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Can You Pass An Eighth-Grade Science Test From 1912?

These questions are exactly as they appeared in the original test for Kentucky schools (minus the multiple choice). What we know now might be different than what was believed in 1912.

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  1. What is the largest gland in the human body?

    Gerry Cranham / Via Getty Images

    Scientists in 1912 were correct in their thinking. The liver was and still is considered the largest gland in the human body. The average human liver is around 3 pounds and it plays a major role in metabolism.

  2. What are the organs of circulation?

    Digitalstorm / Via Thinkstock
    Heart, lungs, blood vessels
    Blood vessels, brain, lungs
    Lungs, bronchi, nose
    Heart, lungs, bronchi

    This question is confusing, but museum archivists say that the likely intent of the question was to determine the elements of the human cardiovascular system. The major organ of the circulatory system is the heart.

  3. How big is the heart?

    Thinkstock / Via Elizabeth Hachem
    The size of an old bean
    The size of a flivver
    The size of large gold nuggets
    The size of a fist

    The only word that is still common today is fist. The other words were actually popular slang from the early 20th century. A flivver was a small car. "Bean" was not a legume, but it meant the human head, and, later, it was used to refer to a person.

  4. What does the liver secrete?

    Thinkstock / Via decade3d
    Gastric juice
    Pleural fluid

    The liver secretes bile that flows to the intestines. The bile helps to break down food.

  5. Where is blood carried to be purified?

    Purestock / Via Thinkstock
    Heart, liver
    Liver, kidneys
    Spleen, heart
    Testes, kidneys

    The liver and kidneys both filter blood, but this test left out other organs, like our lungs and spleen, which aid the process.

  6. Where is the chief nervous center of the body?

    maurusone / Via Thinkstock
    Brain, spinal cord
    Brain, heart
    Peripheral nerves, spinal cord
    Cranial nerves, brain

    Educators were correct in 1912. The brain and spinal cord are part of the central nervous system.

  7. What does the cerebellum control?

    Andrew Winning / Via Getty Images
    Intelligence, personality
    Interpretation of sensory impulses and touch sensation
    Planning, organization and motor function
    Balance, equilibrium and fine movement coordination

    The cerebellum plays a vital role in motor control, but it's also involved in cognitive functions like learning and memory. Before the 1990s, scientists thought that that the cerebellum was only dedicated to motor control.

  8. Where is the cerebrum located?

    Wavebreakmedia Ltd / Via Thinkstock
    Above the brain stem
    Below the brain stem
    The forebrain
    The hindbrain

    The cerebrum is the largest section of the brain and is located in the forebrain.

  9. What does the spinal column do?

    Eraxion / Via Thinkstock
    Supports the body, and provides protection for the spinal cord
    Supports the body, and is the link between the brain and the rest of the body
    Helps you move and sense positions of your arms and legs
    Supports your body only

    The spine also provides us with posture.

  10. How do we maintain proper health?

    Siri Stafford / Via Thinkstock
    Eat right, exercise, get proper sleep, drink plenty of water, maintain proper hygiene
    Eat right, maintain manners, work hard, get proper rest, maintain proper hygiene
    Maintain manners, study, work hard, drink plenty of water, eat right
    Maintain proper hygiene, exercise, eat plenty, maintain manners, drink plenty of water

    There are other possible answers, but it seems like attitudes toward basic health were not that different than the present day.

Can You Pass An Eighth-Grade Science Test From 1912?


You'd be too smart to go down with the Titanic in 1912. In fact, you'd get on a lifeboat if you happened to be on that ride. You're an expert in human biology and the sciences, but you also have a good grasp of history and sociology.

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Even though you may not be a doctor by profession, you remember facts from your high school biology classes. Your memory will take you far. If this were 1912, you'd be ahead of your time.

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Not bad!

You didn't get most of these right, but it doesn't really matter. You'd rather learn about science and technology from the present day rather than think about outdated principles from the past.

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