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Command words

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

The following command words are from Ofqual’s official list. Their meanings are relevant to this subject.


Separate information into components and identify characteristics (examine in detail to explain and interpret)


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


Clarify something by providing more detail


Give reasons for a view or idea on why an action should be undertaken. This should always be supported with evidence


Make an informed judgment, based on the evidence available

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