8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, Kansas – 1895

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, Kansas – 1895

This is the eighth-grade final exam* from 1895 from Salina, Kansas. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, Kansas and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

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)
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?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts. per bu, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
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?
5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $.20 per inch?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10.Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)
1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865?

Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals?
4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: Bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, super.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10.Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)
1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of N.A.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fermandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10.Describe the movements of the earth. Give inclination of the earth.

April 13, 1895  J.W. Armstrong, County Superintendent.Examinations at Salina, New Cambria, Gypsum City, Assaria, Falun, Bavaria, and District No. 74 (in Glendale Twp.)”

According to the Smoky Valley Genealogy Society, Salina, Kansas “this test is the original eighth-grade final exam for 1895 from Salina, KS. An interesting note is the fact that the county students taking this test were allowed to take the test in the 7th grade, and if they did not pass the test at that time, they were allowed to re-take it again in the 8th grade.



*Source – this exam information was sent to this author on February 12, 2001 by OkieVan@aol.com, a reader of this Grandfather Economic Report series. Another confirmation regarding authenticity > Sept 2003 email from Dionee Schwenke of Cape Coral, Florida (Dionees@cs.com), who is writing a book about her teaching career and researched the above exam: “I know the test reflects what was in the textbooks of that era, and that it is similar to the test my mother had to take in the 1920s before she could be certified in Nebraska. I confirmed the authenticity of the test you mentioned by the old fashioned way, picked up the phone. First to Mary McIntyre at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society & Library, 785-825-4624 (got that info from a query to the Salina newspaper). Ms. McIntyre assured me the test was fact, not fiction, and told me it had been written by J. W. Armstrong, the superintendent of Salina County schools in 1895.  They even have on record the names of students who took the  test–and the answers–but they can’t divulge that info because of privacy laws. Then she gave me the name of his granddaughter, Mary Laas. 785-825-5140. Mrs. Laas was fun to visit with; told me about growing up across the section from her grandfather; how the family still has the hand written notes her grandpa made as well as a typed copy; how his family once nursed Buffalo Bill back to health. . . I asked about needing permission to include the test in my book and she said go ahead, it is public property now that it has run in the newspaper.  They have had a lot of calls in Salina, not just at the Laas home but at the Genealogical Society as well.”

Another good  reference is the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society’s (Salinas, Kansas) web site > http://skyways.lib.ks.us/kansas/genweb/ottawa/smoky.html. You will note on that site a link “1895 School Exam” which takes you to the test shown above at > http://skyways.lib.ks.us/kansas/genweb/ottawa/exam.html

(other sites commenting on this exam are at http://www.snopes.com/language/document/1895exam.htm, which does not question the exam but questions validity of the test questions for today’s world, while also showing an exam in the 1870s – – and, http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/1895exam.htm, which appears to add proof of the existence of this exam while questioning (without proof) if perhaps it was intended for other than 8th graders).

Exam answers: Since some readers of this page asked me (Michael Hodges) for the answers to the above exam, on 3 March 2005 I wrote to the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society in Salinas, Kansas (Towneranch@aol.com) as follows > “I would much appreciate your pointing me to the answers, if available, to the 1895 8th Grade Exam. Thank you, Michael Hodges.” I received this reply > “Someone has attempted to answer the questions on the 1895 school test, and they are posted on the internet at http://www.barefootsworld.net/1895examcomp.html There is an error on the answers. In the math portion of the test. The answer to question number 9 should be 160 acres with a value of $2,400.” Shirley George Towner SVGS Salina, KS