What to do about badly worded questions?

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Usemame
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Sometimes, when completing a specimen paper, I find that questions have ambiguous wording or whoever set the question is not asking what was intended. What should I do if these come up in my actual GCSE?
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999tigger
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(Original post by Usemame)
Sometimes, when completing a specimen paper, I find that questions have ambiguous wording or whoever set the question is not asking what was intended. What should I do if these come up in my actual GCSE?
They are normally tested to avoid ambiguities.
Read the mark scheme. and see what they want.


My method is to define what interpretation I was basing my answer on and define it.
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inoubliable
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i hate those questions because i genuinely don't know what they're asking me about, like which topics i should talk about. and they come up so many times in our science papers, and i've lost quite a large number of marks because i talk about the wrong thing when they want me to focus on something else.
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lydiarutharnold
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(Original post by Usemame)
Sometimes, when completing a specimen paper, I find that questions have ambiguous wording or whoever set the question is not asking what was intended. What should I do if these come up in my actual GCSE?
Underline the key words, the question may be easier than it seems.
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Animotion712
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AQA board is filled with badly worded questions
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Usemame
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(Original post by Animotion712)
AQA board is filled with badly worded questions
Especially their geography papers
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Zasty
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Concider being able to decipher what they are saying part of the exam
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Usemame
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(Original post by lydiarutharnold)
Underline the key words, the question may be easier than it seems.
Sometimes it's just completely unclear what the question is asking.

For example, in a Geography specimen paper, there was a question which provided a table of tropical storms, titled "The most powerful and deadly tropical storms". The table included wind speed, death toll, and (I think) another statistic. The question was something like "Compare the most powerful and deadly tropical storms". I answered the question as if "The most powerful and deadly tropical storms " were one group, since they were treated as such in the question. Actaully, the mark scheme expected me to realise there were two seperate categories: "most powerful" and "most deadly". Luckily, I recently completed this question on another paper and it was corrected.

I've also had to answer a question where the exam board mixed up "x times more than" and "x times as many". Even if they used "x times more than" correctly, it would be an awful question as it is such a commonly misused phrase I'd have no idea if they were using it correctly.
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Zarek
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Bizarrely this type of problem is rife. It seems you need the right type of mind to spot the massive ambiguity that gets in to question papers. And, for some reason, exam boards don't get enough people to check them over to avoid this - not to mention the other schoolboy/girl errors that occur every year. They best perspective is that this failing should affect everyone equally and if it's particularly severe they will need to discount the question. Sometimes you might gain a bit of advantage by second guessing the befuddled logic too.
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