Exam Preparation: techniques for Essay Exams/SLC top links

Essay exams test you on “the big picture”- relationships between major principles and themes when you look at the program. Check out suggestions about simple tips to get ready for and compose these exams.

Exam planning

Discover the materials utilizing the exam structure in your mind

  • Learn the maximum amount of information as you possibly can in regards to the exam – e.g., whether there will be choice – and ccordingly guide your studying.
  • Review the material usually to keep up a good grasp for the content.
    • Think, and then make records or concept maps, about relationships between themes, a few ideas and patterns that recur through the program. Begin to see the guide Listening & Note-taking and Learning & Studying for informative data on concept mapping.
    • Exercise your critical and skills that are analytical you review.
      • Compare/contrast and consider what you agree and disagree with, and just why.

Focus your studying by finding and questions that are anticipating

  • Find test concerns within the textbook or on past exams, research guides, or sources that are online.
  • Anticipate concerns by:
    • Hunting for habits of concerns in every tests you have got currently written in this course;
    • Taking a look at the program outline for major themes;
    • Checking your records for just what the teacher has emphasized in course;
    • Wondering what type of concerns you’ll ask if perhaps you were the teacher;
    • Brainstorming questions with research team.
  • Formulate outline or concept map responses to your test concerns.
    • Organize supporting proof logically around a main argument.
    • Memorize your outlines or tips.
  • A short time prior to the exam, practice writing answers to questions under timed conditions.

In the event that Professor distributes questions ahead of time

  • Be sure you have actually thought through each question while having at the very least an answer that is outline each.
  • Unless the teacher has instructed you to definitely work alone, divide the concerns among some people, with every in charge of an answer that is full a number of questions. Review, think of, and health health supplement responses composed by other folks.

Prior to the exam

  • Free write on the program for around five minutes as being a warm-up.

Exam writing

Browse carefully

  • Try to find guidelines as to whether there was option regarding the exam.
  • Circle keywords in concerns (e.g.: discuss, compare/contrast, analyze, evaluate, main evidence for, 2 examples) for all about this is of specific concern terms.
  • See informative data on learning and techniques that are studying the SLC web page for Exam Preparation.

Manage your time and effort

  • at the start of the exam, divide enough time you’ve got because of the wide range of markings regarding the test to find out just exactly exactly how time that is much should invest each mark and every concern. Keep time for review.
  • In the event that exam is blended structure, do the numerous choice, true/ false or matching part first. These kinds of concerns have information that might help you respond to the essay component.
  • Whenever you can select which questions to quickly answer, choose and don’t improve your brain.
  • Begin by answering the question that is easiest, progressing towards the most challenging at the conclusion.
  • Generally compose in sentences and paragraphs but change to point kind if you should be operating away from time.

What to include and/or exclude in your responses

  • Add general statements supported by certain details and examples.
  • Discuss relationships between facts and principles, instead of just detailing facts.
  • Add one product of data (concept, information, or instance) for every single mark the essay is really worth.
  • Limit individual emotions/ anecdotes/ speculation unless particularly asked of these.

Have a writing procedure

  • Arrange the essay first
    • Make use of the very very very first 1/10 to 1/5 of the time for a relevant concern to create an overview or concept map.
    • Organize the master plan around a thesis statement that is central.
    • Order your subtopics as logically as you can, making for easier transitions when you look at the essay.
    • In order to avoid going down subject, adhere to the outline while you compose.
    • Turn in the outline. Some teachers or TAs can provide markings for product written on it.
  • Write the essay quickly, making use of clear, concise sentences.
  • Preserve an essay that is clear making it easier when it comes to teacher or TA to mark:
    • A sentence that is 1-2, including an obvious thesis declaration and a preview associated with points.
      • Add key term from issue in your thesis statement.
    • Body paragraph each containing one primary concept, with an interest phrase connecting back again to the thesis declaration, and change terms (e.g.: although, however) between paragraphs.
    • A brief summary as a summary, when you yourself have time.
    • In case it is easier, keep a place for the introduction and first write the body.
  • Address problems of spelling, sentence structure, mechanics, and wording just after drafting the essay.
    • While you compose, leave room for corrections/additional points by double-spacing.
  • Review the essay to be sure its content fits your thesis statement. Or even, replace the thesis.

To learn more about exam planning and writing strategies, see our “Exams” pages.

Some recommendations in this handout had been adjusted from “Fastfacts – Short-Answer and Essay Exams” in the University of Guelph Library website; “Resources – Exam Strategies” on the St. Francis Xavier University Centre that is writing web; and “Writing Tips – In-Class Essay Exams” and “Writing Tips – Standardized Test Essay Exams” in the Center for composing Studies during the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign website