A Glossary of key words for HSC syllabuses

©Board of Studies NSW (1999), The NSW HSC Assessment Support Document.

Syllabus outcomes, objectives, performance bands and examination question0s have key words that state what students are expected to be able to do. A glossary of key words has been developed to help provide a common language and consistent meaning in the Higher School Certificate documents.

Using the glossary will help teachers and students understand what is expected in responses to examinations and assessment tasks.

Account
Account for: state reasons for, report on. Give an account of: narrate a series of events or transactions
Analyse
Identify components and the relationship between them; draw out and relate implications
Apply
Use, utilise, employ in a particular situation
Appreciate
Make a judgement about the value of
Assess
Make a judgement of value, quality, outcomes, results or size
Calculate
Ascertain/ determine from given facts, figures or information
Clarify
Make clear or plain
Classify
Arrange or include in classes/ categories
Compare
Show how things are similar or different
Construct
Make; build; put together item or arguments
Contrast
Show how things are different or opposite
Critically
(analysis/
evaluation)
Add a degree or level of accuracy depth, knowledge and understanding, logic, questioning, reflection and quality to (analysis/evaluation)
Deduce
Draw conclusions
Define
State meaning and identify essential qualities
Demonstrate
Show by example
Describe
Provide characteristics and features
Discuss
Identify issues and provide points for and/ or against
Distinguish
Recognise or note/ indicate as being distinct or different from; to note differences between
Evaluate
Make a judgement based on criteria; determine the value of
Examine
Inquire into
Explain
Relate cause and effect; make the relationships between things evident; provide why and/or how
Extract
choose relevant and/ or appropriate details
Extrapolate
Infer from what is known
Identify
Recognise and name
Interpret
Draw meaning from
Investigate
Plan, inquire into and draw conclusions about
Justify
Support an argument or conclusion
Outline
Sketch in general terms; indicate the main features of
Predict
Suggest what may happen based on available information
Propose
Put forward (for example a point of view, idea, argument, suggestion) for consideration or action
Recall
Present remembered ideas, facts or experiences
Recommend
Provide reasons in favour
Recount
Retell a series of events
Summarise
Express, concisely, the relevant details
Synthesise
Putting together various elements to make a whole