Answers to the 1895 8th Grade Exam

Through a website, Digital History, I found the answers to the 1895 8th Grade Exam that I mentioned on April 13, 2010.  Some of you had mentioned you were interested in finding out the answers so here they are!  To see my original post about the exam, click here.  **Update** For updated links and more information, see the post Update: 1895 8th Grade Exam: True or False.

Mintz, S. (2007). Digital History. Retrieved 22 July 2010 from

GRAMMAR (Time, one hour)

1. Give the nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.

  • Always capitalize the first letter in a sentence or sentence fragment
  • Always capitalize the first letter in a direct quotation
  • Always capitalize the first letter in a direct question within a sentence
  • Always capitalize the first letter in a line of poetry
  • Always capitalize the first letter in proper nouns, including registered trademarks, names of treaties, geological eras, planets, courts of law, the days of the week, and genera in zoology and botany
  • Always capitalize the first letter in titles of books, magazines, newspapers, movies, works of art, and music, except for conjunctions, prepositions, and articles (Gone With the Wind)
  • Always capitalize the first letter in the names of ships, aircraft, and spacecraft (e.g., Sputnik)
  • Always capitalize the first letter in peoples’ names (e.g. John Smith)
  • Always capitalize the first letter in a title preceding a person’s name (e.g., Mr.)
  • Always capitalize the first letter in words designating the Deity (e.g. God)
  • Always capitalize the pronoun “I”

2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.

  • Noun: A word used in a sentence as a subject or object of a very or a preposition.
  • Pronoun: A word used as a substitute for a noun and which refers to a person or thing.
  • Adjectives: A word that modifies a noun.
  • Verb: A word that expresses an act, occurrence, or mode of being.

3. Define:

  • Verse: A line of metric writing
  • Stanza: A series of lines within a poem that are arranged together and usually involve a recurring pattern of meter and rhyme.
  • Paragraph: A subdivision of a written composition consisting of one or more sentences dealing with one point or giving the words of one speaker.

4. What are the principal parts of a verb?

Transitive, intransitive, past, present, future, conditional, subjunctive

Give the principal parts of do, lie, lay, and run.

  • Did, do, doing, shall do
  • Lied, lie, lying, shall lie
  • Lay, lay, laying, shall lay
  • Ran, run, running, shall run

5. Define Case.

A change in the form of a noun, pronoun, or adjective indicating its grammatical relation to other words.

Illustrate each case.

Near, nearer, nearest

6. What is Punctuation?

Dividing a written matter with punctuation marks.

Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.

  • Comma: Separates main clauses joined by a conjunction; separates words in a series; sets off an adverbial clause.
  • Semicolon: Links main clauses not joined by conjunctions.
  • Colon: Introduces a clause that explains or amplifies what has gone on before.
  • Period: Terminates a sentence.
  • Hyphen: Used in some compound words.
  • Question mark: Terminates a direct question.
  • Exclamation point: Terminates an emphatic phrase or sentence.
  • Apostrophe: Indicates the possessive case or omissions in contracted words.
  • Parentheses: Sets off supplementary material.
  • Quotation marks: Enclose direct quotations.

7-10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, one hour)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

  • Arithmetic is the branch of mathematics that deals with real numbers.
  • Addition: Combining numbers to obtain an equivalent quantity.
  • Subtraction: Deducting one number from another.
  • Division: Dividing one number by another.
  • Multiplication: Adding an integer a specified number of times.

2. A wagon box is 2 feet deep, 10 feet long, and 3 feet wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?


3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 pounds, what is it worth at 50 cts. per bu., deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?

The net weight of the wheat is 2,892 pounds. A bushel of wheat weighs about 60 pounds. The correct answer is $24.10.

4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?

1.3 percent

5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.


6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.


7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at 20 cents per sq. foot?


8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.

