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1. Education
a. written exercises, oral questions, or practical tasks, set to test a candidate's knowledge and skill
b. (as modifier): an examination paper
2. Med
a. physical inspection of a patient or parts of his body, in order to verify health or diagnose disease
b. laboratory study of secretory or excretory products, tissue samples, etc., esp in order to diagnose disease
3. Law the formal interrogation of a person on oath, esp of an accused or a witness



(Russian, ekzamen), in the USSR, a comprehensive survey of the knowledge of a student or of a person graduating from or entering an educational institution. Unlike tests (zachety), examinations—both oral and written—are always graded.

After the October Revolution of 1917 the system of examinations that existed in Russia was abolished. The following examinations were made compulsory in the 1930’s: annual promotion examinations in general-education schools, beginning in fourth grade; admission, or entrance, examinations for higher and specialized secondary educational institutions; and semester final and state graduation examinations in higher and specialized secondary educational institutions.

In 1944 graduation examinations were instituted for students of incomplete secondary and secondary schools. According to the Statute on the Secondary General-Education School of 1970, the procedure for administering examinations in secondary general-education schools is determined by the ministries of education (or public education) of the Union republics. Compulsory graduation examinations are given in the eighth and 10th (or 11th) grades. Students who pass them receive a certificate of completion of an eight-year school or a certificate of secondary education. Promotion examinations may be instituted for the fourth through seventh grades and the ninth (or 10th) grade by the ministry of education (or public education) of a Union republic. There may be no more than three such examinations per grade. The certificate of completion of an eight-year school and the certificate of secondary education may also be received through the system of extramural education.

In higher and specialized secondary educational institutions, the time and procedure for administering competitive entrance examinations, semester finals, and state graduation examinations are determined by the Ministry of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of the USSR according to the type of school. Students who have passed all tests are permitted to take the semester final examinations, and students who have passed all the semester finals may take the graduation examinations.

At many institutions of higher learning and at many technicums, defense of a diploma project or diploma thesis replaces state examinations in special disciplines. Vocational-technical schools and vocational courses give qualifying examinations for certain ratings, or ranks, in various lines of work. In addition to qualifying examinations, secondary vocational-technical schools also give graduation examinations in general-education subjects.


Narodnoe obrazovanie v SSSR: Obshcheobrazovatel’naia shkola: Sb.dokumentov 1917–1973. Moscow, 1974. Pages 161–64, 170–72, 228–35,420–36.


What does it mean when you dream about an examination?

Dreaming about taking a test could indicate that the dreamer has a fear of failure. Alternatively, such a dream could indicate that a specific issue of great importance to the dreamer reminds them of being in school. “Passing the test” can also be a metaphor for successfully concluding any number of different activities.

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