I am from Nepal, our primary language is not English, so many times there are confusion on words which sound similar and have similar meanings sometimes.

Recently, I got into a situation, where I heard that a friend had left his exam paper writing "dropped" on it, but he got C Grade. Upon questioning the examiner, he replied that the actual thing to write is "draw up" and not "drop" the exam.

Please suggest me what is the actual thing to do? Is it "drop" or "draw up"?

Hoping for positive responses.


  • It's still not clear what action you are asking about. Are you saying that the person taking the test wants to tell the teacher that they don't want to have a grade entered for this test? (I.e., they want to take a zero for the test?) Or is this a case where the teacher has allowed the students to each drop one test grade and the student is trying to indicate that this test should be the one to get dropped? Or something else? (I can't come up with any situation where a student would write draw up on the top of their test.)
    – Jim
    Aug 20, 2014 at 5:02
  • Sorry for the confusion. I mean that the examination board allows each student to leave out an examination, and if they write something on the top of the paper, they will not be evaluated. What is the word? "dropped" or "draw up"
    – openrijal
    Aug 20, 2014 at 5:17
  • 4
    In that case "Drop" (not dropped) would be appropriate. It is an instruction to the examiner "[Please] drop [this test]" After the examiner has followed that instruction it might be labelled as dropped but the student is providing direction, not a label. It also occurs to me that "draw up" may sound very similar to "drop" when spoken and so you may have misheard "drop" as "draw up"
    – Jim
    Aug 20, 2014 at 5:20

1 Answer 1


If your friend wrote "dropped" on the exam he wanted to drop, and the examiner subsequently told him that he should have written something that sounded like "draw up," it seems possible that the examiner was telling your friend that he should have written "drop," rather than "dropped," on the paper. The rationale for the examiner's comment might be that "drop" is a request or instruction to remove the grade from consideration, whereas "dropped" is a (vague) description or explanation of something that happened in the past.

It's still a somewhat odd thing to say, but perhaps the examiner was explaining why the student's notation "dropped" hadn't made sense to him. In any event, as Jim says in a comment beneath this question, adding the notation "draw up" to a test whose grade you wanted to drop wouldn't make any sense at all.

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