The following sentence is from the web :

Can I appear in the exam next August when the final year of my graduation will have commenced?

I think it should be appear for the exam in place of appear in the exam.

Am I right or are both of these phrases ok?

  • Can I sit the exam? Commented Dec 23, 2020 at 8:56
  • Is this a formal letter to your university? "Appear" is more formal than alternatives, and you wouldn't use it outside an academic context.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 9:58

1 Answer 1


There are a bunch of problems with the sentence as proposed.

You don't "appear" either in or for an exam, you "sit" or "take" one.

"The final year of my graduation" doesn't make sense; a graduation is a thing that happens at the end of your course, it doesn't have years.

"will have commenced" is very clumsy.

I think you want something like:

Can I take the exam next August, in the final year of my degree?


Can I sit the exam next August, when I will be in the final year of my course?

  • 1
    I think the expressions "take an exam", "sit an exam", "sit for an exam", "appear for an exam" mean the same. Commented Dec 24, 2020 at 5:14
  • "Appear for an exam" sounds fine to me, while "sit an exam" sounds odd. I think this might be a US vs UK difference. I'm in the US.
    – windblade
    Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 5:17
  • "Appear for an exam" is jargon, and means specifically to fulfil the school/college/university's formal requirement that you go to a room at a specified time and hand in an exam paper with your name on it: often you are required to do this even if you score 0. You can take a test or sit a test any time, formal or informal, practice or real, which means you work through the exam paper and answer questions. You can appear for an exam but not answer any questions as long as your presence is recorded.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Feb 11, 2023 at 9:57

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