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A Level Maths Exam Command Words
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Terms in this set (25)
Advise/instruct
What does the person in the question need to know? What would you tell them if you were able?
Compare
Describe the significant similarities or differences between.
Construct
Use appropriate information or premises to form (may be related to proof).
Deduce
Like 'show' except that it specifically indicates that a previous result (or results) in the question is relevant.
Differentiate
Find the derivative of.
Draw
Draw neatly and accurately.
Estimate
Perform a calculation leading to an approximate answer.
Expand
Multiply out using the distributive law or binomial theorem.
Explain
Written explanation is required. This can include (or be substantially) arithmetic, algebraic, diagrammatic or graphical work as appropriate.
Express
Give an answer in the form described in the question.
Factorise
Write the expression as a product of irreducible factors.
Find/determine
Obtain an answer.
Forecast
Assuming the current trend continues, find.
Integrate
Find the integral of.
Interpret
Determine what the results mean in the context of the question.
Investigate/examine/test/carry out (a test)
Inquire into, for example by performing a hypothesis test that will lead to a conclusion relating to the context of the question. May be used in other contexts apart from statistics, for example 'examine the argument...'
Justify
Give working or reasons to support your answers.
Prove
Requires rigour. Formal use of the methods of mathematical argument is being assessed, eg 'Prove by contradiction that...', 'Prove by induction that...'. Sometimes will refer to a standard result for the specification.
Simplify
Cancel down fractions (possibly algebraic), collect like terms and use standard simplifying results from within the specification (eg ln e = 1).
Sketch
Does not need to be a completely accurate drawing, but should illustrate all the significant features of the graph/shape.
Solve
Find all values that satisfy the given equation or inequality.
Show
Construct a logical argument that shows that the given information leads to the printed result.
Verify
Requires a demonstration that something is correct or incorrect in a given case.
Work out/calculate
A calculation or calculations are required.
Write down/state/give
Intermediate working out will not be expected and should not be necessary.
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