Answering open-ended questions (OEQs) in Science is a challenge for many students. Not only do OEQs test not only the students’ mastery of the taught scientific concepts, they also require students to demonstrate their ability to apply and communicate the concepts in given situations.
The next time your child encounters a Science OEQ, try using the mnemonic, A-C-T-O-R to help him/her answer the question effectively!
Using A-C-T-O-R to answer Science OEQs:
- Read ALL the words in the question, including the part-questions.
- Identify the CONCEPT(S) being tested in the question or part-question.
- Use the question tag or instructional keywords to determine the TYPE(S) of question(s) asked. Identify and mark the keywords in the given information and the question(s).
- “Describe/Explain/Why/How/Give a reason”: Answers are usually longer and more details are expected.
- “State/Identify/List/Name”: Give a one-word answer or a short phrase. An explanation is not required.
- “Compare”: Remember to show the comparison between the given variables. In some cases, comparative / superlative adjectives are required.
- Plan and ORGANIZE your answer before writing it down.
- Read and REVIEW your answer to check if you have answered to the question.
At Learning Point, our Science programme focuses on honing the students’ ability to apply relevant concepts and process skills to answer OEQs effectively by exposing them to a wide range of context-based questions and experiment analysis questions. The programme not only familiarises students with the commonly tested question types, it also equips students with the necessary skills to tackle new or unfamiliar questions.
To find out more about the Learning Point Science Explorers Primary programme, visit http://www.learningpoint.com.sg/programme/science/