Wanikani has 受験 as “taking an exam” and “試験” as “examination”. Is there really a difference or can both be used for either meaning? Wanikani says that they’re both nouns/する verbs so I was just wondering. Also it keeps throwing me off but I don’t want to falsely teach myself a wrong meaning by setting a synonym.
They are different. 受験 is the act of taking an exam, so 受験する is “to take an exam.”
試験 is a test or examination, so 試験する means “to test (something)”. For that usage, it would be like 商品の耐久性を試験する (to test the durability of a product).
You don’t say 試験する related to taking school tests. Unless you mean like “test student’s knowledge” in the way I mentioned.