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DIRECTIONS TO CANDIDATES.
1. Throughout the examination, you will be known only by the number on the opposite side of this card.
2. Do not write your name upon any of your exercises.
3. Write your number very plainly at the upper left-hand corner of each exercise; your age in years and months at the upper right-hand corner; and the date in the middle, so that they will all be on the same line.
4. You can make any use of slates and pencils while preparing your answers; but the answers on the paper which you pass in must all be written in ink.
5. Number each answer to correspond with the number of the question, leaving for this purpose a margin on the left of each page.
6. Avoid all communication with other candidates.
7. Be careful not to lose this card. Candidates admitted will bring their cards with them at the opening of the school.
Admission to High School.
Small slips of paper are next distributed among the candidates, on which they write their names and the numbers on their cards. These papers are collected and immediately locked in one of the desks till after the Board has decided on the admissions. They are then used to identify the successful applicants.
After attending to these preliminaries, the candidates are distributed in different rooms, and arranged at separate desks, so as to prevent, as far as possible, any opportunity for communication with one another. Each candidate is furnished with a slate and pencil, and with pen, ink, and paper. The questions for the first exercise, previously prepared by the superintendent, or by the teachers of the high school, are now distributed at the same moment in all the rooms, and the candidates are allowed a definite time to write out their answers,—usually from an hour to an hour and a half, according to the number and difficulty of the questions. Every effort is made to put the candidates as much at ease as possible, and to secure them from all unnecessary embarrassment. If they do not understand any of the requirements, or lack any little convenience for writing out their work, they are requested to make known their difficulties with the utmost freedom. When the time appointed for the first exercise expires, the answers written by the candidates are collected together, whether completed or not, and the next set of questions is distributed as before, and so on, through the day.
Admission to High School.
Besides the teachers of the high school, on whom the examination chiefly devolves, one or more members of the Board of Education and the superintendent are also in attendance during a portion or all of the examination, but no other spectators are admitted.
Most of the labor still remains to be performed, after the candidates are dismissed. Several d..ys are now spent by the teachers in examining the papers that have been written. Every answer is read with care, and its value, estimated on a scale of 100, is marked in the margin. The sum of these estimates standing against the several answers on any one paper,
divided by the number of questions assigned, gives the average for that exercise. The averages of each candidate, in all the different branches, are set against the card-number by which he is known during the examination ; but the averages in arithmetic and English grammar are multiplied by two when they are entered, because the examination in these branches affords a safer test of the candidate's ability to sustain a position in the high school than the examination in branches that are more mechanical, or that depend more upon the pupil's memory, and less upon his powers of reasoning and judging. The sum of the averages now standing against any number, divided by the number of branches increased by two, gives the general average of the candidate des. ignated by this number. To render the result of the examination still more reliable, the teachers usually select the papers of all the candidates whose general
Admission to High School.
averages are within five or ten per cent. of the lowest rank that will probably be admitted, whether above or below, and revise the estimates with special care. This measure insures the correction of any slight errors that may have occurred in estimating the answers of any candidate who could possibly be affected by such errors. The names of the candidates are never seen by any one, from the time when they are received on the morning of the examination till after this revision of estimates, and the final de cision of the Board upon the admissions.
As the question of a candidate's admission or rejection depends entirely upon the general average of his examination, it is hardly possible that injustice should be done to any of the applicants. There are frequent cases in which candidates are not able to do justice to themselves; and these instances would be far more numerous if the examinations were conducted orally. A large number and variety of experiments have been tried by different boards of examiners, and they have almost invariably resulted in the decision that written examinations afford the most reliable test of qualifications, and are on the whole the most just and satisfactory to all parties.
If any instance occurs in which an applicant is supposed to be rejected for insufficient reasons, the answers on which this rejection is based are always on file at the school, or at the office of the Board of Education, in the applicant's own hand, and can be examined at any time by the candidate or his friends.
In estimating the examinations in reading, each candidate is requested to read two short passages, one in poetry and one in prose. The estimates in penmanship are based upon the written answers that are given in other branches
[The importance of securing greater uniformity in school statistics has long been felt, and numerous educational reports have sent ont earnest calls for improvements in the methods of making and preserving school records. The report of Cincinnati for 1856, by A. J. Rickoft, Esq., Superintendent of Schools, contained several valuable recommendations on this subject.
The following views were embodied in the author's annual report for 1858–9, in the hope that by presenting in tangible form the leading objects to be sought, and offering a few practical suggestions respecting the best means to be employed, one step of actual progress would be made in lessening the evils that existed. Several important efforts in the same direction have since been made by school officers and educational conventions, and it is now safe to say that considerable progress has been made toward the accomplishment of the desired end.]
The subject of school records demands more careful attention from teachers and school directors than it has hitherto received. If the records of a school are properly kept, in the hands of a judicious teacher they become an important auxiliary to the healthful discipline and progress of the school, and at the close of a term or year the general summaries and averages afford valuable information respecting the character and success of the school, and its just claims to continued favor and support.
In many schools the records are so meager or so