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Examination vs. Evaluation: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on September 21, 2023
Examination refers to the act of inspecting or testing something closely, while Evaluation involves assessing or judging the value or quality of that thing.

Key Differences

Examination and Evaluation both center on assessment, but they serve different functions. While Examination pertains to the close inspection or testing of something, Evaluation concerns itself with determining the value, significance, or quality of the subject in question.
An Examination often provides the raw data or observations needed. It's like taking a test in school. Conversely, an Evaluation interprets these results, akin to a teacher grading and commenting on that test.
Medical professionals conduct a physical Examination to observe a patient's health condition. After the Examination, an Evaluation of the patient's health status, including potential diagnoses and treatments, is made.
In the realm of academics, students undergo Examinations to gauge their understanding of a subject. Subsequent to these Examinations, an Evaluation provides a grade or feedback, contextualizing the student's performance.
Think of Examination as the collection phase, where detailed scrutiny occurs. In contrast, Evaluation is the synthesis phase, where judgment or appraisal of the collected information takes place.

Comparison Chart

Primary Purpose

Inspecting or testing closely
Assessing value or quality


Objective, data collection
Subjective, data interpretation


Often precedes Evaluation
Usually follows Examination

Contextual Example

School tests, medical check-ups
Grading tests, medical diagnoses


Data, observations, findings
Judgment, conclusions, grades, feedback

Examination and Evaluation Definitions


The act of inspecting something closely.
She underwent a thorough Examination before being cleared for the job.


The act of considering or examining something to judge its value.
The project underwent a strict Evaluation before approval.


A formal test of a person's knowledge or skills in a subject.
Students prepared for the final Examination in mathematics.


An assessment or appraisal.
The house underwent an Evaluation before sale.


A detailed observation or study.
The document requires a careful Examination before signing.


The act of judging the value or quality of something.
The manager conducted an Evaluation of the employee's performance.


The act of questioning someone.
The witness faced a cross-Examination during the trial.


A judgment or determination of the significance of something.
His novel received a positive Evaluation from critics.


The act of examining or the state of being examined
The examination of the evidence.


A report that specifies the condition or worth of something.
The teacher provided an Evaluation at the end of the term.


A set of questions or exercises testing knowledge or skill.


To ascertain or fix the value or amount of
Evaluate the damage from the flood.


A formal interrogation
Examination of the witness.


To determine the importance, effectiveness, or worth of; assess
Evaluate teacher performance.


The act of examining.


(Mathematics) To calculate the numerical value of; express numerically.


Particularly, an inspection by a medical professional to establish the extent and nature of any sickness or injury.


An assessment, such as an annual personnel performance review used as the basis for a salary increase or bonus, or a summary of a particular situation.
The result of the semestral evaluation will go towards your final score.


(education) A formal test involving answering written or oral questions under a time constraint and usually without access to textbooks; typically, a large, written test administered to high school and college students covering course material studied in a semester.


(mathematics) A completion of a mathematical operation; a valuation.


Interrogation, particularly by a lawyer in court or during discovery.


Determination of the value of a variable or expression.


The act of examining, or state of being examined; a careful search, investigation, or inquiry; scrutiny by study or experiment.


Valuation; appraisement.


A process prescribed or assigned for testing qualification; as, the examination of a student, or of a candidate for admission to the bar or the ministry.
He neglected the studies, . . . stood low at the examinations.


Act of ascertaining or fixing the value or worth of


The act of examining something closely (as for mistakes)


An appraisal of the value of something;
He set a high valuation on friendship


A set of questions or exercises evaluating skill or knowledge;
When the test was stolen the professor had to make a new set of questions


Formal systematic questioning


Examination of conscience (as done daily by Jesuits)


The act of giving students or candidates a test (as by questions) to determine what they know or have learned


An investigation into facts or principles.
The police conducted an Examination of the crime scene.


How is Evaluation different from Examination?

Evaluation involves assessing or judging the value or quality of something, often based on Examination results.

Which term is more quantitative: Examination or Evaluation?

Examination tends to be more quantitative, while Evaluation can be both quantitative and qualitative.

Is an Examination more objective than an Evaluation?

Often, yes. Examination focuses on data collection, while Evaluation involves interpretation.

What is the main function of an Examination?

An Examination involves closely inspecting or testing something.

Can Evaluation happen without Examination?

Not usually. Effective Evaluations typically rely on data or observations from Examinations.

What might a business Evaluation involve?

It could assess performance, value, or potential areas for growth based on Examinations of data.

How do doctors use both Examination and Evaluation?

Doctors conduct Examinations to observe health conditions and then make Evaluations for diagnoses and treatments.

Are these terms interchangeable?

No, while related, they serve distinct functions in the assessment

Do both terms only apply to academics?

No, they are applicable in various fields, from medicine to business.

Can Evaluation be synonymous with feedback?

Often, yes. Evaluations often provide feedback based on Examinations.

Is Examination always formal?

No, it can be informal, like a quick check or observation.

Does every Examination result in an Evaluation?

Not necessarily, but an Examination often provides the basis for an Evaluation.

Which step usually comes first: Examination or Evaluation?

Examination typically precedes Evaluation.

Is a test an Examination or an Evaluation?

A test is an Examination. The grade or feedback given after is the Evaluation.

Can one person conduct both the Examination and the Evaluation?

Yes, it's common for the same person or entity to handle both processes.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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