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Subj:     An 8th Grade Education (S240, S479b)
          From: mbucher on 9/6/2001
      and From: DoctorDebt on 3/24/2006
Remember when our grand- parents,great-grandparents, and such 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 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.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS - 1895

Grammar (Time, 1 hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no
3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal
   Parts of do, lie, lay and run.
5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case.
6. What is Punctuation? Give 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.

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 50 cts. per bushel, deducting 1050 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 cost of 6720 lbs. of 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 cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 6 ft.
   long at $20 per metre?
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
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, 1 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,
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, 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

Geography (Time, 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. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa,
   Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan
   Fermandez, Aspinwall, and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centres of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give 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 inclination
   of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. Gives the saying "he only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?! Also shows you how poor our education system has become...  Would you pass this test?