If you thought it was tricky to get into university today, you haven’t seen anything yet.
An entrance exam paper taken from 1895 has recently gone viral on social media and it shows just how much harder it was to earn a place at uni over 100 years ago.
The exam is part of a paper from Trinity College Cambridge and tests knowledge on English History between 1485 and 1815.
It features 12 different questions, but advises students to attempt to answer no more than nine of them.
William Whyte, a Professor of Social and Architectural History at Oxford University shared the entrance exam on Twitter .
questions, could you answer any of them?
1. Give your estimate of the foreign policy of Henry the Eighth before 1520.
2. How did the doings of the reforming party under Edward the Sixth facilitate a return to Catholicism under Queen Mary?
3. Did the execution of Mary Queen of Scots increase or diminish the difficulties of Elizabeth’s position?
4. How did the policy of James the First change for the worse after the death of Robert Cecil?
5. How did the acceptance by the English Parliament of the Solemn League and Covenant affect the subsequent progress of the war between the Parliament and the King?
6. Discuss the good and the bad features of the government of England under the Lord Protector Oliver Cromwell.
7. Illustrate the political importance of the Protestant Dissenters in the reigns of Charles the Second and James the Second.
8. On what matters of practical policy did the Whigs and the Tories differ most markedly in the later years of William the Third?
9. Was there any utility to England in Walpole’s jealousy of rivals?
10. How did the elder Pitt differ in political opinions from Newcastle or Rockingham and their followers?
11. How did the general election of 1784 make the House of Commons a less unpopular institution than it had been?
12. In what respects was the Spanish Peninsula more advantageous ground for an attack by Great Britain on Napoleon’s power than any other part of Europe?
Hundreds of people have liked and responded to Whyte’s tweet, sharing their thoughts on the paper.
Many people thought they would struggle to answer even one of the exam questions.
“Good grief,” replied one Twitter user.
Another said: “This paper looks like you’d already need a degree in history to answer it.”
A third added: “Proof that we are being dumbed down to a frightening extent. Our high-school grads don’t know who’s the Vice President of the US and who Jean Chretien was, now look at the entrance exam for Cambridge in 1895.”