Finished Exams (for the Time Being)

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, October 10, 1911: Wound up with our examinations today. Don’t think I made a good mark in algebra. I have such a sore thumb! Mighty.

Grandma may have used a wood pencil to take written exams. Wood pencils with erasers have been around since the late 1800s. (Photo source: Wikimedia Commons)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The previous day’s entry also indicated that Grandma was taking exams. And, diary entries the preceding winter and spring mentioned exams on consecutive days.

These entries imply that students at McEwensville High School took periodic exams in all subject areas on successive days. The school only had one teacher—so it seems as if the multiple exams spread over two days were by design.

Whew, I’m glad that I wasn’t a student a hundred years ago. I remember when I was a high school student how much I hated it when several teachers gave tests close together. (I did learn how to successfully take multiple exams one after the other for college finals—but never liked it.)

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