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Command Words: Question Stems-Verbs

Command words appear in an assessment task and can also be called instructional, operational or task words. They tell students how the question should be answered.


Question Stems & Sentence Examples


  Question Stem Sample Questions using Category Verbs

[Finding out]

What do you remember about…?

How would you define…?

How would you identify…?

How would you recognise…?

Define mercantilism.

Who was the author of Billy Budd.

What is the capital of England?

Name the inventor of the telephone.

List the Australian states.

Label the capitals on this map of Australia.

Locate the glossary in your textbook.

Match the following inventors with their inventions.

Select the correct author of War and Peace from the following list.

Underline the noun.


How would you generalize…?

How would you express…?

What can you infer from…?

What did you observe…?

Explain the law of inertia using an example from an amusement park.

Interpret the information found in this pie chart.

Outline the main arguments for and against year-round education.

Discuss what it means to use context to determine the meaning of a word.

Translate this passage into English.

Restate the steps for a bill to become a law in your own words.

Describe what is happening in this picture.

Identify the correct method for disposing of recyclable rubbish.

Which statements support implementing school uniforms.

Summarise the first chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird.

[Making use of knowledge]

How would you demonstrate…?

How would you present…?

How would you change…?

How would you modify…?

Using the information you have learned about mixed numbers, solve the following questions.

Use Newton's Laws of Motion to explain how a model rocket works.

Predict whether items float better in fresh water or salt water.

Using the information you have learned about aerodynamics, construct a paper aeroplane that minimizes drag.

Create and perform a skit which dramatises an event from the Civil Rights era.

Demonstrate how changing the location of the fulcrum affects a tabletop lever.

Classify each observed mineral based on the criteria learned in class.

Apply the rule of 70 to determine how quickly $1000 would double if earning 5% interest.

[Taking apart the known]

How can you sort the parts…?

What can you infer…?

What ideas validate…?

How would you explain…?

Analyze United States President Lincoln's motives for delivering the Gettysburg Address.

Identify any biases that might exist when reading an autobiography.

Examine the results of your experiment and record your conclusions.

Investigate the propaganda techniques used in each of the following advertisements.

Identify the point of view of each of the main characters in Hamlet.

[Putting things together differently]

What alternative would you suggest for…?

What changes would you make to revise…? 

 How would you generate a plan to…? 

What could you invent…?  

Create a haiku about a desert animal.

Invent a new board game about Industrial Revolution inventors.

Compose a new piece of music that includes chords in the key of C Major.

Propose an alternative way to get students to clean up after themselves in the common room.

Plan an alternative meal to serve vegetarians during the BBQ.

Design a campaign to help stop teenage smoking.

Formulate a bill that you would like to see passed through Parliament.

Develop an idea for a science project that focuses on the effect of pollution on plant life.

[Judging outcomes]

What criteria would you use to assess…?

What data was used to evaluate…?

How could you verify…?

What information would you use to prioritise…?

Evaluate the accuracy of the movie Rabbit-proof fence.

Find the errors in the following math problem.

Select the most appropriate action that you should take against a school bully. Justify your answer.

Decide on a meal plan for the next week that includes all the required servings according to the Food Guide Pyramid.

Are the arts an important part of a school's curriculum? Justify your answer.

Debate the pros and cons of school scholarships.

Judge the importance of students reading a play by Shakespeare while in high school.


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