Test Strategies for Essay
When studying for an essay test:
- Look for overall concepts and themes.
- Create practice questions based on the concepts and themes that appear to be prevalent.
- Write short essays from the questions you created.
During the test:
- Read the test thoroughly.
- If you do not understand the question, ask!
- Use scrap paper to outline the information you need and want to include in the essay. Outlines also help with the clarity and flow of your essay.
- Check your outline against what the test question is asking for. Pay attention to clarifiers such as compare, evaluate and analyze.
- Always include needed information, plus a little more.
- Use your critical thinking skills to bring more complexity to your essay answers.
- Do not be wordy. Think of the most compact way to write your sentences.
- Do not use specific dates unless you know them. Instead use time periods.
- Consider time management. With 60 minutes to do three essay questions, only allow 15 minutes per essay. You can always come back and finish essays if time allows.
- Neatness counts. If your essay cannot be read, your grade will reflect that. If you make a mistake, a simple line is neater and takes less time than erasing.
- If time allows, proof-read your essay. Catching those simple mistakes can make a big difference.
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