Changing the direction of a question can move thinking from lower levels, such as recalling, listing or describing, to higher levels such as those which require applying information to a new situation.
For example, here are three questions which assess student knowledge of the properties of quadrilaterals.
What are the properties of the diagonals of a rectangle?
This question is at the 'remembering' level of thinking.
A quadrilateral has equal diagonals. What other properties would the diagonals need for it to be a rectangle?
Student still need to know all the properties of the diagonals of a rectangle but are ‘applying’ that knowledge in a new situation.
Kim constructs a quadrilateral and tells Kerry that it has equal diagonals. Kerry says, "It must be a rectangle." Kim replies, "No it isn't." What could Kim's quadrilateral be? Give reasons for your answer.
Student need to know the properties of all quadrilaterals as well as their relationship to each other. This is operating at the 'analysing' level of thinking. There are also many different answers to this question.