In the US I hear people saying "I took a test" more often than "I did a test". Usually when someone says that "they took a test" it either means that they had their abilities tested by someone else or they had something of theirs tested such as their blood at a hospital for example, and usually when someone says "I did a test" they're talking about something they tested themselves like a car, a computer, or a video game, for example "I did a test with the car". I was wondering whether or not you could use both words interchangeably for any type of test you do yourself or take by someone else, such as in the example phrases below:

I took a blood test at the hospital.

I did a blood test at the hospital.

I took a math test in school.

I did a math test in school.

1 Answer 1


While I would understand "I did a math test in school." I would never say that, nor would I say "I did a test with the car". and I would think it a bit odd if anyone else said either.

For tests where I (or the person) is having ability tested, i would always use "take". I might use it for any sort of test.

  • I took a math test.
  • Jane took a spelling test.
  • Frank took a drug test. (but possibly "was given")

For a medical test, where the person doesn't really do anything but show up and let the doctor or technician perform the test, I would most often use "had" or perhaps "got"

  • I had an eye test
  • I got a blood test at the hospital.

I might also use "was given" or "they gave me" a test.

If I am the one performing the test, I would probably say something like:

I tested the car.

If I am performing the test, and I want to name a specific test, I might use "did"

  • I did a speed test on the computer.
  • I did a regression test on the software.

I would be more likely to use that form in a professional or technical context, where the details of the test are likely to be discussed.

I don't say that "did" is wrong in other contexts, but it does seem unusual to me.

  • Can you also include how you would use take in your answer please?
    – Kaique
    May 15, 2019 at 13:28
  • @Kaique does the change above cover this? May 15, 2019 at 13:34
  • Yes! Thank you very much. +1
    – Kaique
    May 15, 2019 at 13:35

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