Command terms are KEY element of IB psychology as they inform you as to what type of response you are required to write. Not all command terms require the same information and the extent to which you understand what is required of you will directly correlate with your performance on the assessment tasks. Thus it is important you have a clear understanding of what each command term requires. This will be part of our learning throughout the year.
The command terms are defined as follows:
Analyse Break down in order to bring out the essential elements or structure.
Apply Use an idea, equation, principle, theory or law in relation to a given problem or issue.
Compare Give an account of the similarities between two (or more) items or situations, referring to both (all) of them throughout.
Compare and contrast Give an account of similarities and differences between two (or more) items or situations, referring to both (all) of them throughout.
Contrast Give an account of the differences between two (or more) items or situations,referring to both (all) of them throughout.
Define Give the precise meaning of a word, phrase, concept or physical quantity.
Describe Give a detailed account.
Discuss Offer a considered and balanced review that includes a range of arguments, factors or hypotheses. Opinions or conclusions should be presented clearly and supported by appropriate evidence.
Distinguish Make clear the differences between two or more concepts or items.
Evaluate Make an appraisal by weighing up the strengths and limitations.
Examine Consider an argument or concept in a way that uncovers the assumptions and interrelationships of the issue.
Explain Give a detailed account including reasons or causes.
Outline Give a brief account or summary.
State Give a specific name, value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation.
To what extent Consider the merits or otherwise of an argument or concept. Opinions and conclusions should be presented clearly and supported with appropriate evidence and sound argument.