The Essay Exam
Organization and neatness have merit
Before writing out the exam:
Write down their key words, listings, etc, as they are fresh in your mind.
Otherwise these ideas may be blocked (or be unavailable) when the time comes to write the later questions. This will reduce "clutching" or panic (anxiety, actually fear which disrupts thoughts).
Set up a time schedule
to answer each question and to review/edit all questions
If six questions are to be answered in sixty minutes,
allow yourself only seven minutes for each
If questions are "weighted",
prioritize that into your time allocation for each question
When the time is up for one question, stop writing,
leave ...view middle of the document...
Writing & answering:
Begin with a strong first sentence
that states the main idea of your essay.
Continue this first paragraph by presenting key points
Develop your argument
Begin each paragraph
with a key point from the introduction
Develop each point
in a complete paragraph
or enumerate, to connect your points
Hold to your time
allocation and organization
Avoid very definite statements
when possible; a qualified statement connotes a philosophic attitude, the mark of an educated person
Qualify answers when in doubt.
It is better to say "toward the end of the 19th century" than to say "in 1894" when you can't remember, whether it's 1884 or 1894. In many cases, the approximate time is all that is wanted; unfortunately 1894, though approximate, may be incorrect, and will usually be marked accordingly.
Summarize in your last paragraph
Restate your central idea and indicate why it is important.
Complete questions left incomplete,