I prepare lots of assessments for my students. As much as possible, I write instructions instead of questions.
Instead of …
- What are the roots of equation 1?
- How are the roots of the equation related to the graph?
I write …
- Find the roots of equation 1.
- Explain how the roots of the equation relate to its graph.
Typically (as above) emphasising the action very (command word) in bold. A test, or any assessment, consists of a series of these ‘instructions’, sometimes with sub-parts.
How should I refer to these … “questions”?
I see many books and tests from others simply keep referring to them as “questions”. On the front cover of assessments, I always have a short list of generic instructions related to the assessment. Like when and how to submit work. Investigations in our textbooks often refer to “Step 1” etc. But individual “questions” on a test are not ‘steps’, because they are not sequentially linked.
It doesn’t make sense to say:
• Answer the questions on this test paper in the spaces provided.
• Respond to the instructions on this test paper in the spaces provided.
just sounds horrible.