Saturday, 15 March 2008

Exam Question “Action Verbs”

One of my problems when sitting an exam has always been interpreting exactly what the question is asking, I have found that examiners post questions which always seem to be a little ambiguous in their meaning. Well at the back of my study book "A Study Book for the NEBOSH National Certificate in Construction Health & Safety" I came across a description of what the examiners means by their "action verbs" which a commonly in bold at the beginning of a question.
Define: - provide a generally recognisable or accepted definition

State: - a less demanding form of define, or where there is no generally accepted definition
Sketch: - provide a simple line drawing using labels to call attention to specific features
Explain: - give a clear account or reason for
Describe: - give a word picture
Outline: - give the most important features of (less depth than either 'explain' or 'describe')
List: - produce a list without explanation
Give: - provide without explanation used normally like 'give an example of'
Identify: - select and name
These seem to be the main "action verbs" used other question begin with "what, when, how" etc. When this occurs candidates should give their own explanations.