Before the exam
1. Make sure you know where the exam is being held.
3. Know how many questions you will have to answer.
4. Determine how much time you will spend on each question.
Keep to this timing in the exam
During the exam
1. Choose the essay question(s) you intend to answer.
3. Decide on your thesis statement, i.e. the position you are going to argue for.
4. Jot down the points you will use to develop your argument.
5. Prioritize these dot points. They will be the focus of your paragraphs.
6. Write your essay following all the “rules” of writing a good essay, include an
7. Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence, develop one main idea in each paragraph, tie ideas together in the conclusion.
8. Do a quick spelling and grammar check if you have time at the end.
Practise writing essays under exam conditions
Exam essays test your ability to
· answer the questions appropriately
· develop an argument
· use evidence to support your claims
· articulate your critical voice
· write clearly and correctly.
They provide the chance to show what you know about a number of topics.
Your campus card is compulsory for all examinations. If you do not have your campus card you will not be permitted to take your examination.
Before each exam
Use dot points in exam essays only if you have run out of time (which you won’t if you follow your exam plan and the tips in this handout!).
1. Practise using past exam papers or questions you have prepared if past papers are not available.
Writing practice essays under exam conditions does the following.
1. Helps you realise how much you can write in a specific time frame.
2. Works as a form of overlearning and so helps move information into your long term memory.
3. Boosts your confidence that you can write what you need to in the given time.
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