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SAQ and LAQ Command Terms Distinguished

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I've a question that has been bugging me since the beginning of the year, because as far as

I have understood, we answer three short answer questions, one in each level of analysis,

and write an essay.

My teacher says that all short answer questions come from learning outcomes, but also that

all essay questions are based on learning outcomes. But how does one distinguish between

an "essay outcome" and a "short answer outcome"? Can anybody explain this to me? Is it

simply a matter of how complex the question is? I'm confused.

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I've found this confusing as well. From what I gather from the syllabus the command term is what distinguishes SAQ from LAQ. This is from page 8 and 9 of the syllabus:

SAQ command terms include

  • Define
  • Describe
  • Outline
  • State
  • Analyse
  • Apply
  • Distinguish
  • Explain

LAQ command terms include
  • Compare
  • Compare and contrast
  • Contrast
  • Evaluate
  • Examine
  • To what extent

Now from the all of the learning outcomes the syllabus further states that the command term used in an exam 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

So for one learning outcome like Explain one function of a hormone on behavior it could instead be Analyse one function of a hormone on behavior but NOT Discuss the effects of hormones on behavior.

This basically means that any SAQ command terms used in the learning outcomes as exam questions will always be SAQs even if the command term changes.

However with LAQ learning outcomes like To what extent do does genetic inheritance influence behavior, you could get a command term of less cognitive demand (SAQ command terms). So you could get Explain one genetic influence on behavior.

I have discussed this with an examiner to make sure I'm correct :).

The safest thing you can do is prepare LAQ answers for all of the learning outcomes if you want to be 100% ready for exams.

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