(A) TYPES OF QUESTIONS
(1) All questions are either Descriptive or Analytical
(2) Descriptive Questions may commence as follows
“Describe”, “Define”, “Outline”, “State”, “What do you understand by” “How would you show”, “How”, “Explain”, “Distinguish between………………”
(a) When a question begins this way without asking you to do anything further, it is expected that your answer will provide a FULL account of the subject matter in essay form BUT NOT AN ANALYSIS.
(b) To answer this form of question, include the following aspect – a definition of topic, a description of the relevant points that relate to the topic, the importance of the point mentioned which may include their application to the item in question. Give examples made up or actual. And if possible include diagrams, illustrations or graphs. If necessary show how the item being written about differs from items that are very similar.
(1) Define mammals & describe how they feed their young ones. Use illustrations in support of your explanation.
(2) (a) Define inflation
(b) Discuss the economic consequences of inflation in a mixed economy.
-Example (1) is purely descriptive while the second part of Example (2) is analytical.
-Parts of questions that are only descriptive receive less marks from examiners (perhaps 25% to 45% of the total marks for the question). You should therefore allocate your time accordingly when answering such questions and restrict the answers to the descriptive parts to one or two paragraphs
(3) Analytical Questions: May commence as follows “Discuss”, “Analyze”, “Evaluate”, “Comment on”, “Contrast”, “Criticize”, “Compare”, “Assess”, “Consider”, “Argue the case for/against”. This type of questions usually require the student to
(a) Show with the first paragraph that he or she clearly understands the whole question and set up the framework the student is going to adopt for the rest of the essay for that question.
(b) Provide the argument for and against or state the advantages & disadvantages unless specifically asked to adopt a point is for or against the proposition.
(c) Handle the major elements of the topic as early as possible in the essay.
(d) Provide where possible supporting facts, cases or examples.
(e) Arrive at a considered opinion in favor of or against the proposition/discussion or conclude (if justified) that insufficient evidence is available to arrive at a firm opinion/conclusion unless the student is asked to adopt a point of view.
(4) Combined Questions: Can contain both descriptive and analytical or applied without being in separate parts such as – “Describe and analyse”………… or “Define social mobility. How may knowledge of social mobility help in deciding where to live”.
(5) In-between Questions: Include those that commence as follows – “List”, “Briefly explain”; — Questions that commence this way are usually part of a larger question. Such an introduction indicates that considerable lengthy explanations are not necessary. In the case of “briefly explain” for instance, a paragraph would probably be all that is necessary.
(B) METHODS OF MARKING EXAMS
(1) Examiners are human beings too. They will try most of the time to mark as fairly as possible in sometimes difficult circumstances. Such circumstances include.
(a) Student not knowing how to start
(b) Illogical presentations
(c) Using “it” approach by using “it would appear ………..”
(d) Not having an essay plan.
(2) Examiners will always look for the following in an essay
TO BE CONTINUED