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An exam or examination is an official test that shows your knowledge or ability in a particular subject. Exam is the word most commonly used. Examination is more formal and is used mainly in written English.
When someone takes part in an exam, you say that they take it or sit it.
Speakers of American English generally use take instead of 'sit'.
In conversation, you can also say that someone does an exam.
If someone is successful in an exam, you say that they pass it.
To pass an exam always means to succeed in it. It does not mean to take part in it.
If someone is unsuccessful in an exam, you say that they fail it.
You also say that someone passes in or fails in a particular subject.
|Noun||1.||exam - a set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge; "when the test was stolen the professor had to make a new set of questions"|
communicating, communication - the activity of communicating; the activity of conveying information; "they could not act without official communication from Moscow"
bar exam, bar examination - an examination conducted at regular intervals to determine whether a candidate is qualified to practice law in a given jurisdiction; "applicants may qualify to take the New York bar examination by graduating from an approved law school"; "he passed the bar exam on his third try"
comp, comprehensive, comprehensive examination - an intensive examination testing a student's proficiency in some special field of knowledge; "she took her comps in English literature"
entrance exam, entrance examination - examination to determine a candidate's preparation for a course of studies
litmus test - a test that relies on a single indicator; "her litmus test for good breeding is whether you split infinitives"
midterm exam, midterm examination, midterm - an examination administered in the middle of an academic term
oral, oral exam, oral examination, viva, viva voce - an examination conducted by spoken communication
preliminary exam, preliminary examination, prelim - an examination taken by graduate students to determine their fitness to continue
quiz - an examination consisting of a few short questions
tripos - final honors degree examinations at Cambridge University
a French exam → un examen de français
to pass an exam → réussir un examen
to take an exam, to sit an exam → passer un examen