Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Are You Smarter Than a Rural Kentucky Eighth-Grader, Circa 1912?

Posted By on Wed, Jan 1, 2014 at 9:15 AM



Are you smarter than an eighth-grader? What about a rural Kentucky eighth-grader circa 1912?

While modern eighth-graders struggle to distinguish between the artistic and culinary applications of crayons, their counterparts from 100 years ago performed sophisticated mathematical computations, could tell you what bodies of water a British steamer had to pass through on the way to Manilla, Philippines. 

Was it the 10-mile march through snow uphill both ways to and from school? Was it hunger and disease that made these kids so mentally plastic? In many cases, these were schoolchildren living their lives free of XBoxes, televisions or even electricity and running water; their teachers commanded their attention, participation and academic success through such modern tactics as intimidation, threats and violence. 

Whatever the reason, these kids took the Eighth Grade Examination for Bullitt County Schools, dated November 1912. The 57-question test, along with attendant reading, writing and spelling segments, would just as well test the mental powers of modern university graduates. 

Try your luck on the test here. If you're stumped or want to check your answers, try here

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