Primary Sources & Lesson Plans
The late nineteenth century witnessed a dramatic increase in womens attendance at colleges and universities, with their enrollment tripling between 1890 and 1920. The majority attended co-educational institutions. Discrimination in admissions and course offerings and exclusion from the most elite schools, such as Harvard and Yale, led to the popularity of womens-only colleges, including Smith, Mt. Holyoke and Wellesley.
For one womans experience at Smith college at this time, go to JWAs Women of Valor Gertrude Weil exhibit.
1.What did students need to know to pass this exam?
2. Does this exam ask students to analyze information or merely to provide factual answers to questions?
3. This was just one portion of the entrance exam. What conclusions can you draw about the range of knowledge incoming students were expected to have?
4. Compare this exam to college admissions requirements today. How do these different standards reflect their respective time periods?
How to Cite This Page