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An 1895 8th Grade Final Exam: I Couldn’t Pass It. Could You?

An old pal from Brandeis—Sheldon Gray—has a knack for the ironic. He’s very well educated, and so am I. But I don’t know whether we could pass this test, from 1895 in what looks like a little red schoolhouse in Salina, Kansas, at all. Let alone with flying colors.  

Shelly sent on this object lesson in educational theory and in educational financing.  Try it:

What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895…

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents 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 in Salina , Kansas , USA .. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam:

Salina , KS – 1895

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 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)


One Comment

  1. Doug Miller Doug Miller January 20, 2020

    Heckfire, you needn’t go back that far – just try any of the early 60’s British O or A level Exams… the result for today;s dumbed-down children will be the same. My, my, my how much more we were taught with the Trivium and Quadrivium, eh? the need to politicise education has brought us to the point where there are no really educated adults coming out of schools anymore, just techie-savvy drooling idiots who could not survive without the technical aids of the current culture.

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