1912 Eighth Grade Exam: Can You Pass Kentucky School District’s 100-Year-Old Test?

By Philip Ross on August 12, 2013 1:12 PM EDT

1912 eighth grade exam
A 1912 eighth grade exam was recently posted to a Kentucky museum’s website, and the early-20th-century test may prove more difficult today than 100 years ago. (Photo: Flickr/albertogp123)

A 1912 eighth grade exam was recently dug up in a museum in Kentucky, and the Jeopardy-worthy questions are anything but elementary. The exam covers eight subjects, including spelling, math and history, and poses questions that could easily stump American adults today. And what's perhaps most difficult about the 1912 eighth grade exam is that there's no multiple choice, so you'll have to answer from scratch. 

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Can you pass Kentucky school district's 1912 eighth grade exam?

The 1912 eighth grade exam was recently donated to the Bullitt County History Museum in Kentucky. While the museum staff notes on its website that the test "should not be used to compare student knowledge then and now," many of the questions could easily appear on a present-day aptitude test -- with a few tweaks to account for 100 years of progress and history, of course.

"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," it reads on the museum's web page.

The museum also points out some of the discrepancies between then and now, like the spelling of "Serbia," which was spelled "Servia" in the early 20th-century.

The 1912 eighth grade exam is titled "Eighth Grade Examination for Bullitt County Schools, November, 1912." It includes eight categories: Spelling, reading, arithmetic, grammar, geography, physiology, civil government and history.

"History" questions on the 1912 eighth grade exam include things like:

"Who invented the cotton gin?"

"Describe the battle of Quebec."

And:

"Who first discovered the following places - Florida, Pacific Ocean, Miss. River, St. Lawrence River?"

Under "Physciology," the exam asks:

"How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body?"

"What are the functions of the spinal column?"

And:

"Describe the heart."

Under "Arithmetic:"

"A man bought a farm for $2400 and sold it for $2700. What per cent did he gain?"

And under the category "Civil Government," students were asked to answer questions such as:

"Give three duties of the President. What is meant by the veto power?"

"For us, this is just fascinating," David Lee Strange, a volunteer at the Bullitt County History Museum, told ABC News. "It puts us in the mindset of 1912."

To see the entire 1912 eighth grade exam, and to see if you can pass the 100-year-old test, click here.

For answers to the 1912 eighth grade exam, click here. And of course, no cheating! Otherwise you could receive a proverbial switching across the behind.

And let us know how you did in the comments below!

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