The words listed below are often found on tests and exams.  Get to know what they mean so that your are answering what is being asked accurately.

Analyze Examine the main ideas in detail and show how they are related

e.g. “Analyze the appropriateness of your career choice in terms of your interests, personality, skills and values.”

Compare Bring out points that are the same and the points that are different.

e.g. “Compare the game of football to rugby.”

Contrast Discuss the differences only

e.g. “Contrast two characters’ views within a specific novel or movie.”

Define State the meaning of the word.  Be specific, and don’t use the term in the definition

e.g. “Define the following musical terms: forte, piano, fermata”

Describe Tell about in detail

e.g. “Describe how the digestive system works”

Diagram or Illustration Draw a picture, chart or image to illustrate the information

e.g. “Diagram the endocrine system of the frog” or “Illustrate the use of a birds’ mouth on a rafter.”

Discuss Explain carefully by stating the pros and cons of an issue

e.g. “Discuss in full five factors that can lead to stress.”

Evaluate Examine and judge the advantages and disadvantages

e.g. “Examine the effectiveness of the criminal justice system.”

Explain Tell about a topic or tell how to do it (make it clear)

e.g. “Explain the nutritional benefits of Vitamin C.”

Justify Show to be right

e.g. “Justify the enforcement of the War Measures Act during the Quebec Crisis.”

List Make a list of names, factors, terms or words

e.g. “List the capitals of the provinces, starting with the left-most.”

Outline List the main ideas or sketch of a plan

e.g. “Outline the steps required to apply for a passport.”

Prove Show to be true

e.g. “Prove that 20 – 4x = 0, where x = 5”

State To tell or declare

e.g. “State the root causes of the Great War.”

Summarize To make a summary or tell the most important parts

e.g. “Summarize the plot line of Hamlet.”