a formal written, spoken or practical test, especially at school or college, to see how much you know about a subject, or what you can do to take an exam to pass/fail an exam an exam paper I got my exam results today. A lot of students suffer from exam nerves. (British English) I hate doing exams. (British English, formal) to sit an exam (British English) to mark an exam (North American English) to grade an exam (British English) She did well in her exams. (North American English) She did well on her exams.