Where are the multiple choice questions?
Earlier this week, Valerie Strauss over at The Washington Post's Answer Sheet blog posted an exam given to eighth grade students in West Virginia in 1931. They had to pass it in order to graduate.
This is just the geography section of the test, which also included parts addressing penmanship, physiology & hygiene, grammar, arithmetic, civics, and agriculture. Note the lack of multiple choice questions, as well as the practicality and specificity of the exam with regards to where the students lived. I'm not sure anyone today who grew up outside of West Virginia would even have a shot at passing it.
There's a nice story over at The Answer Sheet as to how Strauss came into possession of the test, as well as some details about what the time period was like. It just immediately makes the graduation tests given in public schools across America today look shamelessly lacking in rigor.
If you want to see the whole thing, click here (PDF).