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Studying and Taking Exams

Four Levels of Questions 

Take a concept and insert it into these questions. Then look for an answer! These questions might be at the end of a textbook chapter, in the study guide, or in the course learning objectives; look there first. 

Level 1: Summary / Definition / Fact Questions 

  • What is the definition of…? 

  • Who did…? 

  • When did… occur? 

  • How much/many? 

  • What is an example of…? 

Level 2: Analysis / Interpretation Questions 

  • How did… occur? 

  • Why does… occur? 

  • How does… function? 

  • What are types or examples of…? 

  • What are the results when… occurs? 

Level 3: Hypothesis / Prediction Questions 

  • If… occurs, then what would happen? 

  • If… changed, then what would change? 

  • What does Theory X predict will happen? 

  • What hypothesis or theory explains this data or given information? 

Level 4: Critical Analysis / Evaluation / Opinion Questions 

  • Is… correct or incorrect and why? 

  • Is… effective or ineffective and why? 

  • Is… applicable or not applicable and why? 

  • Is… proven or not proven and why? 

  • Is… ethical or unethical and why? 

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of… and why? 

  • What is the best solution to the problem, conflict, or issue and why? 

  • What is my opinion? What is the support for my opinion? 


Improve your writing and study skills! Book an appointment with a writing advisor and/or academic coach on OSCARplus.  Questions? Email


Thorpe, J. (1999). Method of inquiry: Strategies for thinking and learning. Ryerson Polytechnic University. Available at the Ryerson University Learning and Teaching Office. 

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