Skip to main content

Main Area


Can you pass this 8th grade assessment test?

  • Can you pass this 8th grade assessment test?

    Eighth grade is generally a time we'd rather forget. As we enter our teenage years, hormones are going wild, there's peer pressure to fit in while somehow standing out, and we're exposed to more and more of what the world is actually like. Then there's perhaps the most repressed experience of all: the beginning of the eventual onslaught of standardized testing. Standardized testing usually only affects your own educational outcome; for some kids in the fourth, eighth, and twelfth grades, their scores affect the standing of the entire nation.

    Since 1969, the National Center for Education Statistics has administered a nationwide test, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) or “Nation's Report Card,” to determine how American public and private school students score on a variety of metrics beyond just reading, ‘riting, and ‘rithmetic. Other subjects include geography, science, economics, arts, U.S. history, and even technology and engineering literacy. This test provides a valuable function; with 50 states, we have 50 different educational systems, and keeping track of the achievements across the country requires acute testing and careful data work.

    America's students lag behind many other countries in simple score comparisons in common subjects. This reflects many factors, such as differing levels of school funding, disparities between the schools in different states, and a large culture of extracurricular activities. There's one question that's not commonly asked though (unless you're an avid game show watcher): How would adults do on those same assessment tests?

    To find out, we've compiled 25 sample questions from real NAEP eighth grade tests across a variety of subjects. It's surprisingly difficult; perhaps that's a reflection of how little we learn in grade school translates to our eventual jobs, or else it's an indictment of the strength of our memories. If you're struggling, grab a nearby teen—they may be able to help.

    You may also like: Best cities for young professionals

  • Question #1

    - Question: What kind of note is in circle 2?
    - Subject: Arts
    - Content classification: Music
    - Difficulty: Medium
    - Year: 2016

  • Answer #1

    A half note.

  • Question #2

    - Question: Multiply 4.9 x 1.5
    - Subject: Math
    - Content classification: Number properties and operations
    - Difficulty: Medium
    - Year: 2017

  • Answer #2

    4.9 x 1.5 = 7.35

  • Question #3

    - Question: What is the world's largest ocean?
    - Subject: Geography
    - Content classification: Space and Place
    - Difficulty: Easy
    - Year: 2001

  • Answer #3

    The Pacific Ocean.

  • Question #4

    - Question: In the United States, are taxes NOT used for building churches, funding public libraries, building roads, or taking care of parks?
    - Subject: Civics
    - Content classification: Foundations of American System
    - Difficulty: Medium
    - Year: 2006

  • Answer #4

    Taxes are not used for building churches.

  • Question #5

    - Question: Were indentured servants different from slaves because they came from the West Indies, were freed at the end of their term, were paid less money, or did much easier work?
    - Subject: U.S. History
    - Content classification: Economic and Technological Changes
    - Difficulty: Easy
    - Year: 2006

  • Answer #5

    Indentured servants were freed at the end of their term.