HOW TO PASS AN ESSAY EXAM: 5 STRATEGIES FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
You have just 30 minutes to write an essay exam. You want to show your awesome essay writing skills but you are struck with anxiety, and you start asking yourself: “What if I make a mistake? What if the allotted time is not enough? What if I can’t gather my thoughts and write the best essay?” You should know that writing while being timed isn’t a natural activity for anyone. Even native English speakers tend to struggle with acing essay exams.
Do you want to ace your essay exam? If yes, it’s important that you learn the tips, tricks and strategies for ESL students to pass an essay exam. The tips below are provided by expert academic writers from TakeAwayEssay.com that guarantees you an easy way to better grades. Based on years of action, they are sure to guarantee your success.
Practice timed writing before the day of the test.
Preparing to write an essay for English class and preparing to write an essay for exam are two different experiences. For the former, you have ample time to gather your thoughts and develop your ideas before writing your essay. But things change the moment you involve a timer. When a timer is involved, you need to be at your best. You need to think and write fast, and while writing, you also want to correct the mistakes. Practising timed writing is very important especially if you are not efficient at using a computer keyboard. To practice timed writing, choose a topic and set your timer to thirty minutes. Be sure to spend the thirty minutes writing. When the timer goes off, go through your writing. Did you write correct sentences? How many sentences were you able to write? The more you practice, the better you become. Practice with different topics several times. Enough practice will help you on the day of the essay exam, and you’ll find that you will be able to develop ideas and type your responses quickly.
Think quality, not quantity.
Well written and shorter texts are fine. Many of the texts that are scored the highest mark are merely one paragraph long. On the flip side, longer paragraphs only score a 2 or 3 mark. With the right transition and clear language, you’ll find it relatively easy to fit your details and reasons in one paragraph. Trust us, this will impress your rater. If you make your text too long, chances are you will make repetitions and include irrelevant responses. Need we mention that you shouldn’t make your text too short in order to analyze and make a good argument?
Learn basic sentence patterns that you can use comfortably on the day
Essay raters check your ability to write different types of sentences. Have your toolbox of different English connectors like “however, although and but”. Practice sentences with these connectors to use in your responses. Bear in mind that simple short sentences will not give you your desired score. Instead, show your rater that you can write varieties of sentences.
Practice the common types of essay exam prompts
You won’t be given the opportunity to write a topic of your choice at the exam. As a matter of fact, the essay topic will surprise you. Thanks to Educational Testing Services who lists sample topics on their websites, you have sample topics online to get prepared. Search for repeated keywords in the prompt such as oppose or prefer. Ensure you read and understand their meanings. The structure of essay exams is choosing between two arguments, so you need to study the two arguments of the sample topics. This will make it easy for you to choose your argument in the exam. Make your research on the common arguments so that you will have enough details on each argument.
Think deep before you start writing your response
It’s critical that you map out a little plan before writing your responses. Refrain from writing immediately. To be on the safe side, take about 1-5 minutes to think of what you will write about and the right reasons and examples to write down. Again, since the structure of the exam is choosing between two arguments, quickly reflect on both sides and choose the one you are convinced you have enough details and reasons for. Choose the argument you agree with and are sure you have enough responses to write down.