I read a sentence in a chapter in my book which was:

Will you stop writing a wee while, Mr. Evans, and listen carefully. Candidates offering German, 021 - 1, should note the following correction.

I don't think "offering" should have been the word to use in this context. And, instead "taking"would have been better. Am I right?

  • The story is called "Evans Tries an O-Level", by Colin Dexter, and it is entertaining to read because of the fascinating way he writes the distinctive speech patterns of the characters. It sounds like this must be some kind of specialized word usage... They aren't talking about "taking the course", but "taking the exam". Either way, "offering" doesn't sound right in current US English. I guess in an exam context you could rationalize the use of "offering" to describe the student "offering" his response to the examination questions (?). Maybe an expert on British University lingo can clarify.
    – Lorel C.
    Jul 21 '19 at 16:46

Students in British (and British Commonwealth) schools and universities can be said to 'offer' the subjects in which they take examinations. The usage is confined to academic institutions, and can replaced by 'take' or 'sit'. School pupils used to sit O-Level (Ordinary Level) examinations at age 16, and A-Level (Advanced Level, university entrance) exams at age 18 or 19. Colin Dexter was a teacher from 1959 to 1966.

A Comparison Of The Orders Of Merit Of H.S.C. Candidates Offering Two Modern Languages

British Journal of Educational Psychology (1945 article)

O-levels and A-Levels arrived in the 1950s; before that there were the School Certificate and Higher School Certificate ("H.S.C").

The Scholarship examination will be in two sessions, one for those offering the Humanities, and the other for those hoping to be made an award on the basis of their skills in a Mathematical or Science based combination.

Uppingham School Academic Scholarships (2019)

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