Could you pass an 8th grade exam from 1912?

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    Jan 16, 2012 5:53 PM GMT
    Curious stuff! It's not multiple choice, but it asks some very interesting questions. Granted some of the questions are outdated for today, but a lot of the questions are still applicable. There's also a link to another school exam from 1931.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/century-old-8th-grade-exam-can-you-pass-a-1912-test/2012/01/04/gIQAxjC00P_blog.html?tid=sm_twitter_washingtonpost


    What I really wonder is how many people back then even made it to 8th grade? Let alone having passed this test.
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    Jan 16, 2012 6:22 PM GMT
    Interesting. I sometimes wonder about that. We used to have bundles of old family letters that my Great Grandmother saved. Those people wrote extremely well, yet none of them had more than a high school education, and many only completed grammar school, equivalent to 8th grade.

    With a little updating, this exam reminds me of the "competencies" that we had to demonstrate for high school graduation in the 70's. About half the class failed.
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    Jan 16, 2012 6:27 PM GMT
    My maternal grandparents only went as far as 6th grade (granted, they immigrated to the US as little kids). I'm not sure about my paternal grandparents. I just now that my parents were the first in their families to finish school all the way to 12.

    I'm pretty sure most states now have some sort of standardized test for high school. In Virginia there's the Standards of Learning (SOL). My graduating class, 2004, was the first in which we had to pass a certain number of SOLs in order to graduate from high school. All the years before that, it was simply a matter of completing enough credits (120, I believe).
  • NHsports

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    Jan 16, 2012 7:12 PM GMT
    I am very impressed with the arithmetic for the level.
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:14 PM GMT
    NHsports saidI am very impressed with the arithmetic for the level.


    Indeed. I wonder how many of us can even do any of that without a calculator or even an abacus?
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:19 PM GMT
    That's amazing. I'm really impressed with some of the questions, especially in History and Physiology--actually I'm impressed that there even IS a Physiology section.
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:23 PM GMT
    bcschoolexam1912sm.jpg?uuid=iK2ZGD1hEeGE
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:28 PM GMT
    What the hell is kalsomining?

    And how interesting that they list a truant officer. I haven't seen one of those since the little rascals.

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    Jan 16, 2012 7:30 PM GMT
    I can't begin to imagine how long it would take to complete this exam since you basically have to write out full responses to each question. Many questions have multiple parts and ask for descriptions too.
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:32 PM GMT
    Compare that to a contemporary 8th grade exam.

    Spell:
    Cheese

    Find:
    The United States on a globe

    Physiology:
    Why are american's livers failing?
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:39 PM GMT
    theantijock saidWhat the hell is kalsomining?

    And how interesting that they list a truant officer. I haven't seen one of those since the little rascals.



    Whitewashing (painting)
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:45 PM GMT
    Did they spell "assassinated" wrong or was it spelt different back in 1922?
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:46 PM GMT
    Still don't understand the obsession with perfect penmanship......icon_question.gif
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:47 PM GMT
    One thing's for sure, I'd definitely prefer to take a test like this. I absolutely despise multiple choice because having options messes with my mind. Give me an essay or short response test anytime even if it takes longer.
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:52 PM GMT
    AussieBody saidDid they spell "assassinated" wrong or was it spelt different back in 1922?


    Probably a typo. The word is of Arabic origin and entered English via French and Italian, which was always spelled with double s's.

    Some words have changed in spelling since that time, though. Look at how they spell Roumania and Servia. They're now Romania and Serbia.
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    Jan 16, 2012 7:55 PM GMT
    turbobilly saidStill don't understand the obsession with perfect penmanship......icon_question.gif


    Handwriting/penmanship was critically evaluated up until recently. I'd say only since the '80s did schools stop emphasizing ideal penmanship since more and more people began using computers for a lot of writing tasks. A lot of school systems have even abolished the mandatory teaching of cursive.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Jan 16, 2012 8:27 PM GMT
    AussieBody saidDid they spell "assassinated" wrong or was it spelt different back in 1922?

    I've always spelled assassinated this way. How is it usually spelled?

