Specifications that use this resource:

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.

Analyse

Separate information into components and identify their characteristics.

Apply

Put into effect in a recognised way.

Argue

Present a reasoned case.

Assess

Make an informed judgement.

Calculate

Work out the value of something.

Comment

Present an informed opinion.

Compare

Identify similarities and differences.

Complete

Finish a task by adding to given information.

Consider

Review and respond to given information.

Contrast

Identify differences.

Criticise

Assess worth against explicit expectations.

Debate

Present different perspectives on an issue.

Deduce

Draw conclusions from information provided.

Define

Specify meaning.

Describe

Set out characteristics.

Develop

Take forward or build upon given information.

Discuss

Present key points about different ideas or strengths and weaknesses of an idea.

Estimate

Assign an approximate value.

Evaluate

Judge from available experience.

Examine

Investigate closely.

Explain

Set out purposes or reasons.

Explore

Investigate without preconceptions about the outcome.

Give

Produce an answer from recall.

Identify

Name or otherwise characterise.

Illustrate

Present clarifying examples.

Interpret

Translate information into recognisable form.

Justify

Support a case with evidence.

Name

Give the correct title or term.

Outline

Set out main characteristics.

Prove

Demonstrate connections between items.

Relate

Demonstrate connections between items.

Review

Survey information.

State

Express clearly and briefly.

Suggest

Present a possible case/solution.

Which

Select or give the correct information.