In 2019, to take one exam board example, AQA’s GCSE geography examinations used ‘suggest’ 15 times over the three exam papers. All exam boards have to use the same wording when they define their command words, to avoid confusion. ‘Suggest’ means, ‘Apply understanding to provide a reasoned explanation of how or why something may occur. A suggested explanation requires a justification/ exemplification of a point.’
Put simply, ‘suggest’ means that the examiner doesn’t expect you to know the exact answer. Instead, you’re being asked to make an intelligent guess, in which you can explain why you think as you do, having studied GCSE geography. ‘Suggest’ is often used when you’re being tested on an unfamiliar location or photo. The examiner wants to know what geographical reasons you’d give to explain why something might have occurred.
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