Using the preposition "for" in this sentence would be an adjunct to the noun "assignments" or "tasks". You could also use the preposition "from".
"The assignments for the exam were difficult." "The tasks from the exam were difficult"
The prepositional phrases, respectively, are: "...for the exam" "...from the exam"
In American English, it is more common to see students use the phrase, "The problems on the test were difficult" or "The questions on the test were difficult." rather than assignments and tasks. However, I understand this is a Russian course and the original phrase is in Russian, so the proper definition of "Zadaniya" must apply to the native sentence. It just makes for an odd sentence in English. Zadaniya would be replaced with problemy or voprosov if we were to use a more literal translator from English to Russian.
Well, I have no problems with "problems on the test" (does it work for the "exam" as well?) If it sounds OK in English, of course. Also, I have been told that "examination" and "test" are pretty much the same, though I wonder if no difference is felt by natives.
"Problems" only be translated back as задания, задачи, or maybe вопросы (not sure "problems" and "questions" are the same—(x²-3x+2)/(x³+8) > 0 does not look like a typical "question"). Works for me :)
Yes, test and exam are somewhat interchangeable. Tests are more common than exams. I think this is due to the full name "examination" being a more formal word.
For entry exams into American colleges, many require either SAT (Standard Aptitude Test) or ACT (American College Testing) to be completed by the student.
I agree with you regarding "problems/questions" in respect to Mathematics; "problem" is more apt to be used there. However, on a testing portion with Literature, History, Reading Comprehension, etc. It would be more common to see "question" used. e.g. "The question on the History test regarding Attila the Hun was unexpected; I got it wrong!"
(By the way, thanks for all your wonderful work on the Russian course - it has helped me greatly. I really mean this, as I have used many language-learning mobile apps. Until I used Duolingo, the best apps for learning Russian were Rosetta Stone and Memrise. Rosetta does not crowdsource content for their course, so the learning is very "old school". Memrise does use crowdsourcing and mnemonic image learning, so that makes it interesting, but it is still not as polished as Duolingo. Благодарю!)
The preposition 'at' an exam sounds altogether foreign to me. Even 'I sat near the front at the exam' or 'I couldn't remember anything at the exam' would be alternatives to 'in'.
I think I would say 'the exam questions were complicated' (they become questions on the paper even if they are worded as mathematical problems), but that doesn't make clearly enough the difference between Russian 'задания' and 'вопросы'. So I would stick to 'tasks in the exam' here, although I might not say it myself. "The assignments for this exam were complicated" is natural English, but I would understand from it that the speaker meant assessed pieces of work done over time, rather than completed in the exam session itself. That seems to suggest 'для экзамена' rather than 'на экзамене' to me. Do other people talk of the individual tests performed in an exam as assignments?
My dictionary gives only 'испытание' for 'test', and, from the example of 'проверочная (or контрольная ) раобта по английускому языку' for 'an English test', I would say follows the distinction I make in my mind between the two. In Britain at least, a 'test' on which academic results depend is in effect an 'exam'; but most of the tests which students are set don't fall into this category. Someone who has been through the American system, where progress is dependent on the cumulative grades awarded in a wider variety of ways, might make less distinction between the two.
Neuter nouns ending in -о or -е normally take the -а ending in plural:
- окно́ → о́кна
- мо́ре → моря́
- полоте́нце → полоте́нца
Яблоко, nouns like домишко (which are not even neutral) and nouns like очко, колечко (with the diminutive -к-) are an exception:
- я́блоко → я́блоки
- око́шко → око́шки
- кольцо́ → ко́льца but коле́чко → коле́чки
I put "the tasks on the exam were difficult" and it corrected me to "the tasks of the exam were difficult" which is a nonsense correction. They should both work, and a native English speaker would use "on" in preference to "of" or "at" in this sentence. (This could be somewhat regional and/or generational I suppose.)
A number of commenters have already pointed out the distinction between "at", "for", and "on". I ran into this today as well, and reported it (my submission: "The tasks on the exam were hard", and the suggested correct answer was "The tasks of the exam were hard.")
I don't know about other regions, but in American English "the tasks of the exam" sounds like your teacher is sending you on a glorious quest to complete the ancient tasks. While I think you can justify accepting it, it should definitely not be accepted over "on".
"At" doesn't carry quite the same connotation, but it still sounds very strange - like you're rotating through different stations doing different tasks, and at the exam station, the tasks were difficult.
Unless there's a strong regional difference, "on the exam" should be default. "For" should probably be accepted. "At" can be justified as well. But at the very least "on" should be added, and should likely be the primary answer.
From the perspective of a native speaker of the American dialect of English, the "Education" lesson has a lot of frustrating problems. Sometimes, colloquial language is demanded, and sometimes, it is merely accepted. Sometimes, only odd or non-standard phrasing is accepted; at other times, translations that are more literal, but awkward English, are rejected. Sometimes, precise distinctions are made between "tasks," "exercises," "problems," "classes," "grades," "schools," "faculties," and "departments," many of which are idiosyncratic at best; at other times, these are not enforced. This is one of those lessons that, again, has made me consider abandoning my daily use of Duolingo in favor of a less frustrating means of Russian practice.
Native English speakers in UK would say "in the exam". And the word exam would probably only be used normally at the end of term or for national one-off event. The rest of the time the word would be "test", say once a week on the previous week's work, or even day's work. A test is always in UK of less significance that an exam. If we use the word examination (in education though not in medical situations), it is much more formal than using the shortened word exam. When learning to drive, you take a driving test, not an exam.
The difference between a test and an exam is about the same in Russian, except we do not use тест much (at least, in educational contexts), and you still take an экзамен to receive a driver's license.
Экзамен is usually a significant event. Kids take exams after completing the 9th and 11th years of school; university students have them after every term (a semester).