Are You Smarter Than An Eighth Grader (In 1912)?


CCSS 270 Words 2-Minute Listen

Given the advances in technology and learning methodologies, it is a natural assumption that modern-day US students have it harder than those that were educated in 1912. However, the recent discovery of an eighth grade test paper set by educators at Kentucky's Bullitt County School District a century ago, seems to indicate that things were not as easy as one would have thought!

During the 1900's schools in Bullitt County were scattered all over the rural countryside. Though they all taught the same curriculum, there was no real way of verifying what kids were learning except, by testing them with a 'common exam' once or twice a year that encompassed everything from language arts to social studies and mathematics.

This was an important test that teachers and students both worked hard to prepare for. It was particularly crucial for those in eighth grade because it meant a chance to earn a scholarship to attend high school. While this may not seem like a big deal today, it was a century ago, because after eighth grade most students were forced to drop out and work in their family farms.

The sample of this common eighth grade exam was donated to the Bullitt County History Museum last year in honor of its 100th anniversary. While it has been on display there since, it lay unnoticed until recently, and has now become a rage countrywide as students step up to the challenge to see if they are smarter than a (1912) eighth grader! If you are amongst them, be sure to let us know how you did, by adding your comments below.


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  • TituWednesday, April 3, 2019 at 1:57 pm
    Super duper easy😋😜👧am in 4th grade y'all
    • ellasin
      ellasinTuesday, March 5, 2019 at 7:40 pm
      I’m only in ninth grade I could do it right away even my fifth grade sister knew how to do it!
      • makThursday, February 21, 2019 at 6:47 pm
        This test was not very difficult. In the article it says they had it harder than us, but the test was easy to a lot of people below that grade level.
        • mysterysWednesday, February 1, 2017 at 5:32 am
          this is easyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy
          • 6758Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 6:34 am
            I am in fifth grade right now we learned almost all the "8th grade math" our spring list goes up up to ninth grade words just for the class spelling bee, but the history looks a little harder than kindergarden level in cast you wanted to know i typed this up in less than 75 seconds.
            • nobodyhereThursday, May 19, 2016 at 8:56 am
              • easyTuesday, March 22, 2016 at 5:36 am
                • iikattastic
                  iikattasticTuesday, October 6, 2015 at 3:13 pm
                  *takes out eays button and presses it* That was easy.
                  • hannahbear12000
                    hannahbear12000Wednesday, February 24, 2016 at 10:36 am
                    I know right! This was so easy!!
                  • NobodySunday, June 21, 2015 at 11:54 pm
                    That is so easy and I'm only year 5
                    • MicaWednesday, January 21, 2015 at 3:46 am
                      I think that it's really cool that the education a century ago has changed a lot today.