The Nassau Lit. of Princeton, gives the following excellent exposition of the advantages which would accrue to that college if it were to adopt the Harvard system of preliminary examinations: "Harvard, Yale, and the University of Virginia, have a custom which Princeton would do well to inaugurate. It is the system of partial examinations for entrance. Suppose, for instance, a boy intends to enter Princeton, '89. He is already proficient in some branches, say mathematics. He takes the entrance examination in that subject with '88, gets a certificate stating the fact, and when he comes back to enter with his class, is examined only in those requirements in which he has not yet passed. The advantages of such a system would be two fold. In the first place, it would be better for the boy; he would have so much off his mind and could give undivided attention to his other studies, instead of looking forward to an examination embracing the work of three or four years; he would be examined at the end of each year in the studies of the preceding twelve-month. The effect would be stimulating to the preparatory students, and would make the work of their teachers lighter and more satisfactory.
But the greatest advantage would accrue to the college. There are at Lawrenceville, Morristown, Pennington and other preparatory schools, a number of students who intend to enter Princeton. There are others who intend to go elsewhere, and still a third class who have made no fixed choice. Now, when Tom, who intends to enter Princeton at some future day, comes to be examined in Latin or mathematics, some of his friends who intend to go elsewhere, or who have made no choice, will probably come along. And as they have about the same stand as Tom, they may take a partial examination also. It is readily seen that, in nine cases out of ten, they will finally come for good. Moreover, the boy who has passed a partial examination will go back to his school with his loyalty to Princeton increased an hundred-fold. He will feel that he is already a member of the college, and will endeavor the more to bring his friends here.
Then, too, such a system would bring a number of preparatory scholars here during commencement week, and the glamour of that delightful period would have its effect on their youthful imaginations. Princeton then is beautiful in the "high tide of June," full of fair visitors, rich with birds and blossems, and with never a hint of the bleak, rainy season of the winter months, nor of the steady grind of second term."