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# "Giving" an exam

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Manager
Joined: 17 Dec 2010
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04 Jan 2011, 02:09
Have I missed something...?

I keep reading of people "Giving the GMAT" - a term I've never heard before.

Is that the proper English idiom to use for testing...or is it a cultural "direct translation"? Always thought it was "Taking an exam"...

I know that if you directly translate "Smoking a Cigarette" in Arabic to English, you end up with "Drinking a Cigarette" - is it the same thing with "Giving an exam"?
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04 Jan 2011, 15:23
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"Giving an exam" is common in most Anglophone countries, including Australia, South Africa, and the subcontinent. "Taking an exam" is the correct American idiom. I'm sure there's an interesting philosophical point here on the interchangeability of "giving" and "taking," but Christmas is behind us and so it's best not to dwell on these matters much longer
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05 Jan 2011, 11:17
true.

i don't "give" an exam technically, unless i am the one making it.

so for me, i just "take"the exam and get it done with
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Ms. Big Fat Panda
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05 Jan 2011, 17:23
"Taking" an exam is more commonly used as per American Standard English. "Giving" an exam is a spin off from British English. As Adam rightly pointed out, its used in countries that use British English or a derivative of it. As far as the GMAT is concerned, it'll be "taking an exam" - though I doubt they'll test you on that usage.

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05 Jan 2011, 18:57
hahaha

oh man whip, if they did....you see that "V21" in my little profile there...will probably dip into the negatives lol.
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05 Jan 2011, 19:44
whiplash2411 wrote:
"Taking" an exam is more commonly used as per American Standard English. "Giving" an exam is a spin off from British English. As Adam rightly pointed out, its used in countries that use British English or a derivative of it. As far as the GMAT is concerned, it'll be "taking an exam" - though I doubt they'll test you on that usage.

Not all British English speakign countries - I've been in Australia for 20 years, and have never heard it said before. I've never heard a British person say "give an exam" either...but then again - I've never lived in England

I think it's more Subcontintental British English
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Last edited by MackyCee on 05 Jan 2011, 20:39, edited 1 time in total.

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Ms. Big Fat Panda
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05 Jan 2011, 20:32
Oh I've heard it plenty of times in London, India, Singapore and the like. But its definitely not all countries.

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05 Jan 2011, 20:39
I agree that it's primarily subcontinent English, but then again, that probably comes from the fact that the population of the subcontinent is way larger than that of any other English-speaking area. I do know that it's also prevalent in African Anglophone countries.
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18 Jan 2011, 04:36
Actually as a Brit I have never, ever heard anyone use the phrase "giving" an exam.

To be honest even if they were the person setting the questions you'd add in the recipient e.g. "I gave them/him/her an exam".
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Re: "Giving" an exam   [#permalink] 18 Jan 2011, 04:36
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