Exam Preparation: approaches 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 how exactly to get ready for and compose these exams.

Exam planning

Discover the materials aided by the exam structure in your mind

  • Learn just as much information as you are able to in regards to the exam – e.g., whether there will be choice – and guide your learning properly.
  • Review the material often to keep up a grasp that is good of content.
    • Think, while making records or concept maps, about relationships between themes, some ideas and patterns that recur through the program. Begin to see the guide Listening & Note-taking and Learning & Studying for info on concept mapping.
    • Exercise your critical and analytical abilities as 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 when you look at the textbook or on past exams, research guides, or online sources.
  • Anticipate concerns by:
    • Interested in habits of questions in virtually any 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 professor has emphasized in class;
    • Wondering what type of concerns you’d ask if perhaps you were the teacher;
    • Brainstorming questions with research group.
  • Formulate concept or outline map responses to your test concerns.
    • Organize supporting proof logically around a main argument.
    • Memorize your outlines or tips.
  • A short time ahead of the exam, practice writing answers to questions under timed conditions.

In the event that Professor distributes concerns ahead of time

  • Make certain you have actually thought through each question while having at the least a plan response for each.
  • Unless the teacher has instructed you to definitely work alone, divide the concerns among some people, with every accountable for an answer that is full more than one concerns. Review, think about, and health supplement responses composed by others.

Prior to the exam

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

Exam writing

Study carefully

  • Search for guidelines as to whether there was option in the exam.
  • Circle key term in concerns (e.g.: discuss, compare/contrast, analyze, evaluate, main evidence for, 2 examples) for info on this is of specific concern terms.
  • See informative data on learning and studying practices on the SLC web web page for Exam Preparation.

Manage your time and effort

  • At the beginning of the exam, divide the full time you’ve got because of the amount of markings regarding the test to determine exactly exactly how enough time you should spend for 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 section first. These kinds of concerns contain information that can help the essay is answered by you component.
  • Whenever you can select which questions to quickly answer, choose and don’t replace your brain.
  • Begin by answering the simplest question, progressing into the hardest by the end.
  • Generally compose in sentences and paragraphs but change to aim form if you’re operating away from time.

Items to add and/or exclude in your responses

  • Add statements that are general by certain details and examples.
  • Discuss relationships between facts and principles, rather than just detailing facts.
  • Add one item of data (concept, information, or instance) for each and every mark the essay will probably be worth.
  • Limit individual emotions/ customwriting anecdotes/ conjecture unless especially expected for those.

Have a writing procedure

  • Arrange the essay first
    • Utilize the very very first 1/10 to 1/5 of the time for a concern in order to make an overview or concept map.
    • Organize the program around a main thesis declaration.
    • Order your subtopics as logically that you can, making for easier transitions into the essay.
    • To prevent going down subject, stay glued to the outline while you compose.
    • Hand in the outline. Some teachers or TAs can provide markings for product written upon it.
  • Write the essay quickly, utilizing clear, concise sentences.
  • Preserve an essay that is clear making it easier when it comes to teacher or TA to mark:
    • A 1-2 phrase introduction, including a definite thesis declaration and a preview associated with points.
      • Add words that are key issue in your thesis statement.
    • Body paragraph each containing one primary concept, with a subject phrase connecting back into the thesis declaration, and transition terms (e.g.: although, however) between paragraphs.
    • A quick summary as a summary, when you have time.
    • In case it is easier, keep a place for the introduction and write your body first.
  • Address dilemmas 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 ensure its content fits your thesis statement. Or even, replace the thesis.

To learn more about exam planning and strategies that are writing 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” in 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 webpage