Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7

Understanding question words

It is important to look for the question words (the words that tell you what to do) to correctly understand what the examiner is asking. Once you have read the question once circle the question word and then underline any other important key words. The combination of the circled and underlined words will tell you exactly what is being asked.

Use these explanations as a guide when answering questions:

Analyse Separate, examine and interpret
Calculate This means a numerical (number) answer is required. You must show your working, especially where two or more steps are involved.
Classify Group things based on common characteristics
Compare Point out or show both similarities and differences between things, concepts or phenomena
Define Give a clear meaning
Describe State in words (using diagrams where appropriate) the main points of a structure/process/phenomenon/investigation
Determine To calculate something, or to discover the answer by examining evidence
Differentiate Use differences to qualify categories
Discuss Consider all information and reach a conclusion
Explain Make clear; interpret and spell out
Identify Name the essential characteristics
Label Identify on a diagram or drawing
List Write a list of items, with no additional detail
Mention Refer to relevant points
Name Give the name (proper noun) of something
State/Give Write down information without discussion
Suggest Offer an explanation or a solution
Tabulate Draw a table and indicate the answers as direct pairs

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