1912 eighth grade exam donated to museum is not as easy as it seems (Photo)

By on Aug 13, 2013 in Education, United States Comments

A rare 1912 eighth grade exam was recently donated to Bullitt County History Museum in Kansas. But as one can read some of the questionnaires shown in the photos below, they seem to be not as as easy as one might think, considering that the test was given more than 100 years ago.

“We thought you might like to see what the test looked like 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.” A statement reads at BullittCountyHistory.org.

According to the museum, the 1912 8th grade exam was given to the students in a scroll form, which is why the paper is long. The subjects included in the test include spelling, reading, arithmetic, grammar, geography, physiology, civil government, and history. It was also noted that there could be some typo errors on them, but not really. For example, “Serbia” was “Servia” that time.

“For us, this is just fascinating. It puts us in the mindset of 1912. Some people say that the questions are trivial, but the questions relate to what the children at the time would have been familiar with.” David Lee Strange, a volunteer at the Bullitt County History Museum, told ABC News.

Below are some of the questions that you can find on the so-called “Common Exam,” which is being given once or twice a year eighth grade students in Bullitt County Schools during that era.


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?


1. What is a personal noun?
2. Define common noun, proper noun.
3. Adjectives have how many degrees of comparison? Compare good; wise; beautiful.


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.


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


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 correct answers to all the questions can be found at BullittCountyHistory.org.

Note: Use the pagination buttons below to view other photos of the 1912 eighth grade exam on separate pages.

1912 eighth grade exam 1

1912 Eighth Grade Exam: Spelling (Click Image To Enlarge)
Credit: BullittCountyHistory.org

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