27 Idioms for Education + Quiz


Idioms are like secret codes in the English language. They are phrases that don’t mean exactly what the words suggest. Instead, they have hidden meanings that can be puzzling if you don’t know what they are.

In this article, we will unlock the mystery of idioms for education. These are expressions that are commonly used in the world of learning. So, let’s dive in and “hit the books”!

idioms for education

What is an idiom for education?

Idioms for education are special phrases that are often used when talking about learning, studying, or being in school.

These expressions add color to our conversations and help us express ideas more vividly. Let’s break down some common idioms for education and understand what they really mean:


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Created by Dr. Julia Rossi

English Language Level Placement Test – (TEFL)

Take this quiz and find out how good your English is. Pass and receive an “English Language Level Placement” certificate.

1 / 20

What is a simile?

2 / 20

Identify the simile in the following sentence: “She swims like a fish.”

3 / 20

What is a metaphor?

4 / 20

Which of the following is a metaphor?

5 / 20

What is an idiom?

6 / 20

What does the idiom “break the ice” mean?

7 / 20

What is an adjective?

8 / 20

Choose the adjective in the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

9 / 20

What is an abbreviation?

10 / 20

What does the abbreviation “e.g.” stand for?

11 / 20

What is a verb?

12 / 20

Identify the verb in the following sentence: “The cat sleeps on the sofa.”

13 / 20

“Out of the frying pan into the fire” is an example of:

14 / 20

Which of the following is an adjective?

15 / 20

The abbreviation “NASA” stands for:

16 / 20

Choose the metaphor in the following sentence: “Time is a thief.”

17 / 20

What does the idiom “hit the books” mean?

18 / 20

Which of the following sentences contains a simile?

19 / 20

“LOL” is an abbreviation for:

20 / 20

Identify the verb in this sentence: “They whispered secrets into the night.”

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IdiomMeaningExample Sentence
Hit the booksStudy hard or start reading books.“I have a big test tomorrow, so I need to hit the books tonight.”
Learn the ropesLearn the basics or fundamental skills.“It took me a while to learn the ropes of playing the guitar.”
Read between the linesUnderstand hidden or implied meanings.“When the teacher said my essay was ‘interesting,’ I had to read between the lines to see what she really thought.”
Pass with flying colorsSucceed brilliantly or achieve excellent results.“She studied so hard for the exam that she passed with flying colors.”
Teach an old dog new tricksChallenging to teach new things to someone set in their ways.“My grandpa refuses to use a smartphone; you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”
A picture is worth a thousand wordsVisual information conveys ideas more effectively than words.“Instead of explaining the process, I showed them a diagram; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.”
The three R’s (Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic)Basics of education: reading, writing, and math.“In elementary school, we focused on the three R’s to build a strong foundation.”
School of hard knocksGain knowledge through tough life experiences.“He didn’t finish college, but he learned everything he knows from the school of hard knocks.”
Pencil pusherSomeone who does paperwork or office tasks.“My job as an accountant may seem boring to some, but I’m not just a pencil pusher; I make sure the company’s finances are in order.”
Straight A studentStudent who consistently receives the highest grades.“Samantha is a straight A student; she works really hard in school.”
BookwormSomeone who loves reading and spends a lot of time with books.“John is such a bookworm; he can finish a novel in a day.”
Learn by heartMemorize something completely.“I had to learn the poem by heart for the recitation contest.”
BrainstormGenerate ideas or solutions creatively and collaboratively.“Let’s have a brainstorming session to come up with innovative project ideas.”
Head in the cloudsDaydreaming or not paying attention to reality.“Sarah always has her head in the clouds during class; she needs to focus more.”
A piece of cakeSomething very easy to do or accomplish.“Don’t worry about the test; it’s going to be a piece of cake.”
On the same pageShare the same understanding or agreement with someone.“We need to make sure we’re all on the same page before we start the project.”
Know the ropesHave experience and knowledge about how things work.“She’s been working here for years, so she really knows the ropes.”
Play hookySkip school or work without permission.“I used to play hooky with my friends and go to the arcade instead of going to school.”
Learn the hard wayLearn from mistakes through difficult experiences.“I didn’t listen to my parents about saving money, and I had to learn the hard way when I ran out of cash.”
Pull an all-nighterStay up all night studying or working.“I had to pull an all-nighter to finish my research paper on time.”
Back to the drawing boardStart over because the previous attempt failed.“Our project didn’t go as planned, so it’s back to the drawing board for us.”
Burn the midnight oilWork late into the night.“I had to burn the midnight oil to complete my report for tomorrow’s meeting.”
Cram for an examStudy intensely and quickly before an exam.“I have to cram for the biology test; I hope I remember everything.”
Cut classSkip a class without permission.“I decided to cut class and go to the park instead.”
Don’t judge a book by its coverDon’t judge someone or something based on appearance alone; look deeper to understand.“At first, I thought he was unfriendly, but I learned not to judge a book by its cover; he’s actually quite nice.”
School of thoughtA particular way of thinking or a group of people who share similar beliefs or ideas.“There are different schools of thought when it comes to teaching methods.”
Take a crash courseQuickly learn the basics of something in a short amount of time.“I need to take a crash course in Spanish before my trip to Mexico.”

