Author Topic: 1912 Eight Grade Exam  (Read 266 times)

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Offline Willie

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1912 Eight Grade Exam
« on: September 14, 2013, 12:46:44 AM »
Want to see how you would do on an eighth grade exam from 1912? Apparently this was an entrance exam that determined which eighth graders got a scholarship to go to high school.

I got all the math questions right, most of the grammar questions right (though two were admittedly lucky guesses), and most of the geography and history questions either wrong or lucky guess, for a total score of 62%.

http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2013/0812/1912-eighth-grade-exam-Could-you-make-it-to-high-school-in-1912/Arithmetic
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 12:49:13 AM by Willie »

Offline Anfauglir

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2013, 01:26:56 AM »
I did okay on the first few math & English questions (got one wrong).  Then it started asking me about US geography so I gave up.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
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Offline Willie

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2013, 02:11:58 AM »
I can see that being more than slightly unfair. Even aside from it being U.S. centric, Geography is now a much less emphasized topic in U.S. public schools. There are also a bunch of questions about who first settled which state. Those are even more U.S. centric than the geography questions, and even more de-emphasized. Good thing, in my opinion.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 02:16:45 AM by Willie »

Offline Nam

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2013, 02:15:16 AM »
Want to see how you would do on an eighth grade exam from 1912? Apparently this was an entrance exam that determined which eighth graders got a scholarship to go to high school.

I got all the math questions right, most of the grammar questions right (though two were admittedly lucky guesses), and most of the geography and history questions either wrong or lucky guess, for a total score of 62%.

http://www.csmonitor.com/The-Culture/Family/2013/0812/1912-eighth-grade-exam-Could-you-make-it-to-high-school-in-1912/Arithmetic


I saw this the other day, I too was going to post it here and at ATT but, sadly, I didn't score too well.

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Offline Willie

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2013, 03:23:32 AM »
I saw this the other day, I too was going to post it here and at ATT but, sadly, I didn't score too well.

I don't think there's much reason to be embarrassed by that. Much of the "knowledge" on that test amounts to little more than rote memorized trivia.

I saw numerous comments on the CSM's site claiming that this test is evidence of a decline in U.S. public education. It looks like just the opposite to me. I saw nothing in the math portion that a typical modern eight grader wouldn't have been exposed to. The standard 8th grade math course, at least here in Texas, is pre-algebra, which is easily advanced enough for the test questions. More advanced students can take Algebra I in 8th grade, or even earlier in some cases. The grammar part also did not seem out of line for modern 8th graders. Modern 8th graders would likely do poorly on the geography and "who first settled which state" questions, but to me, the decline in those rote-memorization topics is not at all indicative of any general decline in the quality of education, but rather an artifact of less important topics getting displaced by more important and/or more currently relevant topics.

Offline wright

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2013, 04:26:36 AM »
76%; better than I thought I'd do. It was mostly the math and grammar that tripped me up; US and world geography was fairly easy.

...but to me, the decline in those rote-memorization topics is not at all indicative of any general decline in the quality of education, but rather an artifact of less important topics getting displaced by more important and/or more currently relevant topics.


I agree. It's an interesting artifact, nonetheless; thanks for posting.
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Offline hickdive

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2013, 04:40:53 AM »
It's a general knowledge quiz more than an exam. Modern education looks for the application of knowledge rather than simply knowing it. For example, constructing a grammatically correct sentence rather than simply repeating the rules.

I got 76% and everything I got wrong related to American geography and the foundation of individual States; since I'm not American I think that means I've got a reasonable degree of general knowledge rather than I'm smart.

Incidentally, I got the Ponce de Leon question right both times it was asked!
Stupidity, unlike intelligence, has no limits.

Offline Iamrational

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2013, 08:59:34 AM »
57%

After a while I was just like who settled whatever blah, blah, blah.

In school we stressed dates of independence and landmark events took place to reach those dates. We did not spend a lot of time with each state. At first it was important with John Smith and Co., but after that it was now we have 13 colonies.

The next question you have to ask is could they pass our tests now? Kids coming out of high school often have many college credit hours. It is more fast pace and the stress is technology. So you ask them questions about telecommunication, computers, and rightfully so they wouldn't have a clue.


Offline Nam

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2013, 02:20:39 PM »
I can't tell you my score. First time I took it today, it said I only answered one question. I just did it again, and apparently I still only answered one question. But I got that one question right both times.

It sucks being on a phone sometimes.

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Offline Willie

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2013, 04:39:46 PM »
The next question you have to ask is could they pass our tests now? Kids coming out of high school often have many college credit hours. It is more fast pace and the stress is technology. So you ask them questions about telecommunication, computers, and rightfully so they wouldn't have a clue.

My guess is that even if you removed all of the questions about technology or events past 1912, students from 1912 would still have a harder time with a modern exam than the other way around.

Offline Irish

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Re: 1912 Eight Grade Exam
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2013, 05:04:52 PM »
Did pretty poorly - 62%.  But the questions about the strict rules of grammar and the geography questions are utterly irrelevant to any useful education today.
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