The Essay Exam


Before taking the essay exam, it is important to keep a few important things in mind. You can improve your chances of getting better scores simply by paying attention to a few simple tips. Here’s what you should know to do well in your essay exam.

First thing first, always remember that neatness and organization will leave a better impression on your grading officer.

Things to Do Before Writing

Always start by having a closer look at the keywords, listings, etc., or else you will fail to recall them when panic starts to set in.

Determine How Much Time You Need to Answer Each Question

If you have to answer six questions in 60 minutes, you should spend only seven minutes on each question. Give yourself at least 18 minutes for review.

If different questions carry different marks, you should prioritize accordingly.
If you have failed to answer a question in seven minutes, stop writing and leave some space to come back to it later. Start the next question.

You can come back to incomplete questions during the review time. Nevertheless, six incomplete answers are usually going to get you more credits as compared to three complete answers.

Read Questions Carefully and Look for Choices

Pay attention to what the question asks you to do. You may have to simply compare, analyze, criticize, or contrast. Proceed accordingly.
Check questions closely and look for instructions, as this will help you find answers to some questions almost immediately.

Rephrase the Question Before You Attempt to Answer

Always try to put a question in your own words and see if the original version is saying the same thing. If there is a difference, you may have misread it. Read it again for a better idea.

Think Hard Before You Write Anything

The best thing here is to make an outline for each question and categorize them in the order you want to answer them. This will help you complete your paper within the specified time.

Don’t beat around the bush and dive right in to discuss the main point in your first sentence. Give an overview of your essay in your introductory paragraph and discuss points individually in every body paragraph. Use specific information and data from notes to back your argument.

Be sure to maintain organization and compactness in your answers.
Be sure to present it well even if you know a little.

Writings and Answering

Always start your answer with a strong and powerful first sentence. It should explain the main idea of your essay and discuss it in some details within the first paragraph of your essay.

Develop your argument carefully. Each paragraph in the body of your essay should start with a key point that you may have already introduced in the first paragraph. Now, develop that point in that paragraph and move to the next paragraph to discuss a different key point.

While moving from one paragraph to another, be very careful about the transitions. Be sure to maintain a philosophic attitude and avoid making definite statements.

Use Your Last Paragraph to Summarize Key Points and Findings

You should re-state your main idea and any evidence you’ve used to prove it in your concluding paragraph. Don’t forget to mention why you think your central idea carries scholarly value.


If you have worked on each question for the time you allotted in the beginning, the chances are you will still have those 18 minutes for review. Now, get back to the answers that you left incomplete. Tackle them carefully and review the ones you have already completed. Use this review time to check your essay for misspellings, miswritten numbers, incorrect dates, and outdated phrases.



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