Education is like a ladder of knowledge, each rung helping you climb higher in understanding. If you’re looking for more comparisons to describe education, you can click on this link: Similes for education. And for a variety of metaphors related to education, you can explore this link: Metaphors for education.

Idioms for Education

1. Hit the books

Meaning: To study hard or start reading books.

In a Sentence: “I have a big test tomorrow, so I need to hit the books tonight.”

2. Learn the ropes

Meaning: To learn the basics or the fundamental skills of something.

In a Sentence: “It took me a while to learn the ropes of playing the guitar.”

3. Read between the lines

Meaning: To understand the hidden or implied meaning in a text or situation.

In a Sentence: “When the teacher said my essay was ‘interesting,’ I knew I had to read between the lines to see what she really thought.”

4. Pass with flying colors

Meaning: To succeed brilliantly or achieve excellent results.

In a Sentence: “She studied so hard for the exam that she passed with flying colors.”

5. Teach an old dog new tricks

Meaning: It’s challenging to teach someone new things, especially if they are set in their ways.

In a Sentence: “My grandpa refuses to use a smartphone; you know what they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

6. A picture is worth a thousand words

Meaning: Visual information can convey complex ideas more effectively than words alone.

In a Sentence: “Instead of explaining the process, I showed them a diagram; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.”

7. The three R’s (Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic)

Meaning: The basics of education, which are reading, writing, and arithmetic (math).

In a Sentence: “In elementary school, we focused on the three R’s to build a strong foundation.”

8. School of hard knocks

Meaning: Gaining knowledge through tough life experiences, rather than formal education.

In a Sentence: “He didn’t finish college, but he learned everything he knows from the school of hard knocks.”

9. Pencil pusher

Meaning: Someone who does a lot of paperwork or office tasks.

In a Sentence: “My job as an accountant may seem boring to some, but I’m not just a pencil pusher; I make sure the company’s finances are in order.”

10. Straight A student

Meaning: A student who consistently receives the highest grades (A’s) in all their subjects.

In a Sentence: “Samantha is a straight A student; she works really hard in school.”

11. Bookworm

Meaning: A person who loves reading and spends a lot of time with books.

In a Sentence: “John is such a bookworm; he can finish a novel in a day.”

12. Learn by heart

Meaning: To memorize something completely.

In a Sentence: “I had to learn the poem by heart for the recitation contest.”

13. Brainstorm

Meaning: To generate ideas or solutions by thinking creatively and collaboratively.

In a Sentence: “Let’s have a brainstorming session to come up with some innovative project ideas.”

14. Head in the clouds

Meaning: To be daydreaming or not paying attention to reality.

In a Sentence: “Sarah always has her head in the clouds during class; she needs to focus more.”

15. A piece of cake

Meaning: Something that is very easy to do or accomplish.

In a Sentence: “Don’t worry about the test; it’s going to be a piece of cake.”

16. On the same page

Meaning: To have the same understanding or be in agreement with someone.

In a Sentence: “We need to make sure we’re all on the same page before we start the project.”

17. Know the ropes

Meaning: To have experience and knowledge about how things work.

