Which one is right

Please tell me which one is correct.

He ended up performing poor/poorly in the examination.

[color=blue]Which word is related to ‘poor’ or ‘poorly’?

He ended up performing poorly in the examination.

[color=blue]Perhaps it’s partly a difference between the two Englishes. I would definitely use ‘on’ for a typical school test.

I agree - in the US it would generally be “performed poorly on the test” and “performed poorly in the class”.

UK - in the exam/test/class

Yes, we also use ‘in’. In fact we treat ‘on’ as incorrect/unacceptable in both spoken and written situations. Of course, most of our English is BrE.

***** NOT A TEACHER *****

As another poster implied, “poor” is an adjective, so it refers to a noun:

  1. James is a poor speaker.

a. What kind of speaker is James? (Answer: a poor speaker.)

And “poorly” is an adverb, which often refers to a verb:

  1. James speaks poorly.

a. How does James speak? (Answer: poorly)


Welcome back, James, after a long time.

Well, though we are talking about the question of ‘in’ or ‘on’ here, your response deserves attention. Yes, as you say, ‘poorly’ refers to the verb and ‘poor’ to the noun, in which case the alternative sentence should be ‘He ended up with a poor performance in (on?) the examination’.

‘Poorly’ is used correctly (relating to how he performed) and does not need changing.

We didn’t say otherwise. Neither of us suggested changing. I mentioned only the alternative.