Students should be familiar with the following key terms and phrases used in examination questions, which are to be understood as described below. Although these terms will be used in examination questions, other terms may be used to direct students to present an argument in a specific way.

Calculate Obtain a numerical answer showing the relevant stages in the working.
Comment Give a judgment based on a given statement or result of a calculation.
Compare Give an account of the similarities between two (or more) items or situations, referring to both (all) of them throughout.
Compare and contrast Give an account of the similarities and differences between two (or more) items or situations, referring to both (all) of them throughout.
Construct Display information in a diagrammatic or logical form.
Contrast Give an account of the differences between two (or more) items or situations, referring to both (all) of them throughout.
Deduce Reach a conclusion from the information given.
Demonstrate Make clear by reasoning or evidence, illustrating with examples or practical application.
Describe Give a detailed account.
Determine Obtain the only possible answer.
Differentiate Obtain the derivative of a function.
Distinguish Make clear the differences between two or more concepts or items.
Draw Represent by means of a labelled, accurate diagram or graph, using a pencil. A ruler (straight edge) should be used for straight lines. Diagrams should be drawn to scale. Graphs should have points correctly plotted (if appropriate) and joined in a straight line or smooth curve.
Estimate Obtain an approximate value.
Explain Give a detailed account, including reasons or causes.
Find Obtain an answer, showing relevant stages in the working.
Hence Use the preceding work to obtain the required result.
Hence or otherwise It is suggested that the preceding work is used, but other methods could also receive credit.
Identify Provide an answer from a number of possibilities.
Integrate Obtain the integral of a function.
Interpret Use knowledge and understanding to recognize trends and draw conclusions from given information.
Investigate Observe, study, or make a detailed and systematic examination, in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
Justify Give valid reasons or evidence to support an answer or conclusion.
Label Add labels to a diagram.
List Give a sequence of brief answers with no explanation.
Plot Mark the position of points on a diagram.
Predict Give an expected result.
Prove Use a sequence of logical steps to obtain the required result in a formal way.
Show Give the steps in a calculation or derivation.
Show that Obtain the required result (possibly using information given) without the formality of proof. “Show that” questions do not generally require the use of a calculator.
Sketch Represent by means of a diagram or graph (labelled as appropriate). The sketch should give a general idea of the required shape or relationship, and should include relevant features.
Solve Obtain the answer(s) using algebraic and/or numerical and/or graphical methods.
State Give a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.
Suggest Propose a solution, hypothesis or other possible answer.
Verify Provide evidence that validates the result.
Write down Obtain the answer(s), usually by extracting information. Little or no calculation is required. Working does not need to be shown.