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. Stop briefly to make a note of these on your original outline. Be as neat and clear as possible. Within the time available, write a comprehensive, specific answer. Watch the clock carefully to ensure that you do not spend too much time on one answer.
You must be realistic about the time constraints of an essay exam. If you write one dazzling answer on an exam with three equally-weighted required questions, you earn only 33 points—not enough to pass at most colleges. This may seem unfair, but keep in mind that instructors plan exams to be reasonably comprehensive. They want you to write about the course materials in two or three or more ways, not just one way. Hint: if you finish a half-hour essay in 10 minutes, you may need to develop some of your ideas more fully.
If you run out of time when you are writing an answer, jot down the remaining main ideas from your outline, just to show that you know the material and with more time could have continued your exposition. Double-space to leave room for additions, and strike through errors or changes with one straight line avoid erasing or scribbling over. Keep things as clean as possible. You never know what will earn you partial credit. Write legibly and proofread. Remember that your instructor will likely be reading a large pile of exams.
The more difficult they are to read, the more exasperated the instructor might become. Your instructor also cannot give you credit for what they cannot understand. A few minutes of careful proofreading can improve your grade. Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind in writing essay exams is that you have a limited amount of time and space in which to get across the knowledge you have acquired and your ability to use it.
Start planning if you can. After all, professors want to mark high-quality essays written by well-prepared students!
This heads-up gives you a great chance to prepare for the exam. Consider practicing writing under time pressure. Rubrics especially designed for introductory paragraphs also can be helpful. After having students collect examples of several strong openings, you may want to ask them to develop their own rubric for introductory paragraphs. Use paragraphs and topic sentences. Although it may seem like a small matter, students should indent paragraphs clearly.
A paper without indentation or with unclear indentation often confuses a Reader. Paragraphs create the fundamental structure of the essay, and without them good ideas can get muddled. Many writers find topic sentences a useful tool both for organizing paragraphs and also for helping Readers navigate through the essay.
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Does eating gluten-free really make people healthier? This will help you forecast the questions that will be on the exam, and prepare for them. You might want to use briefer paragraphs than you ordinarily do and signal clear relations between paragraphs with transition phrases or sentences. The more you panic, the more mistakes you are liable to make. I know of so many people who have been embarrassed by parents that will wave at you from across a room. Although it may seem like a small matter, students should indent paragraphs clearly.
One way to be sure you answer them all is to number them in the question and in your outline. I often suggest that my own students not only mark up the passage, but also use the margins to fill in some of the acronym steps. With this in mind, try to relax and just do the best you can. If this is not your strong suit or the conventions for a particular discipline are different from what you are used to, ask your TA or the Learning Center for advice. Short, choppy sentences without variety indicate a student who has little background in grammar and style, perhaps someone who has read and written minimally. How important is it to "eat the rainbow?
Are beauty pageants beneficial to women? For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial. Gefvert, Constance J. Review, think about, and supplement answers composed by other people. Why do instructors give essay exams?
Encourage them to use specific quotations to back up their assertions. If you have time left at the end of the exam for review, having the ability to skim quickly through your work and write revisions in blank spaces will be incredibly helpful.