By The Fastweb Team August 20, Writing an essay often seems to be a dreaded task among students. Whether the essay is for a scholarshipa class, or maybe even a contest, many students often find the task overwhelming.
Here are some suggestions on how to prepare for and write these exams. Exam preparation Learn the material with the exam format in mind Find out as much information as possible about the exam — e. Review the material frequently to maintain a good grasp of the content.
Think, and make notes or concept maps, about relationships between themes, ideas and patterns that recur through the course.
Practice your critical and analytical skills as you review. Focus your studying by finding and anticipating questions Find sample questions in the textbook or on previous exams, study guides, or online sources. Formulate outline or concept map answers to your sample questions.
Organize supporting evidence logically around a central argument. Memorize your outlines or key points. A couple of days before the exam, practice writing answers to questions under timed conditions. If the Professor distributes questions in advance Make sure you have thought through each question and have at least an outline answer for each.
Unless the professor has instructed you to work alone, divide the questions among a few people, with each responsible for a full answer to one or more questions.
Review, think about, and supplement answers composed by other people. Right before the exam Free write about the course for about 5 minutes as a warm-up. Exam writing Read carefully Look for instructions as to whether there is choice on the exam.
Circle key words in questions e. Manage your time At the beginning of the exam, divide the time you have by the number of marks on the test to figure out how much time you should spend for each mark and each question. Leave time for review. These types of questions contain information that may help you answer the essay part.
Start by answering the easiest question, progressing to the most difficult at the end. Generally write in sentences and paragraphs but switch to point form if you are running out of time.
Discuss relationships between facts and concepts, rather than just listing facts. Include one item of information concept, detail, or example for every mark the essay is worth. Organize the plan around a central thesis statement. Order your subtopics as logically as possible, making for easier transitions in the essay.
To avoid going off topic, stick to the outline as you write. Hand in the outline. Some professors or TAs may give marks for material written on it. Write the essay quickly, using clear, concise sentences.
Maintain a clear essay structure to make it easier for the professor or TA to mark: A sentence introduction, including a clear thesis statement and a preview of the points.
Include key words from the question in your thesis statement. Body paragraph each containing one main idea, with a topic sentence linking back to the thesis statement, and transition words e.
A short summary as a conclusion, if you have time. If it is easier, leave a space for the introduction and write the body first. Address issues of spelling, grammar, mechanics, and wording only after drafting the essay.
Review the essay to make sure its content matches your thesis statement. If not, change the thesis.Essay exams are designed to test your ability to synthesise information and to organise your thoughts on paper. The following points are designed to help you prepare for essay style examinations.
Make sure you understand the question and are clear about what you are being asked to do. Terms like. Essay writing technique By Bethan Davies – Last updated 24/07/ Being able to write well is not only fundamental to passing your exams, it’s a vital life skill.
Exam writing Read carefully. Look for instructions as to whether there is choice on the exam. Circle key words in questions (e.g.: discuss, compare/contrast, analyze, evaluate, main evidence for, 2 examples) for information on the meaning of certain question words.
See information on learning and studying techniques on the SLC page for Exam Preparation. In an introduction to an essay you should offer a short, concise summary of the main points to be raised. If appropriate, you could clarify key concepts.
Introductions go wrong when students go into too much detail, and then repeat their arguments in the main body of the text. Tips for Writing Essay Exams Back to Helpful Handouts o Writing Center Home Page.
Before the Exam: Prepare and Practice Writing a good essay requires synthesis of material that cannot be done in the minutes you have during the exam. In the days before the exam, you should: Anticipate test questions.
Look at the question from the last exam. Tips on Writing the Essay-type Examination The well-organized, neat-appearing individual will usually get the nod over another equally capable person who is disorganized and careless in appearance.
Although other factors are involved, the analogy to examination writing is a skill.