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Understanding the Verbs

A GLOSSARY OF KEY VERBS

Syllabus outcomes, objectives, performance bands and examination questions have key words that state what students are expected to be able to do. A glossary of key words has been developed to help provide a common language and consistent meaning in the Higher School Certificate documents.

Using the glossary will help teachers and students understand what is expected in responses to examinations and assessment tasks.

Account

Account for: state reasons for, report on. Give an account of: narrate a series of events or transactions

Analyse

Identify components and the relationship between them; draw out and relate implications

Apply

Use, utilise, employ in a particular situation

Appreciate

Make a judgement about the value of

Assess

Make a judgement of value, quality, outcomes, results or size

Calculate

Ascertain/determine from given facts, figures or information

Clarify

Make clear or plain

Classify

Arrange or include in classes/categories

Compare

Show how things are similar or different

Construct

Make; build; put together items or arguments

Contrast

Show how things are different or opposite

Critically (analyse/evaluate)

Add a degree or level of accuracy, depth, knowledge and understanding, logic, questioning, reflection and quality to (analyse/evaluation)

Deduce

Draw conclusions

Define

State meaning and identify essential qualities

Demonstrate

Show by example

Describe

Provide characteristics and features

Discuss

Identify issues and provide points for and/or against

Distinguish

Recognise or note/indicate as being distinct or different from; to note differences between

Evaluate

Make a judgement based on criteria; determine the value of

Examine

Inquire into

Explain

Relate cause and effect; make the relationships between things evident; provide why and/or how

Extract

Choose relevant and/or appropriate details

Extrapolate

Infer from what is known

Identify

Recognise and name

Interpret

Draw meaning from

Investigate

Plan, inquire and draw conclusions about

Justify

Support an argument or conclusion

Outline

Sketch in general terms; indicate the main features of

Predict

Suggest what may happen based on available information

Propose

Put forward (for example a point of view, idea, argument, suggestion) for consideration or action

Recall

Present remembered ideas, facts or experiences

Recommend

Provide reasons in favour

Recount

Retell a series of events

Summarise

Express, concisely the relevant details

Synthesise

Putting together various elements to make a whole

A Glossary of Key Words © Board of Studies NSW 

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