Imagine I took an exam and got 50 points. Which of the following sound right to a native English speaker?

  • I gathered 50 points.
  • I collected 50 points.
  • I received 50 points.
  • Obtained/garnered/attained/... anything else?

I know that "get" is too informal.

Besides that, do you gather/collect/receive/... 50 points from the exam? In the exam? At the exam?

I am employed at a Slovenian university, and I am constantly struggling with expressions like these.

Thank you very much!

  • Are the 50 points simply your mark from the exam or a form of credit for completing the exam?
    – KillingTime
    Jan 20, 2023 at 12:20
  • 1
    Collecting points sounds like a supermarket's reward scheme, and suggests you earned them a few at a time. If you consider got too informal, you could say "I was awarded 50 marks". Jan 20, 2023 at 12:35
  • It is a reasonable question but is best answered on English Language Learners Stack Exchange. As a native speaker I am happy with "got" and might also use "received". I would not use collect or gather, which both suggest the getting of the points was a matter of my selection and my grasping of them. It is not.
    – Anton
    Jan 20, 2023 at 13:22

1 Answer 1


I know that "get" is too informal.

It's not too informal.

There are multiple ways to say this depending on the context. For example:

  • I got 50 points in the exam
  • I scored 50 points in the exam

You take or sit an exam and get or score points in it.

"At the exam" sounds like it refers to the actual event

  • I forgot everything I knew at the exam
  • 2
    If the test was graded, in AE we'd say we got a 50 on the exam. Jan 20, 2023 at 13:25

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