# 8th Grade Final Exam – 1895

Remember when our grandparents, great-grandparents, and such stated that they only had an 8th-grade education? Well, check this out! Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 Salina, KS, USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS and reprinted by the Salina Journal. If you want more information or the answers to this test, please visit the Smoky Valley Genealogical Society’s website

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS – 1895

• 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. 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 ft. 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 50 cts. a bushel, 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 the 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 feet long at \$20 per meter?
8. Find the 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, 1865.
• Orthography (Time, one hour)
1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?
2. What are elementary sounds? How are they 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, sup
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 North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the 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.

• Gives the saying of an early 20th century person that “she/he only had an 8th grade education” a whole new meaning, eh?

# Ode to Finals Week

‘Twas the night before finals, and all through the college,
The students were praying for last minute knowledge.
Most were quite sleepy, but none touched their beds,
While visions of essays danced in their heads.

In my own apartment, I had been pacing,
And dreaded exams I soon would be facing.
My roommate was speechless, his nose in his books,
And my comments to him drew unfriendly looks.
I drained all the coffee, and brewed a new pot,
No longer caring that my nerves were shot.

I stared at my notes, but my thoughts were muddy,
My eyes went a blur, I just couldn’t study.
“Some pizza might help,” I said with a shiver,
But each place I called refused to deliver.
I’d nearly concluded that life was too cruel,

When all of a sudden, our door opened wide,
And Patron Saint Put-It-Off ambled inside.
Her spirit was careless, her manner was mellow,
She wore a white toga, she started to bellow:
“What kind of student would make such a fuss,
To toss back at teachers what they tossed at us?”

“On Cliff Notes! On Crib Notes! On last year’s exams!
On Wingit and Slingit, and last minute crams!”
Her message delivered, she vanished from sight,
But we heard her laughing outside in the night.
Happy finals to all, and to all, a good test!”

# No Excuses

A high school English teacher reminds her class of tomorrow’s final exam.

“Now class, I won’t tolerate any excuses for you not being there tomorrow. I might consider a nuclear attack or a serious personal injury or illness, or a death in your immediate family – but that’s it, no other excuses whatsoever!”

A smart-ass guy in the back of the room raises his hand and asks, “What would you say if tomorrow I said I was suffering from complete and utter sexual exhaustion?”

The entire class does its best to stifle their laughter and snickering. When silence is restored, the teacher smiles sympathetically at the student, shakes her head, and sweetly says, “Well, I guess you’d have to write the exam with your other hand.

# Final Exam Hymn

Mine eyes have seen the horror
Of the ending of the term
It has poisoned all my spirits
Like an apple with a worm
It’s infected all my freedom
Like an ugly cancer germ
The truth shall soon be known.

Failure and humiliation,
The truth shall soon be known.

I have listened to the teachers
But the homework leaves me cold
I have never done assignments
Although many times been told
I have even missed my classes
When I was feeling bold
The truth shall soon be known

Failure and humiliation,
The truth shall soon be known.

They are adding all my points up
And I haven’t earned but few
In fact, I haven’t even gotten
More than one or two
Oh, if I could only find an answer
Anything to do
The truth shall soon be known.

Failure and humiliation,
The truth shall soon be known.

On the lines of every gradebook
There is solemn news for me
The worst is yet to come when
Financial Aid ignores my plea
So I guess the only answer is
To drop my books and flee
The truth shall soon be known.

Failure and humiliation,
The truth shall soon be known.

Well, the end has finally come
And I have failed to pass a class
Though the fun and laughter, goofing off
Was really quite a gas
But I won’t be in the numbers
Of the capped and gowned mass
The truth was finally shown.

Failure, and humiliation,
The truth was finally known.

# Failing in Style

50 Fun things to do in a final that does not matter (i.e. you are going to fail the class completely no matter what you get on the final exam)

