What are the command terms?

What are the objectives?

Where can I find them?

What do they mean?

These three questions are often asked by IB teachers and I hope to help answer these questions in my next few postings.

Firstly, where can I find them? That’s the easy part, look in the subject guide. You will find them listed on page 11 and 12.

Secondly, the objectives. The objectives are (imaginatively) called Objective 1, Objective 2 and Objective 3. All three objectives have a list of associated verbs that are listed at the end of this posting (they will also be looked at in more detail over the next few days).

Objective 1 is summarised as ‘Demonstate an understanding’. This relates to an understanding of one of the command terms.

Objective 2 is all about applying ang using the relevant command terms.

Objective 3 will ask students to construct, analyse or evaluate.

Paper 2 and 3 will include a command term in every question 1. So for example, a question may ask a student to:

  • State the term ionisation energy (objective 1).
  • Describe the trend in first ionisation energies down group 1 (objective 2).
  • Suggest a reason the second ionisation energy for each of these elements is significantly larger than the first ionisation energy (objective 3).

So, what are the command terms? I have listed them below:

Objective 1

Define, draw, list, label, measure, state.

Objective 2

Annotate, apply, calculate, describe, distinguish, estimate, identify, outline.

Objective 3

Annalyse, comment, compare, construct, deduce, derive, determine, design, discuss, evaluate, explain, predict, show, sketch, solve, suggest.

1 http://www.chemistry-inthinking.co.uk/essential-facts/objectives-and-command-terms.htm