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10 Tips That Make Essay Exams Easier


Most students are not interested in working on their writing skills because English isn’t their favorite course. However, they soon become aware of the fact that the skills of academic writing are associated to all courses and all careers. In addition, they will have to know their way with words if they want to do well on the ACT, GRE and SAT. All these tests include essay questions on varying subjects.

Although you don’t know what the topic of the essay exam will be, there are few basic tips that will help you compose an effective discussion as soon as you get the question.

1. Be confident in your knowledge!

You have to spend a lot of time and effort into preparing for these exams before you can take them with success. Make sure to go through all readings that have been assigned, take notes and active participation in class. When you are confident in what you know, it will be easier to write a great essay on the exam.

2. Don’t stress out!

When you are faced with a time limitation, anxiety strikes and you are not able to think clearly. You have to stay calm – you have enough time to think about each question and provide the right answers. It would be good to practice some relaxation and meditation techniques months before the exams; they will help you stay focused and calm.

3. Think about the instructions!

Sometimes the instructions can be unclear, so make sure to read them carefully and understand what the answer should be focused on. If you are taking a standardized test, such as the ACT or SAT, you should visit the official websites and remember the guidelines and word count limitation.

4. Consider the topic

Make sure to read the topic as many times as necessary in order to think of a focused answer that will present the points in a logical order, summarize your ideas, and discuss specific facts and examples.

5. Don’t forget to manage your time

Before you start writing the essay, you should set a timeline that you’ll follow. For example, you may plan the first five minutes for analyzing the questions and planning how to approach them, and spend the next forty minutes on writing. You should always make sure to leave at least ten minutes for editing and revising. Set a realistic schedule according to the situation, your personal writing habits and the time you are given.

6. Brainstorm for ideas

It would be great to let your mind flow and write without thinking, but that is not something you should do on essay exams. You need to brainstorm for ideas and figure out exactly what you are going to write.

7. Make a strong impression with the first sentence

There is no point in wasting time in writing a lengthy introductory paragraph. Make sure to write a memorable first sentence that will lead to the main point without any delays.

8. Keep the course!

Don’t dilute the content with irrelevant arguments; make sure each sentence is related to the topic. Another rule you should remember is that you should never repeat the same information with different words.

9. Be coolheaded!

You should try to stay calm even if you are running out of time. You won’t solve anything by stressing out during the last ten minutes. If you don’t have the time to write everything you planned, you can list the key points you wanted to make. That will show that you don’t lack the knowledge; you simply went out of time.

10. Make it clean!

Make sure to read over the essay and fix the weak points before you hand it over. Some parts will probably need to be revised, so plan your time and leave space for editing and proofreading at the end. If you are writing by hand, the corrections should be as clean as possible!