'Describe' questions are asking you to present a series of precise details about an element of the course in lots of short and sharp sentences. In doing this, you may be asked to provide information about how something looks, how it is carried out in chronological order and/or how it is progressed or interpreted.

TIP: Think about who, when, where, what and how. Imagine you are writing your answer for someone who has never seen or heard of your method/approach. By the end of your answer, they should be capable of drawing it/setting it up and then carrying it out in chronological order.

Example:
Describe one method used to collect data on the physical factor. (4).
KEY:
Mark awarded

'A method I could use to collect data on the Physical factor would be the General Observation Schedule (GOS) with Video Analysis.'

'The GOS is arranged into a table with the skills (shooting, passing, etc.) placed along the top. Just underneath each skill, there are sub-columns for each technique. For example, the shooting column is further divided into 'set shot' and 'lay-up'. Down the side of the table are rows looking at how effective my performance is: 'very effective/fairly effective/ineffective.'

'My partner would record me playing three matches on the iPad. They would stand at the halfway line on a bench whilst recording. The matches they observe would be against opponents of a similar ability. After the final match, I would watch my performances back on the iPad. As I watch the video, I would fill out the GOS using tally marks in the appropriate boxes every time a skill/technique was performed. For e.g., if I scored with a set shot, I would place a tally in the set shot - very effective box. If however, I played a chest pass that found my team mate but was behind them, I would place a tally in the chest pass - fairly effective box. Finally, if I attempted a dribble but dribbled it out of play, I would place a tally in the dribbling - ineffective box.'

NOTE:
  • It can be argued that the candidate made 8 descriptive marks.
  • Their sentences were short and sharp and each one aimed to score a descriptive mark.
  • They introduced the method in paragraph 1 to set the scene and this is vital despite not scoring a mark.
  • Examples were used to further paint the picture although marks were not awarded.
  • Their answer was split into 3 clear paragraphs: method introduction, how the method looks and how it would be carried out in chronological order. Get the examiner on your side and make it easy for them to mark your work!

NEXT STEPS:

Having covered how to answer a 'Describe' question, we are going to move on to a more challenging command word that encourages you to start giving reasons why you used or did not use a certain method/approach. Let's look at explain questions.