Bank discount is the bank charge made for payment of a note prior to maturity, expressed as a percentage of the note’s face value. Discount is subtracted from the principal before the borrower receives the money. A person who borrows $300 at a discount rate of 10 percent for 90 days would receive only $270.

9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?

There are 160 acres in this farm for a total cost of $2400.
See an animation of the solution to this problem.

10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 Minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.

  • The Colonial Era
  • The Revolutionary Era
  • The Critical Period
  • The Early National Era
  • The Jeffersonian Era
  • The Antebellum Era
  • The Civil War Era
  • The Gilded Age
    Later periods of American History include:
  • The Progressive Era
  • World War I
  • The Interwar Era
  • World War II
  • The Postwar Era

2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.

In 1492, the Italian-born Columbus captained three ships westward, seeking a water-route to the Spice Islands. After three months, he encountered land in the Caribbean.

3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.

Causes of the Revolution include the British decision to levy taxes in the colonies without the colonists consent; the stationing of troops in the colonies; the imposition of restrictions on colonial trade, manufacturing, and westward expansion; and infringement of the colonists’ legal rights and liberties. Consequences of the Revolution include the emancipation of slaves in many northern states and the adoption of graduate emancipation schemes in other states in the North; the disestablishment of churches in most states; the adoption of new state constitutions; and rapid westward expansion.

4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.

A correct answer would include the purchase of Louisiana Territory from France; the annexation of Texas; the acquisition of the Pacific Northwest as a result of negotiations with Britain; the Mexican War; the Gadsden Purchase; the purchase of Alaska from Russia; and the annexation of Hawaii.

5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.

A correct answer would include the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which opened Kansas to white settlement and the contest between pro-slavery and free soil forces to control Kansas’ territorial legislature.

6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.

  • The First Battle of Bull Run: The first full-scale battle of the Civil War, which took place in Northern Virginia not far from Washington, dashed Union hopes for a quick military victory.
  • Antietam: This battle, which witnessed the bloodiest day of the Civil War, halted a Confederate offensive into the North and led President Lincoln to issue his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.
  • Gettysburg: The largest battle in the history of the Western Hemisphere ended the Confederacy’s ability to wage an offensive war in the North and removed the threat of foreign intervention in the conflict.

7. Who were the following:

  • Morse: A prominent artist and nativist who invented the telegraph.
  • Whitney: The inventor of the cotton gin also helped popularize the American System of standardized parts and mass production.
  • Fulton: Demonstrated the practicality of steam-powered navigation.
  • Bell: A teacher of the deaf who invented the telephone.
  • Lincoln: The 16th President of the United States led the Union during the Civil War and issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which transformed the conflict into a war to liberate the slaves.
  • Penn: The Quaker founder of Pennsylvania colony.
  • Howe: An inventor of the sewing machine.

8. Name the events connected with the following dates:

  • 1607: The founding of Jamestown, Britain’s first enduring colonial settlement.
  • 1620: The landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.
  • 1800: The election of Thomas Jefferson as the third president marks the first transfer of power from one political party to another.
  • 1849: The discovery of gold in California the previous year led some 80,000 ’49ers to migrate into the territory.
  • 1865: The defeat of the Confederacy in the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following:

  • Alphabet: A set of letters or characters with which a language is written.
  • Phonetic: Representing the sounds of speech.
  • Orthography: The representation of a language by written letters or symbols.
  • Etymology: The history of a word.
  • Syllabication: The division of words into syllables.

2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?

The elementary sounds are the basic sounds of speech.

3. What are the following, and give examples of each:

  • Trigraph: a cluster of three successive letters
  • Subvocals: The occurrence in the mind of words without vocal articulation.
  • Diphthong: A sound (such as the last sound in the word “toy”) that starts at the position of one vowel and moves toward another.
  • Cognate: Words related by descent from the same ancestral language.
  • Linguals: Sounds produced by the tongue.

4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’

  • ie (view)
  • ew (blew)
  • oo (food)
  • ou (through)

5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under eachrule.

