Are you smarter than an (1912) 8th grader?
Test yourself on the century-old material and see if you think contemporary education is better, inadequate or just plain different.
Tue, Jul 09, 2013 at 09:42 AM
This eighth-grade exam circa 1912 is an old-school standardized test. (Photo: Bullitt County Geneological Society)
This eighth-grade exam for Bullitt County Schools in Kentucky covers subjects from geography to arithmetic to physiology and could make you think twice about how far education has "advanced."
Some questions are specific to Bullitt County but also make the reader wonder if they can "name five county officers" in their region.
Other aspects of the test are antique but interesting. What is a "pennyweight" anyway? The measurement is precisely 1.55517384 grams, but the term derives from the weight of an English penny during the time of King Henry III.
The test asks, "Which president (singular) was impeached?" Until 1912, only one U.S. president had been tried in front of Congress: Andrew Johnson in 1868. Bill Clinton would be the second president to be impeached, but 86 years after this exam was written.
While President Barack Obama has emphasized a need to for STEM subjects (science technology engineering and math) in education, this test is heavy on the humanities side.
There are, however, some definite oddities on the test. "Eneeaver" is one of the spelling words, ironically spelled wrong in this exam write-up.
So go ahead! Try it for yourself. The Bullitt County Museum has put together an answer key for those who are itching to know where the Wasatch Mountains are.
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