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How dumb are we ? 1895 final exam

grammar arithmetic u. s. history orthography geography

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#16 +Quillz

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:09

http://www.snopes.co...nt/1895exam.asp

As the article points out, notice this exam has almost nothing to do with globalization or interaction with those outside of the local school, something that would simply be unheard of today. It's important to remember this test's significance relatively, and that I don't think it's fair to conclude that kids back then were smarter than kids today. There are simply things you had to know back then (such as complicated mathematics) that you simply don't need to know today, since we have calculators and computers.


#17 threetonesun

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:15

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

seriously? who outside of a wheat farmer would even care about this industry specific knowladge?


A bushel (like a cord of wood) is a standard dimension:

1 U.S. bushel = 8 corn/dry gallons = 2150.42 cu in ≈ 35.2391 litre ≈ 9.30918 wine/liquid gallons. The original definition was the volume of a cylinder 18.5 in (46.99 cm) in diameter and 8 in (20.32 cm) high, which gives an irrational number of cubic inches, but later this bushel was redefined as 2150.42 cubic inches, about 1 part per million less.


It's just a math problem.

#18 MtnDewCodeRedFreak

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:17

Lol - I'd just Google up all the answers nowadays if that's a take-home exam.

#19 vetneufuse

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:19

A bushel (like a cord of wood) is a standard dimension:


It's just a math problem.


that's not the point, the point is, this is industry specific measurements, the average person doesn't know measurements for stuff like viscosity for example... so should I go around saying you are dumb because you don't know how to calculate it or know how to use a viscometer or rheometer?

#20 vcfan

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:26

who gives a crap. if someone wanted any of this info they can get it in a few seconds. we never needed to memorize all this useless junk. schools should focus on teaching real life **** and skills than making students read some ancient old English literature from the days of the dinosaur.

#21 Rohdekill

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:27

A bushel (like a cord of wood) is a standard dimension:
It's just a math problem.


It's a poorly worded math problem. It specifically asks "how many bushels will the wagon hold?" Did no one consider you can actually stack bushels?

#22 OP Hum

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:31

So, I take it that no one here could pass the exam without using a Search engine ... :p

#23 Rohdekill

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:32

who gives a crap. if someone wanted any of this info they can get it in a few seconds. we never needed to memorize all this useless junk. schools should focus on teaching real life **** and skills than making students read some ancient old English literature from the days of the dinosaur.


I partially agree with what you said. Except, many times in life, one cannot simply access the www to obtain an answer. E.G., a construction site. You'd have to know how and do the equation in your head or with the only tool available, a pencil. You wouldn't last long on the job if you had to get off your ladder every minute to punch an equation in or lookup something on a smart phone.

#24 Mordkanin

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:35

A 5 hours tests whose questions fit in one page ...


In grad school I had several math/physics tests that took up literally 3 lines, but lasted nearly 5 hours for most of the class.

#25 threetonesun

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:35

that's not the point, the point is, this is industry specific measurements, the average person doesn't know measurements for stuff like viscosity for example... so should I go around saying you are dumb because you don't know how to calculate it or know how to use a viscometer or rheometer?


A cord or a bushel was not "industry specific" in 1895. :laugh:

I imagine they also used furlongs, which is equally as industry specific.

#26 LaP

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:39

A cord or a bushel was not "industry specific" in 1895. :laugh:

I imagine they also used furlongs, which is equally as industry specific.


They could have used the chubby checker unit too.

#27 billyea

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:46

I partially agree with what you said. Except, many times in life, one cannot simply access the www to obtain an answer. E.G., a construction site. You'd have to know how and do the equation in your head or with the only tool available, a pencil. You wouldn't last long on the job if you had to get off your ladder every minute to punch an equation in or lookup something on a smart phone.

Yes, you should know things that are relevant to your job when you get older.
"What is the inclination of the Earth?" is not one of them.

#28 OP Hum

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:49

^ If you are an astronomer, or meteorologist, it may be relevant. ;)

And for the fun of it:

The earth orbits the sun in the ecliptic plane with the other planets orbiting relatively close to the ecliptic.

Its inclination (axial tilt) of about 23.4 degrees gives rise to the seasons on earth.

Sometimes you will see earth's inclination reported as 7.25 degrees. This refers to the angle formed between earth's orbital plane (the ecliptic) and the plane containing the equator of the sun. This is completely different from the tilt of the earth's axis relative to the earth's orbital plane.

#29 vcfan

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:50

I partially agree with what you said. Except, many times in life, one cannot simply access the www to obtain an answer. E.G., a construction site. You'd have to know how and do the equation in your head or with the only tool available, a pencil. You wouldn't last long on the job if you had to get off your ladder every minute to punch an equation in or lookup something on a smart phone.


im not talking about basic math,basic physics,etc.. im talking about the more advanced stuff that no one remembers anyways. its a waste of time. if I want to major in engineering then im going to have to learn this stuff from the beginning anyways.

#30 billyea

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 20:52

^ If you are an astronomer, or meteorologist, it may be relevant. ;)

Even then, it's usually incorporated into larger formulas or computer models.