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Quiz vs. Test

What is the difference between a "quiz" and a "test"? Is there a difference at all? Is it just about choosing according to personal preference, or are there certain contexts in which these two words should be used with specific meanings? Learn the answers to all these questions reading the explanations and examples given below!

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  Charlotte B  —  Grammar Tips
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Quiz vs. Test

Both "quiz" and "test" refer to some kind of evaluation or assessment - whether it is in an academic context or not. We seem to see the word "quiz" used often on the internet, rather than the word "test" usually in fun mini games where we can test our personality types, knowledge or trivia - all when the main objective is to have some fun whilst exercising your knowledge skills. Meanwhile, we usually see the word “test” when students have a formal "test" and rarely is the word “quiz” used for this purpose.

So, it's obvious that there is some kind of difference in the meaning and application of these words. Plus, one word from the "quiz vs. test" pair is definitely used more broadly than the other. Keep reading to understand all these differences. We will shortly and clearly define each term for your comprehension in the following paragraphs.

When do we use "Quiz"?

There is a good reason behind the fact that we often do a "quiz" for fun on the internet. As a noun, "quiz" defines, not a form of serious evaluation with concluding results, rather, a game where short questions are answered. "Quiz" is only used with the meaning of "test" in US English, defining a very short test on a specific subject in school.

"Quiz" can also be used as a verb, referring to the action of asking someone plenty of questions about something. Take a look below to find the word "quiz" used in sentences:

Example 1: Let's watch that TV quiz show with two teams. - "quiz" refers to a game where people answer short questions.

Example 2: Tomorrow, students will have a quiz on the most recent chapter they studied in school. - in US, "quiz" can also be used as a noun that defines a short set of questions on a specific subject.

Example 3: The journalists would like to quiz you about your recent announcement. - used as a verb, "quiz" refers to addressing someone a set of questions.

When do we use "Test"?

Just as "quiz", "test" can also be used both as a verb and as a noun. But in both cases, "test" is used more broadly - with many more other applications than "quiz". As a noun, it usually refers to a set of questions that measures someone's ability or knowledge. This is why we use it a lot more often in the context of education, or in more serious situations. But it can also define a medical sample or scan when searching for the cause of problem, or an experiment made to ensure that something works well.

Quiz vs. Test

Used as a verb, "test" can be a synonym for several different actions. For example, it can be used with the meaning of "experiment", checking if something works properly or is safe enough; in medical terms, performing an exam on a certain body part; or with the objective of evaluating someone's knowledge or abilities using a set of questions that need to be answered. Check the examples below to understand how "test" is correctly used as noun and verb as well.

Example 1: Before graduating this course, all students will have to pass a test about everything they have learned. - "test" used as noun usually refers to a set of questions meant to evaluate one's knowledge/ability.

Example 2: The doctor will perform a blood test on every patient to get a general idea about their health condition. - "test" can also refer, as a noun, to some kind of medical examination.

Example 3: They have to run one more safety test before launching their product on the market - "test" can also be used as a noun defining an experiment that checks the safety and functionality of something.

Example 4: We never test our products on animals! - "test" used as verb can define the action of experimenting if something works well or is safe for consumption.

Example 5: You always make me repeat everything, do you need to test your hearing? It might be a real problem. - "test" can also be used as a verb in medical context, referring to checking up a certain body part.

Example 6: The teachers will test students' knowledge after finishing their explanations. - finally, "test" can also be used as a verb referring to the action of addressing a set of questions with the objective of assessing one's knowledge or understanding of a subject.


So now you know - both “quiz" and "test" represent forms of evaluation, examination or checking. But while the former is usually done for fun, as a game or competition, the latter has serious or conclusive results!

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