The Essay Exam
One of the things that frighten students the most is the essay exam. The most important thing to remember before taking such exam is that it gives you a chance to improve the overall grade. That being considered, you should do your best to write excellent content and impress your professor with strong arguments.
Among the first things you should pay attention to is the organization of your essay. The first impression your writing leaves is very important, so make sure to organize the content in a clean manner that makes it easy to read.
How to write the answers on an essay exam
When you get the essay question, anxiety and panic start to set in and you are only interested in writing something as fast as possible. That’s the wrong strategy. It is very important to keep a relaxed state of mind and convince yourself that you can write a brilliant essay as long as you stay calm. There are few things you should do when completing an essay exam:
1. Pay attention to the time
If there are six essay questions and you have one hour to answer them, you should plan to dedicate about seven minutes on each question. Make sure to leave some spare time to go through the answers and correct the mistakes.
If some questions are more complex than others and carry greater marks, you should give them priority and more time. When a certain question takes more time than planned, you should stop struggling with it and carry on with the rest. You will come back to it after answering the other questions. It’s better to submit six incomplete answers than submitting an exam with one brilliant answer and five unanswered questions.
2. Pay attention to the questions and consider different alternatives!
Some students don’t even read the entire question and start writing whatever comes to their minds. That’s something you shouldn’t do. Different essay questions demand different types of answers; you may need to contrast, analyze, compare, or criticize. If you don’t get the point, you won’t get any points.
3. Think before you write!
Smart students plan their time before starting to write, make an outline for each essay question and categorize the questions according to complexity. This is a strategy you should definitely implement! If you think about the question before answering it, your ideas will flow and you will be able to provide strong, logical arguments.
4. Make a strong impression
A powerful first sentence is more important than you think. In the beginning of your answer, you must capture the main idea of your argument. After the powerful first sentence, you can continue developing your argument. The essay’s body should contain separate paragraphs that elaborate different, but connected key points. Make logical transitions between the paragraphs.
5. Write strong conclusions!
In the conclusion of an essay, you should summarize the key points you elaborated through the paragraphs and bring them to a logical ending. Professors are always impressed when the central idea is valuable from a scholarly aspect, so try to meet that expectation and restate that idea in the concluding paragraph.
6. Don’t forget to review!
If you planned your time wisely and managed to stick to the schedule, then you have enough time left for revisions. Get back to the essays you left incomplete and do your best to write them. You should also check all answers for incorrect details, miswritten numbers, misspellings, and other errors that would affect the grade. The most important thing to keep in mind is: don’t panic!