When answering an exam question, it is important to consider the question requirements carefully to make sure you understand exactly what is being asked. We highlight some common question verbs used in exams
Actual meaning: Break into separate parts and discuss, examine, or interpret each part
Key tips: Give reasons for the current situation or what has happened.
Actual meaning: To put into action pertinently and/or relevantly
Key tips: Properly apply the scenario/case.
Actual meaning: To judge the worth, importance, evaluate or estimate the nature, quality, ability, extent, or significance
Key tips: Determine the strengths/weaknesses/importance/ significance/ability to contribute.
Actual meaning: To ascertain by computation, to make an estimate of; evaluate, to perform a mathematical process
Key tips: Provide description along with numerical calculations.
Actual meaning: To remark or express an opinion
Key tips: Your answer should include an explanation, illustration or criticism.
Actual meaning: Examine two or more things to identify similarities and differences
Key tips: Clearly explain the resemblances or differences.
Actual meaning: The result or outcome of an act or process or event, final arrangement or settlement Key tips: End your answer well, with a clear decision.
Actual meaning: Present the weaknesses/problems; evaluate comparative worth. Don’t explain the situation. Instead, analyse it
Key tips: Criticism often involves analysis.
Actual meaning: Give the meaning; usually a meaning specific to the course or subject
Key tips: Explain the exact meaning because usually definitions are short.
Actual meaning: Give a detailed account or key features. List characteristics, qualities and parts
Key tips: Make a picture with words; identification is not sufficient.
Actual meaning: Consider and debate/argue about the pros and cons of an issue. Examine in detail by using arguments in favour or against
Key tips: Write about any conflict, compare and contrast.
Actual meaning: Determine the scenario in the light of the arguments for and against
Key tips: Mention evidence/case/point/issue to support evaluation.
Actual meaning: Make an idea clear. Show logically how a concept is developed. Give the reason for an event
Key tips: Don’t just provide a list of points, add in some explanation of the points you’re discussing.
Actual meaning: Give concrete examples. Explain clearly by using comparisons or examples
Key tips: Add in some description.
Actual meaning: Comment on, give examples, describe relationships
Key tips: Include explanation and evaluation.
Actual meaning: List several ideas, aspects, events, things, qualities, reasons, etc
Key tips: Don’t discuss, just make a list.
Actual meaning: Describe main ideas, characteristics, or events
Key tips: Briefly explain the highlighted points.
Actual meaning: Set out a response using an appropriate format
Key tips: The format of your answer should suit the document you’re preparing.
Actual meaning: Advise the appropriate actions to pursue in terms the recipient will understand
Key tips: Give advice or counsel.
Actual meaning: Show the connections between ideas or events
Key tips: Relate to real time examples.
Actual meaning: Explain precisely
Key tips: Focus on the exact point.
Actual meaning: Give a brief, condensed account. Include conclusions. Avoid unnecessary details
Key tips: Remember to conclude your explanation.