We have the adjective mock in English to describe anything that is going to be real (to me, it has a direct connotation of a simulated thing like an examination).
For instance, we have a test standard called mock test/exam/etc. which as a practice is taken before the official examination! Like: In IELTS mock test (BE)

But as you see, it is a sort of BrE term which suits for the IELTS examination.

What do you call such simulated exams for an American standard like TOEFL?

There are some links for TOEFL mock test, but as dictionaries mentioned, the word "mock" does not fall into the AE terminology.

  • 3
    As a native US English speaker, I don't perceive "mock" as exclusively (or even primarily) British. I hear it and use it as "simulated" or "practice" or "not real" all the time.
    – Chad
    May 30, 2019 at 14:17
  • 2
    "mock" also means imitation as in "Mock turtle soup" which is an imitaiton of actual turtle soup, and whose name was the subject of wordplay in Alice in Wonderland. And i agree with @Chad that "mock" is often used for "simulated" in US Englaish, althoguh not usually for tests. May 30, 2019 at 14:18
  • The phrase mock test would be readily understood in American English. (If you don't believe me, simply type the words Mel Kiper mock draft into Google and see how many hits you get.)
    – J.R.
    May 30, 2019 at 21:17

1 Answer 1


They’re called practice tests:

Practice tests don't have to be done under the same conditions as the real test and often aren't.

You can also call the questions practice questions.

(However a practice interview, like for a job, is called a mock interview, so you would probably be understood if you said mock exam, even in the US. "Mocks" as a noun would be unlikely to be understood though.)

  • Thank you @Laurel. But do the "practice" and "mock" mean the same in this sense? How can I differentiate these two?
    – A-friend
    May 30, 2019 at 16:38
  • In Britain, secondary school pupils take 'practice' or 'mock' examinations before doing the real ones, and this is very often called sitting or doing their 'mocks'. May 30, 2019 at 16:48
  • @A-friend It says that mock exams are usually taken in school, but practice tests aren't usually done under test conditions. Or at least that's been my experience. I don't remember taking any practice tests under real exam conditions, probably because there was only 45 minutes per class in high school. (I remember taking the PSAT, but I would not consider this a practice test because the results mattered for things like scholarships.)
    – Laurel
    May 30, 2019 at 17:03
  • UK 'mocks' are done under identical conditions to those of real examinations. May 30, 2019 at 19:18

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