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'Education' Categories

8th Grade Education

Here are some questions from Saline County’s 8th grade graduation exam in 1895. When you hear an older person say, "I only had an 8th grade education," you may want to think again before passing judgment on them. It seems standards were quite higher in those days. This is an actual test, posted on the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society website with a note explaining that they were "transcribed from the original document in the collection of the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society".

Here are some of the questions:

For Grammar: 1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters. 2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications. … 7-10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

For Arithmetic: 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? … 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? … 6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 per cent. …

For U.S. History: … 8. Name the events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.

For Orthography: … 3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong (dif thong), cognate letters, linguals? …

For Geography: … 7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each. …

Reference: J. W. Armstrong, County Superintendent, "Examination Graduation Questions of Saline County, Kansas, April 13, 1895," Smoky Valley Genealogical Society, http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/saline/society/index.html, under School Exam 1895

History Tests

President George W. Bush famously asked, "Is our children learning?" Well, perhaps not, at least when it comes to American history. Columnist Pat Buchanan reported the results of history tests given to 31,00... [Read More]

Reference: Patrick J. Buchanan, "The Dumbing-Down of America," humanevents.com (6/21/11)