Are you smarter than an eighth-grader? How about one from 100 years ago?
That’s the question a Kentucky museum is asking after it unearthed an eighth grade exam given to students a little more than 100 years ago in Bullitt County.
The exam, from 1912, covers eight subjects: spelling, reading, arithmetic, grammar, geography, physiology, civil government and history.
“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.
For example, under the geography category, students were asked questions like:
- “Name and give the capitals of states touching the Ohio River.”
- "Name, in the order of their size, the three largest states in the United States"
Under the physiology category, students were asked questions like:
- “Name the organs of circulation.”
- “How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body? Where is it located?”
The exam also asks students to differentiate between copyright and patent rights and define each part of speech in the English language.
Think you have what it takes to pass the exam? Here are some of the final exam questions:
- “Who first discovered the following places: Florida, Pacific Ocean, Mississippi River and the St. Laurence River?”
- “What is a personal pronoun?”
- “How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?”
- “During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?”
To see the full exam and to see the answers to all the questions asked in this article, click "Next Page" (Or if you're on mobile, scroll down)
1) Name and give the capitals of states touching the Ohio River.
Answer: Kentucky (Frankfort); Ohio (Columbus); Indiana (Indianapolis); West Virginia (Charleston); Pennsylvania (Harrisburg); Illinois (Springfield).
2) Name, in the order of their size, the three largest states in the United States.
Answer: Texas, California, Montana (at the time of the test; Alaska had not been made a state yet).
3) Name the organs of circulation.
Answer: The likely intent of this questions was to determine the elements of the human cardiovascular system which include the heart, lungs, and blood vessels.
4) How does the liver compare in size with other glands in the human body? Where is it located?
Answer: The liver is the largest gland in the body. It lies below the diaphragm in the abdominal-pelvic region of the abdomen.
5) Who first discovered the following places: Florida, Pacific Ocean, Mississippi River and the St. Laurence River?
Answer: Juan Ponce de León made the first European expedition to Florida, which he named. Vasco Núñez de Balboa is best known for having crossed the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific Ocean. Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto became the first recorded European to reach the Mississippi River. Jacques Cartier was the first European to describe and map the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and the shores of the Saint Lawrence River.
6) What is a personal pronoun?
Answer: A personal pronoun is a pronoun that refers to a particular person, group, or thing.
7) How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?
Answer: The answer is 50 feet. Use the Pythagorean theorem (a 2 + b 2 = c 2). Also, we have been reminded by Craig Siefkas of the rule for right triangles called the 3-4-5 rule. He said, "If you have a right triangle with one side being 3 units long, one side 4 units long, then the third and longest side will be 5 units long. In this case the unit is 10 feet. The reason this is such an important rule to many is that when you are building a barn, shed, or house, you must 'square' the building. Typically a farmer or carpenter's longest tape will be 50 feet long, so you run one wall out 30 feet, the second wall out 40 feet, and the building will be square when the distance between them is 50 feet. Of course, if you wish you can use 'units' of 5 feet, or 15 feet x 20 feet x 25 feet; or units of 3 feet giving you 9 feet x 12 feet x 15 feet; or any other length 'unit' you desire. Many a building has been squared up using this rule, with no knowledge of the Pythagorean Theorem."
8) During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?”
Answer: The Battle of Brandywine was fought between the American army of Major General George Washington and the British army of General Sir William Howe on September 11, 1777 during the Revolutionary War.
The Battle of Fort Necessity, or the Battle of the Great Meadows took place on July 3, 1754 in Pennsylvania. The engagement was one of the first battles of the French and Indian War and George Washington's only military surrender.
The Battle of Lundy's Lane (also known as the Battle of Niagara Falls) was a battle of the War of 1812, which took place on 25 July 1814, in present-day Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The Battle of Antietam, also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg, was fought on Wednesday, September 17, 1862, near Sharpsburg, Maryland, and Antietam Creek, and was the first major battle in the American Civil War to take place on Union soil.
The Battle of Buena Vista, on February 23, 1847, saw the United States Army use artillery to repulse the much larger Mexican army in the Mexican-American War.
To take the full exam, click here: http://bit.ly/wIiigs
Answers to the full exam can be found on the Bullitt County History Museum’s website, here: http://bit.ly/13r2CpP