What's the difference between a test and examination?

A test and an exam both tests the knowledge of a student. So, in most cases tests and exams are synonyms. Both test the knowledge of the students with a series of questions and will grade the questions to get a result.

They differ in one aspect: an exam is more formal then a test. 

What is a test?

With a test you can test the knowledge level of the students. Mostly this is done with a series of questions. The questions can differ in form or format, but in the end you want your students to asnwer questions so you can grade them and see what result they get. 

A good teacher adjusts it's course material according the results of the tests he gives. So he can improve. The results can point the educator to part of his course material which aren't clear. Or where it's class needs some extra attention so it will pass the final exam.

What is an examination?

As with a test you test the knowledge of your students with an exam. The exam consists of a series of questions. They can both multiple choice or free text questions, or a different format. In the end you want to grade the answers and assign a score to every student.

The end result makes a student pass or fail this exam.  Read more about what an examination is.

What's the difference between a test and examination? (which one do I need)

The big difference between a test and an exam is that an exam is more formal then a test. But, that said, the are used as synonyms troughout schools and courses. But, we think the serve a different purpose:

  1. The test is a tool to meassure the knowledge level of your students and adjust the learning material accordingly. With the purpose to have your students learn. 
  2. An exam or the examination is more formal and it tells you if a students passed or failed a class or course. In most cases you have to study again and re-take the exam. Or start the course or class all over again. 

Now you know what's the difference between a test and an examination, you may want to read more about the advantages and disadvantages of an online examination system and the different types of exams and tests.

How can our exam builder help?

With our exam builder you can both create tests and exams. To make the exam more formal you can use our online certification tool to assign certificates to everybody who passes. And, if you want a test which is a knowledge test you can use the exam builder. But, do you want to make a different kind of test to stimulate learning you can also create a gamified quiz with our online quiz creator

Useful resources


Get started today!

Join almost 1 million users and try out our awesome tool.

Register for free