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Maths & Statistics

Command terms are used to in the syllabus and exam questions. The following is a list has of the terms followed by what is expected of you. It allows you to understand what you are expected to know, or the level of complexity required by a standard in the syllabus or how you should approach the question in an exam. Either way, it is vital that you get familiar with these terms.

Analyse
Interpret data to reach conclusions
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)
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
Define
Give the precise meaning of a word, phrase or physical quantity
Derive
Manipulate a mathematical relationship(s) to give a new equation or relationship
Describe
Give a detailed account
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
Distinguish
Give the differences between two or more different items
Draw
Represent by means of pencil lines
Estimate
Find an approximate value for an unknown quantity
Evaluate
Assess the implications and limitations
Explain
Give a detailed account of causes, reasons or mechanisms
Identify
Find an answer from a given number of possibilities
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
Outline
Give a brief account or summary
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
State
Give a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation
Suggest
Propose a hypothesis or other possible answer