds, what is it worth at 50 cents/bushel, deducting 1,050 pounds 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 pounds of coal at $6 per ton.

6. Find the interest on $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent. 

7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 feet 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 around which is 640 rods?

10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.


Part III: U.S. History (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. 

Part IV: Orthography (1 hour)

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?

2. What are elementary sounds? How are they classified?

3. Define the following and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?

4. Give four substitutes for the caret “u”. 

5. Give two rules for spelling words with final a “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 each in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, and 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, and last.

9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, and rays.

10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.


Part V: Geography (1 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. Identify 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. 


(Sorry no answers. Where would I get them?)