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Discuss, Describe, Outline, Explain

+4 votes
asked Aug 9, 2016 in BUS 4027W - Actuarial Risk Management by marciolopes (440 points)

I'm having difficulty understanding the difference between "discuss", "describe", "outline", and "explain". I've seen an explanation under slides ("Tutorial 2 - introduction to tutorials and studying") but I'm still battling in practice. They all seem to require the same input on any past tests and tutorials. 

1 Answer

+2 votes
answered Aug 12, 2016 by NLester (520 points)
selected Aug 13, 2016 by marciolopes
Best answer

For ARM, knowing what the question is asking is unfortunately as much an art as it is a science. As we said in class, examiners generally just tend to pick verbs to be verbs- so the most important thing is to consider the mark allocation.

In 99.99999% of cases, it is a half a mark per point. There are those odd anomalies where you can get one mark for a point, but don't bargain on it.

For ARM, the secret lies in identifying what is the most important and relevant points to bring up -- that relate SPECIFICALLY to the question. There will always be loads of valid points, but the skill lies in identifying what are the most valid points. In general, we are looking for breadth of answers - not one point explained very well. Chances are that if a point takes 5 bullets to explain, it's probably not the most relevant point.

Good luck!

commented Aug 13, 2016 by marciolopes (440 points)

Also from class, for anyone who missed it:

Outline – single sentence to each point (go really wide)

Describe – very similar to outline, but sometimes each point carries two ticks (go really wide) 

Discuss – similar to explain, long points carrying a couple of ticks per point

Explain – want to know process from start to finish (keeps you quite tight; not wide)

Contrast – compare two things: all differences and similarities, advantages and disadvantages