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A guide to knowing and using the IB Psychology command terms to answer ERQ and SAQ in the IB Psychology examinations.

IB Psychology Command Terms and Assessment Objectives www PsychologyIB com Command terms and how they should be applied When answering IB Psychology exam questions it is important to identify the command term in each question These will determine how you should answer the question Command terms such as explain outline examine to what extent and so on carry different meanings and this should be reflected in your answers The command term in an examination question is very important It provides two things the examiner is looking for and specifically awarding or penalising you marks for The first is structure Are you structuring you answer according to the command term to answer the question Secondly has your answer effectively addressed the command term Here is one of the markband descriptors IB Psychology examiners are using to mark you Short Answer Questions i e those three 8 mark questions in the Paper 1 exam Not addressing the command term will limit you maximum mark to 6 marks instead of the full 8 had your answer addressed the command term 4 to 6 The question is partially answered Knowledge and understanding is accurate but limited Either the command term is not effectively addressed or the response is not sufficiently explicit in answering the question In the long answer Extended Response Questions ERQs those 22 mark essay questions in the Paper 1 and 2 HL and SL IB Psychology exams examiners are looking for and marking command term application in two of the criteria they are assessing Criterion B Evidence of critical thinking application analysis synthesis evaluation 4 to 6 The answer offers appropriate but limited evidence of critical thinking or offers evidence of critical thinking that is only implicitly linked to the requirements of the question Criterion C Organization 3 to 4 The answer is well organized well developed and focused on the question
IB Psychology Command Terms and Assessment Objectives www.PsychologyIB.com  Command terms and how they should be applied W...
IB Psychology Command Terms and Assessment Objectives www PsychologyIB com If the command term is incorrectly addressed in your answer you will be limited to a maximum of 6 marks for Criterion B maximum possible 9 marks and to a maximum of 2 marks in Criterion C with a maximum possible 4 marks that can be awarded That is an enormous 5 marks you are giving up for each Extended Response Question in the exams And you will need to answer three ERQs if you are a HL IB Psychology student and two if studying at SL Another 2 marks across three SAQs will be forfeited in the HL and SL Paper 1 exam Conclusion If you do not learn your command terms and practice tailored answers to the IB examination questions according to the command term requirement you will be foregoing many marks and at least an entire grade boundary in your total IB Psychology score possible two Knowing your command terms could easily elevate your IB Psychology Diploma mark from a 5 to a 7 to ensure maximum success or from a 3 to a 4 to avoid certain failure Thus the first rule of IB Psychology is KNOW THY COMMAND TERMS The tables below summarises how you should use the command terms when you are answering questions and how they apply to particular questions COMMAND TERMS COMMAND TERMS ASSOCI ATED WITH ASSESSMENT OBJECTI VE 1 KNOWLEDGE AND COMPRE HENSION Command term Definition 1 Define Give the precise meaning of a word phrase concept or physical quantity 2 Describe Give a detailed account 3 Outline Give a brief account or summary 4 State Give a specific name value or other brief answer without explanation or calculation
IB Psychology Command Terms and Assessment Objectives www.PsychologyIB.com If the command term is incorrectly addressed in...
IB Psychology Command Terms and Assessment Objectives www PsychologyIB com COMMAND TERMS ASSOCI ATED WI TH ASSESSMENT OBJECTI VE 2 APPLICATION AND ANALYSIS Command term Definition 5 Analyse Break down in order to bring out the essential elements or structure 6 Apply Use an idea equation principle theory or law in relation to a given problem or issue 7 Distinguish Make clear the differences between two or more concepts or items 8 Explain Give a detailed account including reasons or causes COMMAND TERMS ASSOCI ATED WI TH ASSESSMENT OBJECTI VE 3 SYNTHESIS AND EVALUATION Command term Definition 9 Compare Give an account of the similarities between two or more items or situations referring to both all of them throughout 10 Compare and contrast Give an account of similarities and differences between two or more items or situations referring to both all of them throughout 11 Contrast Give an account of the differences between two or more items or situations referring to both all of them throughout 12 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 13 Evaluate Make an appraisal by weighing up the strengths and limitations 14 Examine Consider an argument or concept in a way that uncovers the assumptions and interrelationships of the issue 15 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 Important information about IB Psychology command terms In the learning outcomes see syllabus content the command terms are associated with assessment objectives 1 2 or 3 and indicate the depth of understanding that is required of students in relation to each item of content The grouping of command terms under assessment objectives reflects the cognitive demand of each term and is related to Bloom s taxonomy
IB Psychology Command Terms and Assessment Objectives www.PsychologyIB.com  COMMAND TERMS ASSOCI ATED WI TH ASSESSMENT OBJ...
IB Psychology Command Terms and Assessment Objectives www PsychologyIB com A command term used in an examination question will be The same as that specified in the related learning outcome or Another command term associated with the same assessment objective or A command term of less cognitive demand For example if a learning outcome begins with the command term explain an examination question based on this learning outcome could contain the command term explain another command term associated with assessment objective 2 such as analyse or a command term associated with assessment objective 1 such as describe but not a command term associated with assessment objective 3 such as evaluate This means A lower level learning outcome e g Explain one study related to localization of function in the brain will never be asked as a 22 mark ERQ in the IB Psychology examinations It means you can plan your ERQ answers in advance and think about how you can adapt each answer if it is asked with a different command term Author Derek Burton Passionate about IB Psychology Visit www PsychologyIB com for more great IB Psychology teaching and learning resources
IB Psychology Command Terms and Assessment Objectives www.PsychologyIB.com                  A command term used in an exam...