1. Bring a pillow. Fall asleep (or pretend to) until the last 15 minutes. Wake up, say "oh geez, better get cracking" and do some gibberish work. Turn it in a few minutes early.
2. Get a copy of the exam, run out screaming "Andre, Andre, I’ve got the secret documents!!"
3. If it is a math/science exam, answer in essay form. If it is long answer/essay form, answer with numbers and symbols. Be creative. Use the integral symbol.
4. Make paper airplanes out of the exam. Aim them at the instructor’s left nostril.
5. Talk the entire way through the exam. Read questions aloud, debate your answers with yourself out loud. If asked to stop, yell out, "I’m SOOO sure you can hear me thinking." Then start talking about what a jerk the instructor is.
7. Walk in, get the exam, sit down. About five minutes into it, loudly say to the instructor, "I don’t understand ANY of this. I’ve been to every lecture all semester long! What’s the deal? And who the hell are you? Where’s the regular guy?"
8. Bring a Game Boy (or Game Gear, etc…). Play with the volume at max level.
9. On the answer sheet (book, whatever) find a new, interesting way to refuse to answer every question. For example: I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that it conflicts with my religious beliefs. Be creative.
10. Bring pets.
11. Run into the exam room looking about frantically. Breathe a sigh of relief. Go to the instructor, say "They’ve found me, I have to leave the country" and run off.
12. Fifteen minutes into the exam, stand up, rip up all the papers into very small pieces, throw them into the air and yell out "Merry Christmas." If you’re really daring, ask for another copy of the exam. Say you lost the first one. Repeat this process every fifteen minutes.
13. Do the exam with crayons, paint, or fluorescent markers.
14. Come into the exam wearing slippers, a bathrobe, a towel on your head, and nothing else.
15. Come down with a BAD case of Tourette’s Syndrome during the exam. Be as vulgar as possible.
16. Do the entire exam in another language. If you don’t know one, make one up! For math/science exams, try using Roman numerals.
17. Bring things to throw at the instructor when s/he’s not looking. Blame it on the person nearest to you.
18. As soon as the instructor hands you the exam, eat it.
19. Walk into the exam with an entourage. Claim you are going to be taping your next video during the exam. Try to get the instructor to let them stay, be persuasive. Tell the instructor to expect a percentage of the profits if they are allowed to stay.
20. Every five minutes, stand up, collect all your things, move to another seat, continue with the exam.
21. Turn in the exam approximately 30 minutes into it. As you walk out, start commenting on how easy it was.
22. Do the entire exam as if it was multiple choice and true/false. If it is a multiple choice exam, spell out interesting things (DCCAB. BABE. etc..).
23. Bring a black marker. Return the exam with all questions and answers completely blacked out.
24. Get the exam. Twenty minutes into it, throw your papers down violently, scream out "Fuck this!" and walk out triumphantly.
25. Arrange a protest before the exam starts (i.e. Threaten the instructor that whether or not everyone’s done, they are all leaving after one hour to go drink)
26. Show up completely drunk. (Completely drunk means at some point during the exam, you should start crying for mommy).
27. Every now and then, clap twice rapidly. If the instructor asks why, tell him/her in a very derogatory tone, "the light bulb that goes on above my head when I get an idea is hooked up to a clapper. DUH!"
28. Comment on how sexy the instructor is looking that day.
29. Come to the exam wearing a black cloak. After about 30 minutes, put on a white mask and start yelling "I’m here, the Phantom of the Opera" until they drag you away.
30. Go to an exam for a class you have no clue about, where you know the class is very small, and the instructor would recognize you if you belonged. Claim that you have been to every lecture. Fight for your right to take the exam.
31. Upon receiving the exam, look it over, while laughing loudly, say "you don’t really expect me to waste my time on this drivel? Days of our Lives is on!!!"
32. Bring a water pistol with you. Nuff said.
33. From the moment the exam begins, hum the theme to Jeopardy. Ignore the instructor’s requests for you to stop. When they finally get you to leave one way or another, begin whistling the theme to the Bridge on the River Kwai.
34. Start a brawl in the middle of the exam.
35. If the exam is math/science related, make up the longest proofs you could possibly think of. Get pi and imaginary numbers into most equations. If it is a written exam, relate everything to your own life story.
36. Come in wearing a full knight’s outfit, complete with sword and shield.
37. Bring a friend to give you a back massage the entire way through the exam. Insist this person is needed, because you have bad circulation.
38. Bring cheat sheets FOR ANOTHER CLASS (make sure this is obvious… like history notes for a calculus exam… otherwise you’re not just failing, you’re getting kicked out too) and staple them to the exam, with the comment "Please use the attached notes for references as you see fit."
39. When you walk in, complain about the heat. Strip.
40. After you get the exam, call the instructor over, point to any question, ask for the answer. Try to work it out of him/her.
41. One word: Wrestlemania.
42. Bring balloons, blow them up, start throwing them around like they do before concerts start.
43. Try to get people in the room to do the wave.
44. Play frisbee with a friend at the other side of the room.
45. Bring some large, cumbersome, ugly idol. Put it right next to you. Pray to it often. Consider a small sacrifice.
46. Get deliveries of candy, flowers, balloons, telegrams, etc… sent to you every few minutes throughout the exam.
47. During the exam, take apart everything around you. Desks, chairs, anything you can reach.
48. Complete the exam with everything you write being backwards at a 90 degree angle.
49. Bring a musical instrument with you, play various tunes. If you are asked to stop, say "it helps me think." Bring a copy of the Student Handbook with you, challenging the instructor to find the section on musical instruments during finals. Don’t forget to use the phrase "Told you so".
50. Answer the exam with the "Top Ten Reasons Why Professor xxxx Sucks"

# The Final Exam

The blonde reported for her university final examination that consists of “yes/no” type questions. She takes her seat in the examination hall, stares at the question paper for five minutes, and then in a fit of inspiration takes her purse out, removes a coin and starts tossing the coin and marking the answer sheet “Yes” for Heads and “No” for Tails. Within half an hour she is all done, whereas the rest of the class is sweating it out. During the last few minutes, she is seen desperately throwing the coin, muttering and sweating. The moderator, alarmed, approaches her and asks what is going on.

“I finished the exam in half an hour, but I’m rechecking my answers.”