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  1. #1
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    be in charge of an exam

    Hello,

    What do native speakers call it when an examiner tests students' knowledge on an oral exam? What verbs collocate with 'exam'? Students take/sit/do exams, but what do examiners do?

    - Bob failed the speaking section.
    - No wonder. It was Mrs Smith who ..... the exam. She was being especially strict that day. Nobody got an A!

    Will "be in charge of' or 'administer' do?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Re: be in charge of an exam

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    What do native speakers call it when an examiner tests students' knowledge on an oral exam? What verbs collocate with 'exam'? Students take/sit/do exams, but what do examiners do?

    - Bob failed the speaking section.
    - No wonder. It was Mrs Smith who ..... the exam. She was being especially strict that day. Nobody got an A!

    Will "be in charge of' or 'administer' do?
    Administer is good. It was Mrs Smith who administered the exam.

    You will also hear "gave" or "give". My ex-wife is a professor, and she would say, "I have to give an exam tomorrow."

    You might also look up the word 'proctor'- someone with the authority to oversee an exam, but probably didn't create it- as a better form than your example "be in charge of".

  3. #3
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: be in charge of an exam

    "Take" also works if it's understood that we are talking about the person who is giving it.
    - "No wonder. It was Mrs Smith who took/gave the exam. She was being especially strict that day. Nobody got an A!"
    These are correct and unambiguous in my dialect.

    But I agree with "administer" as being the most specific and descriptive.

  4. #4
    J&K Tutoring is offline Member
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    Re: be in charge of an exam

    Whoa! Maybe things are radically different in the UK, but where I come from one cannot both give and take an exam. It's definitely an either/or proposition!

  5. #5
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: be in charge of an exam

    Quote Originally Posted by J&K Tutoring View Post
    Whoa! Maybe things are radically different in the UK, but where I come from one cannot both give and take an exam. It's definitely an either/or proposition!
    They may be - I can't speak for the UK.
    It does sound strange if you want to conceptualise it as giving and taking the same thing at the same time; but I was suggesting that either one or the other term could be used to describe the process of adminstering the exam, not both at once.
    You'll note that I qualified my statement with "if it's understood that we are talking about the person who is giving it."

    This is similar to being able to ask about teachers, "Who is giving the class today?" and "Who is taking the class today?" - meaning the same thing.
    I accept that it might not be possible to do this in the US.

  6. #6
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: be in charge of an exam

    Thanks for the replies!
    What about a driving test (the road part)? I don't know if the procedure in English-speaking countries is the same, but in the RF there's an examiner (a traffic police officer ususally) sitting next to you and assessing your driving ability for some time before he decides whether you have passed or failed. Are the words 'give' and 'administer' still applicable here?

  7. #7
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    Re: be in charge of an exam

    In BrE, the examiner normally conducts the driving tests.

  8. #8
    Verona_82 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: be in charge of an exam

    All right. Why can't 'conduct' be used to talk about an oral exam?

  9. #9
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    Re: be in charge of an exam

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    All right. Why can't 'conduct' be used to talk about an oral exam?
    It can.

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