Command words

Command words are the words and phrases used in exams and other assessment tasks that tell students how they should answer the question.

The following command words are taken from Ofqual’s official list of command words and their meanings that are relevant to this subject. In addition, where necessary, we have included our own command words and their meanings to complement Ofqual’s list.

Acknowledge

To give credit for, recognise, and highlight something, such as a selected source or the work of others.

Analyse

To examine in depth, study thoroughly, question, investigate and consider your own opinion or visual investigation of something.

Apply

To use knowledge, skills and understanding and to employ appropriate techniques when developing and progressing ideas.

Appropriate

Suitable, relevant, applicable to intention.

Consider

To think through, review, reflect on and respond to information or a theme, subject or starting point.

Create

To conceive, make, craft or design something new or invent something.

Demonstrate

To show, exhibit, prove or express such things as subject specific knowledge, understanding and skills.

Develop

To take forward, change, improve or build on an idea, theme or starting point.

Discuss

To deliberate, consider, talk over, debate or examine something.

Explore

To investigate, examine and look into with an open mind about what might be found and developed.

Evidence

To show, prove, support and make clear or verify something.

Identify

To recognise links and associations between things such as sources and connections with personal work, accounting for choices and decisions made.

Investigate

To enquire into, examine in depth, and/or analyse the relevance of a chosen subject and associated sources .

Organise

To collect, collate, arrange and combine elements of your work into a clear and logical submission.

Present

To give a response to an idea, theme or starting point that shows a personal, meaningful and organised fulfilment of intentions.

Realise

To achieve, attain and/or accomplish your intentions.

Record

To document ideas, thoughts, insights and responses to starting points in visual and written annotated form.

Refine

To improve, enhance and change elements of your work for the better.

Research

To study in detail, discover and find information about.

Response

To produce personal work generated by a subject, theme, starting point, or design brief.

Select

To make an inform choice of what to submit for assessment rather than submitting everything produced during the course of study.

Show

To indicate, explain, present and display your own thoughts and findings.

Study

To examine, consider, investigate, research and show an in-depth understanding of what you have found or experienced.