In a Sentence: “She’s been working here for years, so she really knows the ropes.”

18. Play hooky

Meaning: To skip school or work without permission.

In a Sentence: “I used to play hooky with my friends and go to the arcade instead of going to school.”

19. Learn the hard way

Meaning: To learn from your mistakes through difficult experiences.

In a Sentence: “I didn’t listen to my parents about saving money, and I had to learn the hard way when I ran out of cash.”

20. Pull an all-nighter

Meaning: To stay up all night studying or working.

In a Sentence: “I had to pull an all-nighter to finish my research paper on time.”

21. Back to the drawing board

Meaning: To start over because the previous attempt failed.

In a Sentence: “Our project didn’t go as planned, so it’s back to the drawing board for us.”

22. Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: To work late into the night.

In a Sentence: “I had to burn the midnight oil to complete my report for tomorrow’s meeting.”

23. Cram for an exam

Meaning: To study intensely and quickly before an exam.

In a Sentence: “I have to cram for the biology test; I hope I remember everything.”

24. Cut class

Meaning: To skip a class without permission.

In a Sentence: “I decided to cut class and go to the park instead.”

25. Don’t judge a book by its cover

Meaning: Don’t judge someone or something based on appearance alone; look deeper to understand.

In a Sentence: “At first, I thought he was unfriendly, but I learned not to judge a book by its cover; he’s actually quite nice.”

26. School of thought

Meaning: A particular way of thinking or a group of people who share similar beliefs or ideas.

In a Sentence: “There are different schools of thought when it comes to teaching methods.”

27. Take a crash course

Meaning: To quickly learn the basics of something in a short amount of time.

In a Sentence: “I need to take a crash course in Spanish before my trip to Mexico.”

Quizzes About The Idioms in The Article

Quiz 1:

  1. What does the idiom “Hit the books” mean?
    a) To read for enjoyment
    b) To study hard or start reading books
    c) To go to the library
    d) To write a book

Quiz 2:

  1. What does the idiom “A picture is worth a thousand words” suggest?
    a) Visual information is less valuable than words
    b) Words are more important than pictures
    c) Visual information can convey complex ideas effectively
    d) Pictures are confusing

Quiz 3:

  1. What does the idiom “Back to the drawing board” imply?
    a) Going back to school
    b) Starting over because the previous attempt failed
    c) Drawing pictures in class
    d) Finishing a project successfully

Quiz 4:

  1. What is the meaning of the idiom “Learn by heart”?
    a) To learn something by using your heart
    b) To memorize something completely
    c) To learn something by listening carefully
    d) To learn something by reading it aloud

Quiz 5:

  1. If someone is described as a “Straight A student,” what does it mean?
    a) They are a student who doesn’t like studying
    b) They are a student who receives the highest grades consistently
    c) They are a student who often misses classes
    d) They are a student who only studies on weekends

Quiz 6:

  1. What does the idiom “Play hooky” refer to?
    a) Playing sports during school hours
    b) Attending all classes regularly
    c) Skipping school or work without permission
    d) Playing musical instruments

Quiz 7:

  1. What is the meaning of the idiom “Burn the midnight oil”?
    a) To work late into the night
    b) To light candles
    c) To take a break from work
    d) To sleep early

Quiz 8:

  1. If someone says, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” what are they advising?
    a) To always judge a book by its cover
    b) To avoid reading books with attractive covers
    c) To not judge someone or something based on appearance alone
    d) To read books without covers

Quiz 9:

  1. What does the idiom “Cram for an exam” mean?
    a) To eat a lot before an exam
    b) To study intensely and quickly before an exam
    c) To sleep during an exam
    d) To skip an exam

Quiz 10:

  1. If someone says they are in the “School of hard knocks,” what does it imply?
    a) They are attending a prestigious university
    b) They are gaining knowledge through tough life experiences
    c) They are studying for an important test
    d) They are enjoying an easy life

Feel free to use these quiz questions to test your knowledge of the idioms discussed in the article!

Conclusion

Idioms for education are like the secret code of school life. They add flavor to our conversations and help us express ourselves in unique ways. Learning these idioms can make your English skills “pass with flying colors.”

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