Final Exam for Eighth Grade…in 1895



One Room School House circa 1895Columnist (Dr.) George Will once wrote, ” Not long ago the education establishment promised that if we would only invest more in the nation’s schools, they would produce a nation of Einsteins and Edisons. Today, we’d be pleased if upon leaving school our children have heard of Einstein and Edison.”

Indeed, our Dreamer at the local high school, is forced to sit in a class room and listen to a movie recommendation from a history teacher. So Charmaine and Your Business Blogger watched the teacher’s subject matter.

The movie is rated R. Lotsa sex. Lotsa violence. Some history, I suppose. (But I didn’t notice for the bare buttocks. Jodie Foster gives a great performance — if you know what I mean and I think you do…)

What’s the big deal? the liberal education elite might ask, As long as the children are learning?

But are they?

Alert Reader, Dr. Crouse, sends this along,

1895 Eighth Grade Final Exam

And to think, most people don’t believe in the dumbing down of America…… Remember when our grandparents, great-grandparents, and such stated that they only had an 8th grade education?

Well, check this out. – – –

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, KS, USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.


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, lay and run.

5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.

6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.

7. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

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 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1050lbs. 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 cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.

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

7. What is the co st of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?

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 around 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)

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, sub vocals, 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, mis, 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, si te, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.

10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronounciation 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 & 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.

Notice that the exam took five hours to complete.

Gives the saying “she/he only had an 8th grade education” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

Jodie Foster went beyond 8th grade — she went to Princeton. And had sex in my living room.


Thank you (foot)notes:

Your Business Blogger has an undergraduate degree in education and teaches business management at the Northern Virginia Community College.

Our good friend Cheri Yecke did her doctoral dissertation at the University of Virginia on the correlation between tax dollars spent per student and test scores. She didn’t find any. Yes, there is no correlation between the amount of money spent per student and the student’s test scores. A school system spending $6,000 per student had about the same test scores as a system spending $10,000 per student. The tax payer does not get his money’s worth — as one would expect from any union dominated enterprise. Her findings shocked the education industry. Her work was of no surprise to the parents who choose to home school.

Cheri Yecke continues to be harassed wherever she serves.

Update: Alert Reader Jill Zimon reminds us that Jodie Foster attended Yale — Not Princeton as I had written. Jill says, “I know this more because one of my high school friends was Foster’s freshman year roommate, than because I follow Foster. :)” Way cool anyway.


You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *