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Grandpa's WASL


by Robert McGinty & r & Remember when your grandparents and great-grandparents talked about "only" having an eighth-grade education? Well, here's a newsflash: A century ago, you probably couldn't have even graduated from eighth grade. (No, Dorothy, not even in Kansas, home of forward-thinking school boards.) The following is a final exam given to eighth-graders in Salina, Kan., in 1895.

EIGHTH-GRADE FINAL EXAM & r & Grammar (Time: one hour) & lt;ol & & lt;li & Give nine rules for the use of capital letters. & lt;li & Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications. & lt;li & Define "verse," "stanza" and "paragraph." & lt;li & What are the principal parts of a verb? Give the principal parts of "lie," "lay" and "run." & lt;li & Define "case." Illustrate each case. & lt;li & What is punctuation? Give rules for the principal marks of punctuation. & lt;li & Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar. & lt;/ol &

Arithmetic (Time: 75 minutes) & lt;ol & & lt;li & Name and define the fundamental rules of arithmetic. & lt;li & A wagon box is 2 feet deep, 10 feet long, and 3 feet wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold? & lt;li & If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 pounds, what is it worth at 50 cents a bushel, deducting 1,050 pounds for tare? & lt;li & District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What's the necessary levy to carry on school seven months at $50 per month while retaining $104 for incidentals? & lt;li & Find the cost of 6,720 pounds of coal at $6 per ton. & lt;li & Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent per annum. & lt;li & What is the cost of 40 boards that are 12 inches wide and 16 feet long at $20 per square foot? & lt;li & Find the bank discount on $300 for 90 days, no grace, at 10 percent. & lt;li & What is the cost of a square farm, the distance around which is 640 rods, at $15 per acre? & lt;li & Write a bank check, a promissory note and a receipt. & lt;/ol &

U.S. History (Time: 45 minutes) & lt;ol & & lt;li & Give the epochs into which U. S. History is divided. & lt;li & Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus. & lt;li & Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War. & lt;li & Show the territorial growth of the United States. & lt;li & Tell what you can of the history of Kansas. & lt;li & Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion. & lt;li & Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn and Howe? & lt;li & Name events connected with the following dates: & r & 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865. & lt;/ol &

Orthography (Time: one hour) & lt;ol & & lt;li & What is meant by each of the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication? & lt;li & What are elementary sounds? How are they classified? & lt;li & What are the following? & r & Provide examples of each: & r & trigraphs, sub-vocals, diphthongs, cognate letters, linguals. & lt;li & Give four substitutes for caret 'u'. & lt;li & Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule. & lt;li & Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each. & lt;li & Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup. & lt;li & Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following. Name the sign that indicates the sound. & r & card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last. & lt;li & Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays. & lt;li & Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate their pronunciation by the use of diacritical marks and syllabication. & lt;/ol &

Geography (Time: one hour) & r & & lt;ol & & lt;li & What is climate? Upon what does climate depend? & lt;li & How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas? & lt;li & Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean? & lt;li & Describe the mountains of North America. & lt;li & Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco. & lt;li & Name and locate the principal trade centers of the United States. & lt;li & Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each. & lt;li & Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude? & lt;li & Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers. & lt;li & Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth. & lt;/ol &

This test was found in the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina and reprinted by the Salina Journal.