Do you think you’ve got the brains to take on these exam questions from 1859?

The exam paper, found here, is owned by the Library of the Royal College of Surgeons.

It was produced by the UK’s first teaching association, the College of Preceptors.

These teachers mostly taught at private schools.

In addition to traditional subjects like maths and English, students of the time were also examined on land and marine surveying, bookkeeping and commercial science, Latin and Greek.

All questions in the quiz – compiled by BBC Bitesize - are taken from the 1859 paper.

But those taking the quiz may notice that some of the answers tend to reflect our modern-day understanding of certain phenomena.  

Answers may also include events from later than 1859.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

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