Posted in: Education

1912 Exam: Are You Smarter Than An Eighth Grader?

1912 eighth grade exam donated to museum.

A copy of the 1912 eighth grade exam was donated to the Bullitt County History museum in Kentucky giving a glimpse of what students were learning more than a century ago.

The donation has brought the museum a notion of what it was like to be in the eighth grade in those days. David Lee Strange, a volunteer at the museum told ABC news,

“For us, this is just fascinating. It puts us in the mindset of 1912.”

The exam covers eight subjects: reading, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, physiology, history, government, and geography.

This period of time was right around the corner from World War I, eighteen men from Bullitt County would die in the conflict.

Let’s take a look at a few of these questions to see if you are smarter than a 1912 eighth grader. Can you answer the following?

Math

1. Spell:.00003,.5764, 43.37

2. Solve: 37-7, plus 4

3. Solve: At $1.62 1/2 a cord, what will be the cost of a pile of wood 24 feet long, 4 feet wide, and 6 feet 3 inches high?

Grammar

1. What is a personal noun?

2. Define common noun, proper noun.

3. Adjectives have how many degrees of comparison? Compare good; wise; beautiful.

Geography

1. Locate Erie Canal; what waters does it connect, and why it is important.

2. Locate the following countries which border each other: Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, and Romania.

3. Locate these cities: Mobile, Quebec, Buenos Aires, Liverpool, Honolulu.

Map for 1912 examinationMap courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin

Physiology

1. How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body? Where is it located? What does it secrete?

2. Define Cerebrum and Cerebellum.

3. Where is the chief nervous center of the body?

Civil Government

1. Name and define the three branches of government in the United States.

2. Give three duties of the President. What is meant by the veto power?

3. Name three rights given Congress by the Constitution and two rights denied Congress

History

1. Who first discover the following places: Florida, Pacific Ocean, Miss (Mississippi) River, St. Lawrence River?

2. Describe the battle of Quebec.

3. Name two Presidents who have died in office: three who were assassinated.

The museum was told that the several typos seen in the document are due to the difference in spelling in those days, for example Servia was actually spelled that way. Also, the document is long because it was in scroll form.

The spelling and reading questions were more than likely given by the teacher at the time of the test.

Bullitt County schoolhouses were one room schools scattered around the rural county and students came to the courthouse once or twice a year to take the exam.

For the answers to the 1912 eighth grade exam go to the Bullitt County History Museum website.

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Comments

64 Responses to “1912 Exam: Are You Smarter Than An Eighth Grader?”

  1. Kenneth Dowers

    It just shows where we have been and where we need to get back to. Social media and disrespectful movies on degenerates is a primary fall of our society. Then add lack of parenting–the number one source of chaos that can be committed on a country.

  2. Sherry Duchaine

    Bullitt is separated by an equal sign and not a hyphen and the word endeavor is spelled wrong. I guess they didn't have proofreading back then.

  3. Sherry Duchaine

    Bullitt is separated by an equal sign and not a hyphen and the word endeavor is spelled wrong. I guess they didn't have proofreading back then.

  4. Sherry Duchaine

    Bullitt is separated by an equal sign and not a hyphen and the word endeavor is spelled wrong. I guess they didn't have proofreading back then.

  5. Fred Brady

    People often left school after 8th grade in those days, if they weren't college bound. Still, they were obviously better educated than today's 12th graders.

  6. Fred Brady

    People often left school after 8th grade in those days, if they weren't college bound. Still, they were obviously better educated than today's 12th graders.

  7. Stephen Merwin

    Maybe it's time to take out the Ipod, stop texting & start reading & studying. This country is progressively getting more ignorant. The first downfall of a nation is the ignorance of it's citizens.

  8. Stephen Merwin

    Maybe it's time to take out the Ipod, stop texting & start reading & studying. This country is progressively getting more ignorant. The first downfall of a nation is the ignorance of it's citizens.