  • A single long vowel followed by a consonant (other than w or y) is often followed by a final ‘e.’ (example: crude or prove; exception: love or above)
  • Two consonants followed by a long ‘e’ at the end of a word often include two “e”‘s. (example: free or tree; exceptions: brie or monkey)

6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.

Pneumonia; knight

7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word:

  • Bi: two parts; bicycle
  • Dis: opposite or deprive of; disagreeable
  • Mis: badly, unfavorable, or not; mistrust
  • Pre: earlier or prior to; prehistoric
  • Semi: half or partly; semi-circle
  • Post: after or subsequent; posthumous
  • Non: not or reverse of: nonpaying
  • Inter: between or occurring among: intermarriage
  • Mono: alone, single, or containing one: monotheistic
  • Super: above or over; superscript

8. Mark diacritically and divided into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound:

  • Ball ‘bol
  • Mercy ‘m&r-sE
  • Sir ‘s&r
  • Cell ‘sel
  • Rise ‘rIz
  • Blood ‘bl&d
  • Fare ‘far
  • Last ‘last

A glossary of pronunciation terms:

  • Accent marks: a mark used to indicate stress or pitch.
  • Diaeresis: Two dots placed side-by-side over a vowel to indicate that a vowel is considered a separate vowel, even though it would normally be considered part of a diphthong.
  • Digraph: A series of two letters that constitute a single sound not predicted by combining the two letters.
  • Diphthong: A sound that start at the position for one vowel and moves toward the position of another.
  • Long and short vowels: Vowel-containing sounds that are long or short in duration.

9. Use the following correctly in sentences,

  • Cite: Cite the proper source.
    Site: The landing site was on the western coast.
    Sight: It was a beautiful sight.
  • Fane: (temple or church) To the east is a fane.
    Fain: (happy or inclined) He was fain to go to the party.
    Feign: (to give a false impression) He feigned death.
  • Vane: (an object showing the direction of the wind) There was a weather vane on the roof.
    Vain: You are so vain.
    Vein: Blood flows through her veins.
  • Raze: The construction workers razed the barn in order to build a new house.
    Raise: She raised the flag.
    Rays: He enjoys the sun’s rays.

10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1. What is climate?

The condition of the weather at a particular place.

Upon what does climate depend?

On the season, the temperature, wind velocity, the degree of cloud cover, and precipitation, among other factors.

2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?

The state’s physical location. Cold air from the north moves easily across the Kansas plains during the winter, and hot winds blow from the south in the summer.

3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?

Rivers offer a source of drinking water, water power, and transportation routes. The ocean also provides a transportation route.

4. Describe the mountains of North America.

Major mountain ranges include the Appalachians, the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevadas, and the Cascades.

5. Name and describe the following:

  • Monrovia: The capital of Liberia.
  • Odessa: City and port in southern Ukraine on the Black Sea.
  • Denver: The capital of Colorado.
  • Manitoba: A Canadian province.
  • Hecla: A volcano in southwest Iceland.
  • Yukon: A territory in northwest Canada between Alaska and British Columbia.
  • St. Helena: An island in the South Atlantic.
  • Juan Fernandez: A group of three islands in the southeast Pacific west of Chile
  • Aspinwall: A city in western Pennsylvania.
  • Orinoco: A river flowing from the Brazilian border to the Columbian border and into the Atlantic.

6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.

New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco

7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capitals of each.

Examples include:

  • Britain (London)
  • Finland (Helsinki)
  • France (Paris)
  • Germany (Berlin)
  • Italy (Rome)
  • Netherlands (Hague)
  • Sweden (Stockholm)

8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

Because of the routes of the ocean currents.

9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.

Through evaporation and precipitation.

10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

The earth spins on its axis once a day. It spins around the sun once a year. The earth’s inclination is 23.45 degrees.


Answers to the 1895 8th Grade Exam — 5 Comments

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