Meaning of Common Words Used in Questions

Meaning of Common Words Used in Questions


-The way you answer a question depends 


largely on the terminology which the examiner uses in his wording of the question.  The following are the more common words and their meanings.  


1-Account for:    Give the reasons for 

2-Analyse: Write about the various aspects of 

3-Assess:  Weigh up the strength or value of 

4-Compare: Look for qualities or characteristics that resemble one another.  Emphasize similarities among them, but mention also differences. 

5-Contrast: Stress the dissimilarities, differences, or unlikeness of things, qualities, events, or problems. 

6-Criticize: Express your judgment about the merit or truth of the factors or views mentioned.  Give the results of your analysis of these factors, discussing their limitations and good points. 

7-Define: Give concise, clear, and authoritative meanings.  Don't give details, but be sure to give the limits of the definition.  Show how the thing you are defining differs from things in other classes.

8-Describe: Recount, characterize, sketch, or relate in sequence or  story form.  

9-Diagram: Give a drawing, chart, plan, or graphic answer.  Usually you should label a diagram. In some cases, add a brief explanation or description. 

10-Discuss: Examine, analyse carefully, and give reasons for and against.  Be complete, and give details.

11-Evaluate: Carefully appraise the problem, citing both advantages and limitations.  Emphasis the appraisal of authorities and, to a lesser degree, your personal evaluation. 

12-Examine: Look at the various areas and issues involved. 


13-Explain: Clarify, interpret, and spell out the material you present.  Give reasons for differences of opinion or of results, and try to analyse causes. 

14-Illustrate: Use a figure, picture, diagram, or concrete example to explain or clarify a problem. 

15-Interpret: Translate, give examples of, solve, or comment on, a subject, usually giving your judgment about it.

16-Justify: Prove or give reasons for decisions or conclusions, taking pains to be convincing. 

17-List:  As in "enumerate", write an itemized series of concise statements

18-Outline: Organised a description under main points and subordinate points, omitting minor details and stressing the arrangement or classification of things. 

19-Prove: Establish that something is true by citing factual evidence or giving clear logical reasons.

20-Relate: Show how things are related to, or connected with, each other or how one causes another, correlates with another, or is like another. 

21-Review:  Examine a subject critically, analyzing and commenting on the important statements to be made about it

22-State: gift the most points briefly, clear sequence, usually omitting details, illustrations, or examples. 


23-Summaries: offer the most points or facts in condensed form, just like the outline of a chapter, omitting details and illustrations. 


24-Trace: In narrative type describe progress, development, or historical events from some purpose of origin.

>>> Summarizing 

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