Between the lines: Are you smarter than an eighth grader?

The students who attended Clay County's rural schools decades ago had to bring their own lunch, in some cases had outhouses instead of indoor plumbing, and used pencil and paper (and no doubt, erasers) rather than computers.

It would be easy to believe that, since those times seem simpler than today, that students of that era faced a much less demanding curriculum than today.

True, today's students are challenged as they strive to meet university admission standards with class work influenced by everything from No Child Left Behind to a host of standardized testing that today's pupils must take.

While waxing nostalgic about the good ol' days of country school, however, it would be a mistake to conclude that those days were less stringent for students. Below is a test that all Clay County eighth graders had to take and pass to graduate and move on to high school.

How would you do? Are you smarter than an eighth grader? This test is part of the CD "Clay County Rural Schools Scrapbook," provided to the Plain Talk by the Clay County Historical Society as we gathered information for this week's Heritage Edition.

Sorry, a list of correct answers to this test wasn't included on the CD. You're on your own. But just think. You may try to Google the correct answers. That's an option rural school students didn't have decades ago. Have fun!

8th Grade Final Exam

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 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 feet 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 50cts/bushel, deducting 1050lbs. 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 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 ft. long at $20 per meter?

8. Find 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.

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