Definition of test noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

    of knowledge/ability
  1. 1  an examination of somebody’s knowledge or ability, consisting of questions for them to answer or activities for them to perform an IQ/intelligence/aptitude test to take a test (British English) to do a test test (on something) a test on irregular verbs to pass/fail a test (British English) a good mark in the test (North American English) a good grade on the test CollocationsEducationLearning acquire/​get/​lack (an) education/​training/(British English) (some) qualifications receive/​provide somebody with training/​tuition develop/​design/​plan a curriculum/(especially British English) course/(North American English) program/​syllabus give/​go to/​attend a class/​lesson/​lecture/​seminar hold/​run/​conduct a class/​seminar/​workshop sign up for/​take a course/​classes/​lessonsSchool go to/​start preschool/​kindergarten/​nursery school be in the first, second, etc. (North American English) grade/(especially British English) year (at school) study/​take/​drop history/​chemistry/​German, etc. (British English) leave/​finish/​drop out of/ (North American English) quit school (North American English) graduate high school/​collegeProblems at school be the victim/​target of bullying (British English) play truant from/ (both British English, informal) bunk off/​skive off school (= not go to school when you should) (both especially North American English) skip/​cut class/​school (British English) cheat in/(North American English) cheat on an exam/​a test get/​be given a detention (for doing something) be expelled from/​be suspended from schoolWork and exams do your homework/(British English) revision/​a project on something work on/​write/​do/​submit an essay/​a dissertation/​a thesis/​an assignment/(North American English) a paper finish/​complete your dissertation/​thesis/​studies/​coursework hand in/ (North American English) turn in your homework/​essay/​assignment/​paper study/​prepare/ (British English) revise/ (North American English) review/ (North American English, informal) cram for a test/​an exam take/ (both British English) do/​sit a test/​an exam (especially British English) mark/ (especially North American English) grade homework/​a test (British English) do well in/ (North American English) do well on/ (informal, especially North American English) ace a test/​an exam pass/​fail/ (informal, especially North American English) flunk a test/​an exam/​a class/​a course/​a subjectUniversity apply to/​get into/​go to/​start college/(British English) university leave/​graduate from law school/​college/(British English) university (with a degree in computer science) study for/​take/ (British English) do/​complete a law degree/​a degree in physics (both North American English) major/​minor in biology/​philosophy earn/​receive/​be awarded/​get/​have/​hold a master’s degree/​a bachelor’s degree/​a PhD in economics More Aboutexams Exam is the usual word for a written, spoken or practical test at school or college, especially an important one that you need to do in order to get a qualification. Examination is a very formal word. A test is something that students might be given in addition to, or sometimes instead of, regular exams, to see how much they have learned. A very short informal test is called a quiz in North American English. Quiz in both North American English and British English also means a contest in which people try to answer questions:a trivia quiz a quiz show. see also driving test See related entries: Teaching and learning, School life
  2. of health
  3. 2  a medical examination to discover what is wrong with you or to check the condition of your health a test for AIDS an eye test a pregnancy test When can I get my test results? We'll need to perform a series of tests. The hospital is doing some tests. see also blood test, breath test Wordfinderbiopsy, diagnose, examine, sample, scan, swab, symptom, test, ultrasound, X-ray See related entries: Medical examinations
  4. of machine/product, etc.
  5. 3  an experiment to discover whether or how well something works, or to find out more information about it laboratory tests a nuclear test Tests have shown high levels of pollutants in the water. I'll run a diagnostic test to see why the server keeps crashing. see also acid test, blind test, field test, means test, road test See related entries: Experiments and research
  6. of strength, etc.
  7. 4a situation or an event that shows how good, strong, etc. somebody/something is The local elections will be a good test of the government's popularity. He saw their separation as a test of the strength of their love.
  8. in cricket, etc.
  9. 5Test = Test match They played well in the first Test against South Africa.
  10. Word Originlate Middle English (denoting a container used to treat gold or silver alloys or ore): via Old French from Latin testu, testum ‘earthen pot’, variant of testa ‘jug, shell’. The verb dates from the early 17th cent.Extra examples Dip the test strip in the urine sample. Forensic tests showed that the man had been poisoned. He scored well in the placement test and was put in the most advanced class. He’s taken the car out on a test run. I took my driving test last week. Rigorous safety tests are being carried out on the new jet. She had a series of blood tests. Some of the questions in the history test were rather difficult. Subjects had to attend ten test sessions on different days. The calls for tax reform pose a severe test for the government. The company is using the library as a test bed for its new software. The government has launched a campaign advising women of the need for regular smear tests. The judge applied the wrong test in coming to his decision. The latest pay dispute has really put her management skills to the test. The machine refused to perform correctly under test conditions. The new drink went down well in the test trials. The new president is facing his toughest political test so far. The new safety test came into force last month. The new system goes into beta test this month. The recruits were put through a week of demanding endurance tests. The software is still at the test stage. The test used in detecting the disease carries its own risks. The urine test showed some sort of infection. The vehicle did not have a current test certificate at the time of the accident. This type of exam does not provide a fair test of the student’s knowledge. This was the first action taken by a cancer sufferer against a tobacco company, and was seen as a test case. Three actors out of a hundred were chosen from the screen test. Three athletes were sent home after failing drugs tests. Whether he would accept a pay cut would be the acid test of his loyalty to the company. Whether this new technology will stand the test of time remains to be seen. a campaign advising women of the need for regular Pap/​smear tests a good grade on the test a good mark in the test a negative/​positive test result a real test of character a test designed to detect bowel cancer a test for diabetes a test on the French Revolution negotiations on a nuclear test ban protesters at nuclear test sites screening tests for cancer Among Democrats, the state was seen as a litmus test of national appeal. He developed a simple test for diabetes. He saw their separation as a test of the strength of their love. He will be first choice for the opening test against the All Blacks. Is this a fair test of students’ skills? The acid test is whether the central bank is prepared to cut interest rates. The local elections will be a good test of the government’s popularity. The team are preparing for a five-day test match at Lords. There are end of year tests in English, maths and science. They played well in the first test against South Africa. They showed low intellectual ability as measured by IQ tests. We’ll need to carry out a series of tests. When can I get my test results? a/​an eye/​blood/​pregnancy test my driver’s testIdioms
    put somebody/something to the test
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    to put somebody/something in a situation which will show what their or its true qualities are His theories have never really been put to the test.
    to prove to be good, popular, etc. over a long period of time to teach students only what is necessary in order to pass a particular test, rather than help them develop a range of skills
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: test