“List” This needs a number of features or points only. No explanation is required “Define / What is meant by…?” “Define” means you must explain clearly what is meant by a particular word or term. If you have been taught a specific definition then you should use this phrase. “What is meant by …?” does not require such a formal definition (but it is not incorrect to give one). “Outline” This means that you should give a brief summary of the main points. Look at how many marks are available and how much space is given for clues to the detail you need to give! Do not repeat the same point five times expecting to get five marks! “Describe” This usually involves a few sentences, normally recalling a procedure or method. If it asks you to describe a graph, you should describe the shape of the graph, picking out key points (e.g. “it begins to level out at …” or “it gets steeper at …”). Note that an explanation is not required, unless it states ‘describe and explain’If you are asked to describe an experiment, then you should stateclearly how you would carry it out. “Describe how you …” This does mean you, the AS Physics student. The examiner will be looking for evidence of
Physics Handbook 24 Dr. Martyn Overy “Explain” This is a whyquestion You need to give a reason or an interpretation – nota description! It involves you using your science knowledge to explain a process or application of a concept to a familiar or unfamiliar situation. Explaining a graph is not describing the shape of the graph, it is telling the examiner why, in terms of physics, the graph is the shape that it is. “Suggest” You will not have been taught a specific answer to a question that starts “suggest”. What you are expected to do here is to draw upon the information given in the question and upon your general knowledge and understanding of physics concepts to come up with an answer. There may be more than one correct response to a “suggest” question. “Give the evidence for…” / “Use examples from…” Follow any instructions very carefully. Usually you will be expected to refer closely to information given in the question. You will not get full marks unless you do so.
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