Command terms with definitions

These command terms indicate the depth of treatment required for a given assessment statement and relate to the course objectives in the “Assessment objectives” section. Objectives 1 and 2 are lower-order skills and objectives 3, 4 and 5 relate to higher-order skills. These terms will be used in examination questions, and so it is important that students are familiar with the following definitions.

Objective 1

Define
Give the precise meaning of a word, phrase, concept or physical quantity.
Draw
Represent by means of a labelled, accurate diagram or graph, using a pencil. A ruler (straight edge) should be used for straight lines. Diagrams should be drawn to scale.
Graphs should have points correctly plotted (if appropriate) and joined in a straight line or smooth curve.
Label
Add labels to a diagram.
List
Give a sequence of brief answers with no explanation.
Measure
Obtain a value for a quantity.
State
Give a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.

Objective 2

Annotate
Add brief notes to a diagram or graph.
Apply
Use an idea, equation, principle, theory or law in relation to a given problem or issue.
Calculate
Obtain a numerical answer showing the relevant stages of working.
Describe
Give a detailed account.
Distinguish
Make clear the differences between two or more concepts or items.
Estimate
Obtain an approximate value.
Identify
Provide an answer from a number of possibilities.
Outline
Give a brief account or summary.

Objectives 3, 4 and 5

Analyse
Break down in order to bring out the essential elements or structure.
Comment
Give a judgement based on a given statement or result of a calculation.
Compare and contrast
Give an account of similarities and differences between two (or more) items or situations, referring to both (all) of them throughout.
Construct
Display information in a diagrammatic or logical form.
Deduce
Reach a conclusion from the information given.
Derive
Manipulate a mathematical relationship to give a new equation or relationship.
Design
Produce a plan, simulation or model.
Determine
Obtain the only possible answer.
Discuss
Offer a considered and balanced review that includes a range of arguments, factors or hypotheses. Opinions or conclusions should be presented clearly and supported by appropriate evidence.
Evaluate
Make an appraisal by weighing up the strengths and limitations.
Explain
Give a detailed account, including reasons or causes.
Justify
Give valid reasons or evidence to support an answer or conclusion.
Predict
Give an expected result.
Solve
Obtain the answer(s) using algebraic and/or numerical methods and/or graphical methods.
Suggest
Propose a solution, hypothesis or other possible answer.