IB Command Terms

Suitable for IB Biology, IB Chemistry and IB Physics

Make sure you take the time to make yourself aware of these terms! It really can increase your mark in the exam.

IB Command Terms

IB Command terms are used in exam questions to indicate the way in which an answer should be phrased to score maximum marks.

Analyse

Provide an in-depth breakdown

Annotate

Label a diagram or graph with brief explanations

Apply

Using given knowledge, solve the problem at hand

Calculate

Reach a numerical answer with 3 significant figures

Classify

Order by category

Comment

Give a judgment on an answer

Compare

Write down the same number of points of similarity as there are marks

Compare and Contrast

Write down the same number of points of similarity and difference (half-and-half) as there are marks

Contrast

Write down the same number of points of difference as there are marks

Construct

Give a diagram or representation

Deduce

Provide a conclusion from the information given with approximately as many sentences as marks

Define

Write down the exact meaning (usually worth one mark)

Demonstrate

Show an answer with evidence, examples, or reasons

Derive

Algebraically manipulate known equations into the required one

Describe

Give a detailed explanation with approximately as many sentences as marks

Design

Produce a plan, simulation, or model

Determine

Reach the only possible answer

Discuss

Provide pro and con arguments to an issue with evidence

Distinguish

Write down the same number of points of difference as there are marks

Draw

Provide an accurate and labelled diagram or graph with pencil

Estimate

Give an approximate answer

Evaluate

Provide an unbiased judgement of a problem’s strengths and weaknesses

Examine

Give a detailed summary of the causes and reasons of a problem

Explain

Present a detailed argument

Explore

Write down your best guess using the given information

Formulate

Give a precise and organized explanation of a concept

Identify

Recognize the correct answer

Interpret

Use previous knowledge to analyse a problem

Justify

Provide evidence or reasons to support an answer

Label

Name the specified parts of the diagram

List

Bullet point a series of answers

Measure

Obtain the value of the specified quantity

Outline

Give a clear summary

Predict

Write down an educated guess

Show

Present the answer in step-by-step calculation

Sketch

Provide an approximate diagram

State

Give an answer without explanation or calculation (usually the answer is in the question and worth 1 mark)

Suggest

Provide as many possible solutions as marks

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