Solve / do a paper or a question...

shop-englishx

Banned
Urdu
Hi,

Which one do you think is correct?

Solve a paper/test in exam hall.
Do a paper/test in exam hall.
Solve a question in a test.
Do a question in a test.

Thank you very much. :)
 
  • Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    Well, I don't think you can drop the "the" before "examination hall".

    Look, it's often possible to use general verbs like "do" and "get", if you can't think of anything better. But you come on this website to do better, don't you? :)
     

    SReynolds

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    You would normally solve a problem or do/complete an exercise on a test and take/complete/sit a test, although sit is mostly British, as far as I know. A teacher would normally write or prepare an examination before you take it in class.
     

    shop-englishx

    Banned
    Urdu
    Look: Students are taking a test in the exam hall. Their teacher (who is invigilating them) is also in the exam hall.. Suddenly the school principal enters the exam hall and asks the invigilator:

    "Have students done with their paper..?" If they have done, please take it from them" Is the usage of "do" correct here?
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    or do/complete an exercise on a test
    I would do/complete an exercise in a test.

    Why can't I say:

    Students have done their paper?
    For me, "... done their paper?" just isn't an idiomatic way of asking if they have finished. In any case, the scenario seems strange to me: I've never come across an exam where the invigilator goes around taking papers from the students before the allotted time is up. (Depending on the rules in force, a student may volunteer to hand in his/her paper before the end, but that's not the situation you've described.)

    Ws
    [Edit: Merged consecutive posts]
     
    Last edited:

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    I agree that there's an AmE(sometimes)/BrE difference — I've come across it several times before — but I think care is needed in interpreting those ngrams.

    I was surprised by the 'British English' ngram showing similar frequency for "questions in the test" and "questions on the test", as I don''t think I've ever heard a BrE speaker use "questions on the test" to mean 'that are part of the test'. So I suspect that some (probably most) of those cases have other meanings, such as "questions on (= about) the test". Here's an example from the underlying book extracts: "If you have questions on the test instructions".

    To my BrE ear, questions on the test would be, for example, "How long will the test take?", "Was the test easy?", ...

    Unfortunately, although the ngrams can be be split into British and American publications, I know of no way of applying that split to the underlying book listings. However, a check of the the first few pages of Google Books hits for "questions on the test" shows only books that appear (judging by other clues in the entries) to be by AmE writers. A similar check for "questions in the test" seems to show a good mix of writers from the UK, the US and other parts of the English-speaking world.

    Ws
     
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