If students today think exams are difficult, they should be glad they are not in the year 1912. In that day and age, the internet was not around to fill in the learning gaps:)
This 8th grade test from 1912 covers EVERYTHING including, but not limited to, spelling, grammar, parts of speech, mathematics, civics, etc. What stands out is how the mathematics section has so many real world applications unlike many of our tests nowadays. In fact, I can almost picture students from 1912 actually using such math skills in solving everyday situations demanding practical solutions like figuring out profit and loss in the sale of land or applying math to compute solutions to various home improvement activities.
The writing and reading sections are not here because they were left up to the teachers to select. Based on the rest of this test, I expect that they were equally challenging.
Why not offer this test as an extra credit project for students? For ELLs, the playing field will be leveled since some of the information will be totally new for the EOs as well so only through team work will they be able to solve the problems or answer the questions. I am sure they would welcome the challenge to prove that they are just as smart as those 8th graders from 1912:)
Here are answers to the test.
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