What kids knew 100 years ago

Or were supposed to know, anyway. This is what you’d need to know to pass a high school entrance exam … in 1912 (the last year of the Meiji Period, to put it into context for you):

(via Open Culture)

I’m sure the tests today are very, very different.

For example, I’ve never even heard the word “pennyweight” before. (It means 1.555 grams and it’s no longer in use.) But I bet I could spell it on a test (easy to predict).

And the “Diagram this sentence” question would probably never be seen on a school test today (people don’t want to bring religion into the classroom anymore).

And the question “What president has been impeached?” would have to be changed to “What presidents have been impeached?”

Three discussion questions:

  • How would you modify a test like this for 8th graders in 2016?
  • This is not a multiple choice test. Do you think exams like this should be multiple choice?
  • What kinds of things do you remember from your entrance exam (into high school or into university)? Yes, I know most of you would like to forget all about it, but you spent so much time studying for those tests, it’d be shame to wipe it from your memory.

How to take a driver’s test in China

Listen to this story about how one person finally passed the driver’s test in China, and then try some of the questions in this article: “Do You Have What It Takes To Get A Chinese Driver’s License?”

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 7.45.32 AM

Writing prompts:

Write about your own experiences getting a driver’s license, if you have one already, or other tests you’ve struggled with. The Center Test was taken by many of the country’s high school seniors over the weekend. Do you have any memories of your own experience?