How do I know what an exam question requires of me? How do I answer them?

  • Google+ icon
  • LinkedIn icon
  • 435 views

That's a good question, as exam technique is very important!

There are a number of clues you can look for in an exam question which guide you on how to answer it.

Firstly, you must look at the number of marks it is worth - this indicates how much you should write. For example a 4 mark question is likely to just require a brief explanation or description, or perhaps for you to name a number of features of something. Whereas a 12 mark question may require a bit more of a structure, for instance three paragraphs, and you may be required to argue a specific point or make a comparison.

Another thing you must be aware of is the key command word in the question. If a question asks you 'describe' features of a meander, you don't need to waste time explaining how one forms, as that is not what the question is asking.

Get the idea? Are there any command words that you don't understand the meaning of?

Let's have a look at some example exam questions and you can have a go at explaining to me what you think they are asking of you.

Carys R. A Level Geography tutor, GCSE Geography tutor, A Level Psych...

About the author

is an online GCSE Geography tutor with MyTutor studying at Durham University

Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist.

95% of our customers rate us

Browse tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok