Command Terms

These command terms indicate the depth of treatment required for a given assessment statement. These command terms are used in IB examination questions, so it is important that students are familiar with the following definitions.

Objective 1
              Define    Give the precise meaning of a word, phrase or physical quantity.
                 Draw    Represent by means of pencil lines.
                 Label    Add labels to a diagram.
                     List    Give a sequence of names or other brief answers with no explanation.
          Measure    Find a value for a quantity.
                 State    Give a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.
Objective 2
         Annotate    Add brief notes to a diagram or graph.
                Apply    Use an idea, equation, principle, theory or law in a new situation.
         Calculate    Find a numerical answer showing the relevant stages in the working (unless instructed not to do so).
          Describe    Give a detailed account.
     Distinguish    Give the differences between two or more different items.
          Estimate    Find an approximate value for an unknown quantity.
            Identify    Find an answer from a given number of possibilities.
            Outline    Give a brief account or summary.
Objective 3
            Analyse    Interpret data to reach conclusions.
        Comment    Give a judgment based on a given statement or result of a calculation.
         Compare    Give an account of similarities and differences between two (or more) items, referring to both (all) of them throughout.
        Construct    Represent or develop in graphical form.
            Deduce    Reach a conclusion from the information given.
              Derive    Manipulate a mathematical relationship(s) to give a new equation or relationship.
              Design    Produce a plan, simulation or model.
      Determine    Find the only possible answer.
             Discuss    Give an account including, where possible, a range of arguments for and against the relative importance of various factors, or comparisons of alternative hypotheses.
          Evaluate    Assess the implications and limitations.
             Explain    Give a detailed account of causes, reasons or mechanisms.
             Predict    Give an expected result.
                 Show    Give the steps in a calculation or derivation.
              Sketch    Represent by means of a graph showing a line and labelled but unscaled axes but with important features (for example, intercept) clearly indicated.
                 Solve    Obtain an answer using algebraic and/or numerical methods.
            Suggest    Propose a hypothesis or other possible answer.