  9. Stephen Merwin

    Many parents are just as ignorant & uneducated as their children if the parents are even around. Many parents don't care about their children or what legacy they are leaving- what a crime.

  10. Stephen Merwin

    Many parents are just as ignorant & uneducated as their children if the parents are even around. Many parents don't care about their children or what legacy they are leaving- what a crime.

  11. Stephen Merwin

    Many parents are just as ignorant & uneducated as their children if the parents are even around. Many parents don't care about their children or what legacy they are leaving- what a crime.

  12. Stephen Merwin

    Many parents are just as ignorant & uneducated as their children if the parents are even around. Many parents don't care about their children or what legacy they are leaving- what a crime.

  13. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  14. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  15. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  16. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  17. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  18. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  19. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  20. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  21. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  22. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  23. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  24. Sam Birdsall

    Sadly, some erson has edited this test. While three U.S. presidents have been assassinated, only two were assassinated prior to 1912.

  25. Drew Berlinsky

    Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley were all assassinated prior to 1912

  26. Drew Berlinsky

    Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley were all assassinated prior to 1912

  27. Drew Berlinsky

    Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley were all assassinated prior to 1912

  28. Drew Berlinsky

    Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley were all assassinated prior to 1912

  29. Tom Wright

    Gee Fred, I did not see AP calculus, AP History or English, use of technology (not video games) etc etc on that test.

  30. Susan Hammond

    Hey Sam:4 presidents have been assassinated., and 3 of those before 1912:
    1865-Lincoln
    1881-Garfield
    1901-McKinley
    Sadly, someone does not know whereof he speaks……..sigh

  31. Michael DiLillo

    Same, no. Lincoln in 1865, Garfield in 1881, and McKinley in 1901.

    Now to be fair Garfield didn't die right away from the gun shot, but 11 weeks later due to infection from the Bullet Wound. Also technically McKinley didn't die until 8 days later either and that was because doctors didn't drain the wound of infection before sewing him up.

    Either way all three are credited as of dying due to assassination (since their deaths were all 100% due to someone shooting them even though stupid stuff happened afterwards from Doctors to finish the job).

  32. Colin Sick

    hey sam, someone edited your memory ( or lack thereof) cause 3 presidents were killed by assassination up until that time

  33. Colin Sick

    hey sam, someone edited your memory ( or lack thereof) cause 3 presidents were killed by assassination up until that time

  34. Colin Sick

    hey sam, someone edited your memory ( or lack thereof) cause 3 presidents were killed by assassination up until that time

  35. Colin Sick

    hey sam, someone edited your memory ( or lack thereof) cause 3 presidents were killed by assassination up until that time

  36. Colin Sick

    hey sam, someone edited your memory ( or lack thereof) cause 3 presidents were killed by assassination up until that time

  37. Colin Sick

    hey sam, someone edited your memory ( or lack thereof) cause 3 presidents were killed by assassination up until that time

  38. Colin Sick

    hey sam, someone edited your memory ( or lack thereof) cause 3 presidents were killed by assassination up until that time

  39. Todd Somers

    Willing to bet most kids now a days couldn't pass this test.

  40. Danny Cørtez

    We need to get back to this. I'm around teachers all day and you will not believe the amount of nonsense they have to teach our students today. The curriculum is outrageous. Most third graders are not reading at grade level but they are expected to pass state reading exams that many adults could not master. It discourages children and makes them hate school.

  41. Gene Bluder

    "Better educated than todays 12th graders"?
    Hell, they were better educated than the union stiffs today who are acting as teachers !

  42. Stephanie Fox

    1912 was during the Progressive Era. This was one of the most liberal times in US history. Even working people were trying to become educated. Even working folks read at least one newspaper a day and followed politics. And yes, these kids could quote Shakespeare.

  43. Mike Milone

    Look…I don't think it's "eneeavor." It's endeavor. Good to know that the supposedly smarter still fail to edit and make stupid mistakes at times. I wonder if students got credit for spelling it as published.