Can you pass an 8th-grade test from 1912?


If you think we’ve been getting dumber as a country, you may be right.

An exam that was given to 8th-graders has been discovered by a museum in Kentucky, ABC News reports, and a century after the test was given, it seems to be getting harder.

The Bullitt County History Museum says the 1912 Common Exam, which looks like a scroll, was probably a master copy that had been distributed to schools.

The reading and writing portion was given by the teacher. Here are some sample questions from the other part of the  test. Good luck!

  1. Locate the following countries which border each other: Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania.
  2. “William struck James.” Change the voice of the verb.
  3. How long of a rope is required to reach from the top of a building 40 feet high to the ground 30 feet from the base of a building?
  4. Define the following forms of government: democracy, limited monarchy, absolute monarchy, republic. Give examples of each.
  5. Name and give the capitals of states touching the Ohio River.
  6. Who first discovered the following places: Florida, Pacific Ocean, Mississippi River, St. Lawrence River.
  7. What is a personal pronoun?
  8. Define cerebrum; cerebellum.
  9. Through which waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?
  10. Compare arteries and veins as to function. Where is the blood carried to be purified?
  11. During which wars were the following battles fought: Brandywine, Great Meadows, Lundy’s Lane, Antietam, Buena Vista?
  12. Sketch briefly Sir Walter Raleigh, Peter Stuyvesant.

You can see a copy of the entire exam here. Possible answers were compiled by the museum’s staff here.