The Language of Maths Exams: What does it all mean!?

What they say

Example

What they mean

Complete

Complete this sum... Complete the following table...Complete the sentence

Finish this off for me (Fill in the blanks)

Find

Find the sum of...Find the square root of...

Tell me what the sum of...Tell me the square root of...

Simplify

Simplify e + 7e

Write as simply as possible/ put this in its easiest form i.e. e +7e = 8e

Solve

Solve 9x = 45

Tell me what..(x in this case)...equals i.e. x=5

Work Out

Work out 62

Tell me what 62 is

You must show your working

If you don’t show your working you won’t get all the marks for this question!

Calculate

Calculate the average speed...

You will need to do a sum (with or/and without your calculator) to get the answer

Explain

Explain why this is wrong

Write down a reason why this is wrong/ tell me why this is wrong using a reason

Give the units of your answer

Make sure you put down what your answer is measured in i.e. cm, Km, mm, cm2 , mph, Km/h, cm3...(you’ll get a mark for this alone!!)

Describe fully

Describe fully the single transformation...

Write down a full description of what is happening i.e. for Enlargement you need to give the scale factor and the centre of enlargement. For a Rotation you need to give the centre of rotation, amount of degrees you are rotating and the direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise) For a Reflection you need to give the equation of the line that you are reflecting in For a translation (move) you need to give the column vector (how much you are moving in the x-direction and y-direction)

NOT TO SCALE

Usually next to diagrams/drawings

You can’t measure the lines/angles on this shape as they are not drawn accurately!

Use ruler and compasses only in this question

You will only need to use your ruler and your compass – make sure you have one of each!!! If not, ask for one in the exam!

equidistant

Equal distance

Map (coordinates & transformations)

Will map point A onto point B

Will move point A to where point B is

Fill in the gaps

Anywhere there is a blank space (gap) you should put an answer

Arrange

Arrange the following...

Put in a certain order

ascending

From smallest to biggest

descending

From biggest to smallest

select

Select two of these numbers...

Choose from the given list and use them to answer the question!

equivalent

The same

Explain how to do it

Write down how you would work out the answer, but don’t actually work it out!

measure

Measure the line above...Measure the angle below...

Use your ruler or protractor to find the length of a line or the size of an angle

Draw and label

Draw and label an angle of 50o...Draw and label a line of 6cm

Draw the angle/line with your protractor/ruler and then write the length of the line/size of the angle on your drawing

Give a reason for your choice

Give the answer and then a reason for why it is the answer (you’ll get a 1 mark for the answer and 1 mark for the reason in a 2 mark question)

represents

shows

Give your answer in its simplest form

Put your answer as simple as possible. i.e. for fractions always put your fraction as simple/small as possible so 3/6 in its simplest form is 1/2

hence

Hence, solve this...

Using what you have just done, answer this question

Give a mathematical reason

Using your Maths knowledge give a reason for your answer

estimate

Estimate 4.7 x 6.2

Don’t work out exactly but round up the numbers and then tell me the answer i.e. 5 x 6 = 30

Construct

draw

This is a sketch of...

This is not drawn accurately so you can’t just measure the sides/angles to get the answer. Use the labels in the sketch to answer the question

Show that

Show that 13/50 is the same as 26%

Tell us why...

Show your working clearly

Write down every step of you working out your answer – you’ll get marks for your working outs

The Language of Maths Exams: What does it all mean!?What they sayExampleWhat they meani.e. for Enlargement you need to give the scale factor and the centre of enlargement.

For a Rotation you need to give the centre of rotation, amount of degrees you are rotating and the direction (clockwise or anti-clockwise)

For a Reflection you need to give the equation of the line that you are reflecting in

For a translation (move) you need to give the column vector (how much you are moving in the x-direction and y-direction)