This copy of the Eighth Grade Exam for Bullitt County Schools in 1912 was donated to the museum. We thought you might like to see what the test looked like more than a hundred years ago. Obviously it tested some things that were more relevant at that time than now, and it should not be used to compare student knowledge then and now.
Note that there are several typesetting mistakes on the test including a mistake in the spelling list. The word "eneeavor" should be "endeavor." This version of the exam was probably a master version given out to the schools (note that the spelling words wouldn’t be written on a test.) The museum has been told that the exam was handed out in a scroll form (that is why the paper is long.) The typos would have been corrected simply by contacting the teachers and telling them to mark their copies accordingly, much like would be done today. And there might not be quite as many typos as you think; "Serbia" for example was indeed spelled "Servia" back then.
Bullitt County Schools were mostly one-room schools in those days, scattered around the rural county. Students came together at the county courthouse once or twice a year to take this "Common Exam." It was apparently a big deal. The local newspaper urged students to do well, even urging seventh graders that it was not too early to start preparing. Some scholarships were provided to those who passed to go on to high school, which was also a big deal back then. In those days, high school was sometimes another county away and a rare thing for many farm children to be able to otherwise attend.
And remember to smile a little while reading this exam. It has been great fun, as well as a challenge, to think about the questions, and to come up with answers for 1912 and for today. For example, it has been interesting to see disagreements on even the basics, such as what is a "cord," much less the actual answer to the question, or the much more controversial questions about government and about "who discovered...". Smile. We are all learning from this test.
Our staff has put together possible answers on another page for your amusement.
We have received a number of requests for hard copies of the test and our answers. If you prefer to obtain them this way, you may purchase them from the museum by printing the form located at this link, and mailing the form and a check for $10.00 made out to the Bullitt County History Museum to the following address:
Bullitt County History Museum
P.O. Box 960
Shepherdsville, Kentucky 40165
If you, the reader, have an interest in any particular part of our county history, and wish to contribute to this effort, use the form on our Contact Us page to send us your comments about this, or any Bullitt County History page. We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you feel that we have misspoken at any point, please feel free to point this out to us.