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Are You Smarter than an 8th Grader from 1895??

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posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 12:51 PM
OK ATS - close your books and if I catch anyone cheating off their neighbor they get a whack on the knuckles! Its quiz time!!

Well - at least that would have been how it would have been done back in 1895. Now, I'd need help just to be able to grade this quiz.

I stumbled on it today - its a "final" exam from an 8th grade class from 1895 in Kansas. Ever wonder what was taught in the little one room schools of the day and how it stacks up with the education materials today.

I'll be honest, I'll been out of school for many, many years. Anybody a little closer to it that can say how this compares?

8th Grade Exam from 1895

Here is one section of it (there are 5 sections)

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 50 cts. per bu., 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 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 m?
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 are, the distance around which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 12:58 PM
To be honest, I can only do number 6. Most of that stuff is not even remotely relevant to today's world!
edit on 9-1-2011 by RadarMan because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 12:59 PM
reply to post by Frogs

We are actually dumbed down more than anyone wants to admit. Our greatest single ability in 'civilized' society is the ability to tap a touch screen.

iLife 9.0

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:01 PM
Cool, I've been looking for something like this. Comparing this to a 8th grade exam in todays Norway really makes me sad. Seems a little to harsh for an 8th grader exam, but I have no doubt that we have been systematically dumbed down to an extensive degree.

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:03 PM
I can do it - let me get my calculator! I got #10 down pat

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:15 PM
Interesting, I was just researching this topic a bit. Here's an article I just read. Basically, our genome is deteriorating. There's many reasons for this. One is that survival of the fittest no longer exists. The other is that we take care of our weak, instead of letting nature run it's course. Yet another is the decline of moral values like staying abstinent until marriage, or using contraceptives.

Most people are demoralized and idiotic. Even intelligent people often succumb to societal pressures, and make up terribly foolish rationalizations for their actions. Such as being promiscuous. If promiscuity stopped today in all of our species, we would be much more fit and less diseased in a single generation.

We've genetically deteriorated to the extent that this can be shown on an IQ test to be worth 5-8 points since the late 1800's. Even the 'flynn effect' which was highly debatable from it's beginning has begun to flow the other way, and it's rate of decline is double what the rate of inclination was a couple decades ago!

edit on 9-1-2011 by unityemissions because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:19 PM
reply to post by zroth

I'd have to agree with you, with each passing day it gets more evident our ancestors were better. Idiocracy is now thanks largely to our standard substandard education system.

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:21 PM
Ican only do #10

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:26 PM
I am not suprised. If this is 8th grade, sure would like to see the 12th grade and collage final exames in that time period. Maybe we should send this information to the Department of Education and wake them up a little bit. I realize that during that time when there was no TV, radio or internet so there were fewer distractions and more time to spend with their studies. This is still no excuse for us not to be far more educated in our first 12 years of school than we are now.

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:29 PM

According to this, there is no evidence that this exam was for eighth graders, but it seems to be for teacher applicants.

Also, look at this, with an actual exam from the past:

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:33 PM
reply to post by unityemissions

I had never read anything on this, yet my wife and I were having this very conversation just a few days ago.
We were speculating what the world would be like through the eyes of our great-great-grandchildren.
I read the article you quoted and find that I have to agree. The lower class people do seem to procreate without any sort of restraint. Of course this is made possible and encouraged by government handouts, not giving them any incentive to do otherwise. Survival of the fittest has lost it's power in the US, and most of the "civilized" world, and has been replaced by "Survival of the wealthy, and ignorant & poverty stricken"

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:43 PM

This clip is probably PG-13 - fyi

The irony, is that this is a comedy, need more be said?
edit on 1/9/2011 by UberL33t because: added clip rating info

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 01:43 PM
reply to post by Frogs

Frogs, would seem we are indeed "dumbing down" as a whole......

But the thing is, I have three kids in highschool right now and these guys come home with questions that I am sure I once knew the answer to but it is surprising to see how much of the basics I actually forgot along the way. Here is an example of an 8th grade math exam 2009....

8th grade math exam

edit on 9-1-2011 by operation mindcrime because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 02:01 PM
Give me a test with terms that are not completely outdated, and I'd be able to do it with little problem. Most of these problems look like things that our fifth and sixth graders do here in the U.S. these days. Most of this is arithmetic and rudimentary geometry. I was learning algebra in the eighth grade.
edit on 9-1-2011 by gnosticquasar because: (no reason given)

edit on 9-1-2011 by gnosticquasar because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 03:01 PM
reply to post by UberL33t

this is one of the best movies ever made and the sad part is the majority of people I run into say it was stupid.

Defense mechanism much

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 04:10 PM
The measurements for these aren't standard units, a rod, a bushel? These test were pushed for where these children lived and what their future most likely would be. In 1895 Kansas the little one room school house were mainly for farm kids. I've been in a one room schoolhouse, I also live in Kansas. I do think that it is impressive that they could do some of these without calculators, how they still had tools to this easier. Do not think we are becoming dumb. I'm learning physics that my parents never learned and certainly my grandparents didn't either.

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 04:20 PM

Originally posted by denynothing
Do not think we are becoming dumb. I'm learning physics that my parents never learned and certainly my grandparents didn't either.

You're learning physics, and yet can't seem to make a basic logical assessment here.

The fact that some are pushing the boundaries of what is currently known, and out learning their predecessors doesn't indicate the species as a whole is becoming more intelligent.

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 04:43 PM
reply to post by unityemissions

It does though, those kids in that schoolhouse grew up to be farmers or minor businessman. Einstein didn't learn physics in school but he revolutionized the field. To learn different fields of science or math earlier, is to benefit the future. My parents already peaked their apex of learning I have not nor has my generation. The intelligence of humanity greater than a thousand years ago and even 50 years ago. To learn what your parents weren't taught or didn't have the opportunity to learn increases the intelligence of whole. Kids in the 1890's had a very meager understanding of cells, but in 2001 we have the complete genome project. That doesn't happen in a dumbed down society.

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 04:47 PM
If you can put that into metric units, it would be something we've learned here in Slovakia in 6th grade... its just simple divisions and calculating volume of block... and another divisions

posted on Jan, 9 2011 @ 05:18 PM
reply to post by RadarMan

Contrair avatar stealer

Unfortunately, a lot of that stuff is still relevant. All the geographical locations still exist or have historical significance. The math is still the same today. We still use case, pronunciation, and verse. It may look foreign but sadly it should not.

I will agree on the spelling rules! English sucks for spelling

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