The Importance Of Understanding The Question Asked

As in day to day life, it is very important that you should know what the other person is asking you so that misunderstandings do not crop up similarly you should also understand the question asked by the examiner in order to give him the correct answer.

The most common mistakes committed by students are that they write big answers and tend to stray from the actual question asked. This is because they do not attack what the main query is; instead, they write big answers with a lot of irrelevant information thus losing marks in the process. In order to avoid this, it is important that you pay attention to the instructions given in the question paper and to the details of a particular question.

The first step towards this is to read the question carefully paying attention to every word so that there is no misunderstanding and if there is anything you do not understand then ask the invigilator to clarify that. This is not wasting time but it is saving time and energy.  Once you understand what you are being asked you will be able to answer correctly saving yourself a lot of time.

Special instructions like:

  1. Discuss.
  2. Elaborate.
  3. Argue.
  4. Critically evaluate.
  5. How far do you think? Are enough to clarify the demand of the examiner so pay attention to these instructions?

Some other instruction words like

  1. Account for – mean that the examiner wants you to answer the question of why, or how did the particular situation arise.
  2. Analyse – give a critical account of the happenings or reasons so that the sequence of the happenings is clearly understood, the why and the wherefore in the development of things.
  3. Comment on – means that you are not required only to describe but to give an analytical answer, the pros and cons, what is your view regarding the question and the developments leading to the circumstances prevailing.

These and many more words like this have a specific meaning and your answer to them should be specific too. Ambiguity or vague answers may make the examiner feel that you are taking him for a ride and he will not take kindly to this attitude. He knows what answer he expects from you and he wants that you should give him due respect.

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