Are You Smarter Than an Eighth Grader? From 1912?

dumb guy wearing dunce cap

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Pop quiz, hotshot. Are you smarter than an eighth grader?

Oh yeah? Are you smarter than an eighth grader from 1912?

I guarantee you the answer is a resounding no. You’ll never be smarter than an eighth grader from 1912 if the Common Exam, the test administered once or twice a year to rural students across the country, is any indication.

If you were born into a farming family at the turn of the last century, doing well on the Common Exam was one of the only ways to get into high school. If you do well on the test now, you may be an evil genius transported from 1912 to wreck the present, much like the Titanic wrecked 1912. Don’t worry. You’re not going to meet anyone from 1912. They’d be over 100 by now.

(Other notable events in 1912? The unit that measured pepper heat was invented and Woodrow Wilson was elected president. Now you know!)

Check out the test here, and hurt your brain with such questions as:

  • Through which waters would a vessel pass in going from England through the Suez Canal to Manila?
  • 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?
  • Sketch briefly Sir Walter Raleigh, Peter Stuyvesant
  • Compare arteries and veins as to function. Where is the blood carried to be purified?
  • Name the last battle of the Civil War, War of 1812; French and Indian War and the commanders in each battle.

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