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Meeting Exam Objectives in Chunky Paragraphs

AS, A-Level
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

Essay writing in an exam is a skill that can be honed and improved with practice. Writing in a succinct, clear style and with the exam objectives in mind will help you to score well without having to produce lengthy answers.

The main skills tested by the exam are

  1. Knowledge
  2. Application
  3. Analysis
  4. Evaluation

Understanding the command words is an important first step ahead of writing practice answers.

  • The command words: Define, Explain, Analyse, Distinguish between, Identify and Outline require no evaluation.
  • The command words: Evaluate, Assess, Discuss, To what extent, Examine do require evaluation

Below I have written some exemplar paragraphs to specific questions. They are designed to show how a single paragraph can meet all four the exam objectives. Put several of these together along with good analysis diagrams will mean that you are a long way along the road to writing a really good answer.

I hope that this colour coding approach will help you to see the difference between the different exam objectives.

Exam question on lower corporation tax as a supply-side policy
Exam question on policies designed to reduce trade imbalances between countries
Exam question on subsidies for renewable energy
Exam question on a rise in the minimum wage

Outline is a command word that does NOT require any evaluation. Focus instead on clear analysis to outline the links - in this case between low interest rates and economic growth

Outline how low interest rates can affect the rate of economic growth

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