"was" is the answer because all those subjects form just one test(singular entity)
Either. "there was three people in a boat" or "there were three people in a boat". Either.
were have ot be he answer because 'were' is the plural of 'was' and since we have three items which is in plural form so it has to be 'were;.
"was" must be correct since the subject becomes singular - even if there are more than one - because the conjunctive is used as an abstract noun