8th Grade Exam from 100 Years Ago Shows How Much Education Has Been Dumbed-Down


Do you think you could pass an 8th grade exam that was given over 100 years ago?

The Bullitt County History Museum has donated a Kentucky 8th Grade exam from 1912.

The questions include the foundation of education that the current schooling system seems to have forgotten.

Could this be due to the modern education system being dumbed down?

The current education system is a far cry from this one in 1912, we can see that modern youth is steered away from critical and independent thinking.

Even for adults of the modern day world, this test proves very taxing.

People have been taking the test and sharing the results on Twitter.

Define the following terms of Government: Democracy, Limited Monarchy, Absolute Monarchy, Republic. Give Examples of Each.

To what four governments are students in school subjected?

Name 5 county officers and the principal duties of each.

Give 3 duties of the president. What is meant by VETO power?

Give at least 5 rules to be observed in maintaining good health?

Define Cerebrum; Cerebellum

Name the organs of circulation.

How many parts of speech are there? Define each.

Why not take the test your self?

8th grade exam paper from 1912:

Any luck? See how you did with the probable answers here

This copy of the Eighth Grade Exam for Bullitt County Schools in 1912 was donated to the museum.

We thought you might like to see what the test looked like more than a hundred years ago.

Obviously, it tested some things that were more relevant at that time than now, and it should not be used to compare student knowledge then and now.

Note that there are several typesetting mistakes on the test including a mistake in the spelling list.

The word “eneeavor” should be “endeavor.”

This version of the 8th grade exam was probably a master version given out to the schools (note that the spelling words wouldn’t be written on a test.)

The museum has been told that the exam was handed out in a scroll form (that is why the paper is long.)

The typos would have been corrected simply by contacting the teachers and telling them to mark their copies accordingly, much like would be done today.

And there might not be quite as many typos as you think; “Serbia” for example was indeed spelled “Servia” back then.

Bullitt County School

 

The Bullitt County school

Bullitt County Schools were mostly one-room schools in those days, scattered around the rural county.

Students came together at the county courthouse once or twice a year to take this “Common Exam.”

It was apparently a big deal.

The local newspaper urged students to do well, even urging seventh graders that it was not too early to start preparing.

Some scholarships were provided to those who passed to go on to high school, which was also a big deal back then.

In those days, high school was sometimes another county away and a rare thing for many farm children to be able to otherwise attend.

The Bullitt County History Museum

The Bullitt County Museum

A copy of the Kentucky 8th Grade exam from 1912 was donated to The Bullitt County History Museum.

And remember to smile a little while reading this exam.

It has been great fun, as well as a challenge, to think about the questions, and to come up with answers for 1912 and for today.

For example, it has been interesting to see disagreements on even the basics, such as what is a “cord,” much less the actual answer to the question, or the much more controversial questions about government and about “who discovered…”.

Smile, we are all learning from this test.

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