    Why do you all think this exam is difficult? We learn these subjects by 8th grade still. The math is 6th grade level at the most. Granted, I did not know the answer to #4 and 10 in History and did not remember about a 1/4 of the grammar. I would know them if I were still in 8th grade though.

    However, I learned that the average American reads at a 5th grade level so it explains some things.
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    Jan 16, 2012 8:33 PM GMT
    commoncoll said
    AussieBody saidDid they spell "assassinated" wrong or was it spelt different back in 1922?

    I've always spelled assassinated this way. How is it usually spelled?

    Why do you all think this exam is difficult? We learn these subjects by 8th grade still. The math is 6th grade level at the most. Granted, I did not know the answer to #4 and 10 in History.

    However, I learned that the average American reads at a 5th grade level.


    It's spelled "assasinated" on the exam. It's missing an "s." It's a typo.
  • FL180

    Posts: 75

    Jan 16, 2012 8:42 PM GMT
    SFYogi saidCompare that to a contemporary 8th grade exam.

    Spell:
    Cheese

    Find:
    The United States on a globe

    Physiology:
    Why are american's livers failing?


    Sadly, this is true. My high school exit exam consisted of being able to read a simple sentence and explain what it said.....yet many people failed....

    Ex: John is wearing a black shirt.

    Q: What color is John's shirt?

    :/

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    Jan 16, 2012 8:43 PM GMT
    I am impressed that you can see in Geography you need to locate Serbia (Servia) its a pleasant surprise icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 16, 2012 8:55 PM GMT
    The last few years that I taught college sophomores, I completely gave up on expecting even rudimentary math and language skills. I started writing any exam questions that required calculations so that they could be solved using simple factors of two or ten. Usually, half of the class simply skipped those questions. The other half whipped out their calculators. Trying to grade papers that involved both math and writing... was enough to drive one to drink heavily. And switching to multiple choice exams.

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    Jan 16, 2012 9:03 PM GMT
    geeeezus, i went to the high school which has sent more kids to MIT from any la are school both pulbic and private. we have more accepted uc applicants and are ranked in the top 1 percent in the state. I finished all the math that is taught at the high school level in 11th grade and I CANNOT begin to answer #1. Mostly because, who writes these things out? sas for the rest, i dont ever remember having been taught anything in middle school.
  • FredMG

    Posts: 988

    Jan 16, 2012 9:06 PM GMT
    NHsports saidI am very impressed with the arithmetic for the level.


    OK, this scares me. Not only did I do the arethmetic in my head, but I also consider myself bad at math.

    pocketnico saidIndeed. I wonder how many of us can even do any of that without a calculator or even an abacus?


    Before recycling, we had this thing called "scratch paper". Alternively "Bamboo paper" for iPad is kind of like "scratch paper"
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    Jan 16, 2012 9:13 PM GMT
    FredPDX said
    NHsports saidI am very impressed with the arithmetic for the level.


    OK, this scares me. Not only did I do the arethmetic in my head, but I also consider myself bad at math.

    pocketnico saidIndeed. I wonder how many of us can even do any of that without a calculator or even an abacus?


    Before recycling, we had this thing called "scratch paper". Alternively "Bamboo paper" for iPad is kind of like "scratch paper"


    Guess what, this thing you call "scratch paper" still exists because virtually every standardized test provides some icon_wink.gif
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    Jan 16, 2012 9:21 PM GMT
    FredPDX said
    NHsports saidI am very impressed with the arithmetic for the level.


    OK, this scares me. Not only did I do the arethmetic in my head, but I also consider myself bad at math.

    pocketnico saidIndeed. I wonder how many of us can even do any of that without a calculator or even an abacus?


    Before recycling, we had this thing called "scratch paper". Alternively "Bamboo paper" for iPad is kind of like "scratch paper"


    Well, me too, but I was temporarily too polite to say so. Hence the previous cranky rant. But some of it requires specific context. For example, were interest rates compounded annually? monthly? And details of county government.

    However, I would really like to know where I could buy firewood for $1.625 per cord.