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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 the question.

We have included the following command words and their meanings to complement Ofqual’s official list.

Evaluate

Tests evaluation. It requires students to consider different viewpoints and arrive at a judgement.

Explain

Tests knowledge and understanding of (eg) teachings or practices. It requires students to identify at least two relevant points and demonstrate understanding by some development.

Explain different attitudes to…

Tests knowledge and understanding of different attitudes about an ethical or philosophical issue or belief.

Explain how X may influence Y

Tests knowledge and understanding of (eg) how a religious belief or practice influences individuals or groups.

Give

Tests recall of knowledge, eg two examples or two beliefs.

Why

Tests analysis. It requires a reasoned consideration of a single point of view through a logical chain of reasoning.

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