Writing essays is challenging at any time, but the pressure is even greater when you’re giving an exam and have to write an essay on the spot. In this case, you have limited time at your disposal to come up with strong and convincing arguments, and there is no access to any helpful or inspirational resources. Most students wonder how to write a good essay in an exam with these limitations.
We’ve gathered the best essay exams tips, so next time you’ll be prepared to handle any difficulty. With these tips for essays, your college experience will transform from taxing to rewarding.
Essay Exams Tips for College Students
If you want to know how to write a good essay in an exam, you must know that in general, the same rules of essay writing apply in every situation, with only small differences that we will cover below. The main obstacle in an exam is that you don’t have any source of inspiration so you must rely exclusively on your knowledge and the skills you’ve mastered so far. These tips for essays are your new superpower.
1. Understand the Question
Many students hurry to get to writing that they don’t spend enough time reading and understanding the question. The most important tip for a good essay is thus to take your time and make sure you understand what the examiner wants from you. All throughout your essay, you should refer back to the main question and not divagate towards other topics. Maybe you have some great ideas, but if they are not relevant to the question at hand, your examiner will ignore it, and your exam result will be disappointing.
2. Do a Quick Brainstorm
Make a few minutes to brainstorm everything you know about the topic. Write down keywords and short sentences that you think would be most powerful in your argumentation. With all these in front of you, it will be impossible to forget key arguments while writing. To make sure you have time to develop these ideas in the draft, don’t overthink this stage.
If the brainstorming part is your weakness, you can prepare in advance by reading essay samples online to get an idea about how professional writers handle topics of different complexity and how they tie their arguments together. You can browse various free college essays before the exam. Crafted by a professional writing service, these samples can give you knowledge about different topics to inspire you in your brainstorming process.
3. Make A Basic Outline
Even if you’re pressured by time, making a quick outline before starting writing will help you maintain cohesiveness in your essay and develop a logic structure. Although this is one of the greatest essay exams tips, many college students ignore it and go straight to writing. Without a basic outline, however, it’s hard to gather your thoughts, and you are prone to creating a jumble of unrelated ideas.
4. Write an Enticing Introduction
As many tips for essays you’d read, putting the first word on paper is still difficult. The introduction, however, must be thought through well as it has a key role in the essay. This is where you present your position or thesis statement about the issue at hand. It is here also that you have to grab the reader’s attention and hook him in. Good attention-grabbers are quotations, controversial statements, and surprising statistics.
Don’t hurry through the introduction. This is your chance to make a good impression from the start. The reader must be intrigued to read on but also understand exactly what your essay will be about. Spend a few good minutes crafting an enticing introduction, as this will set the tone of the entire essay.
5. Use Good Transitions Between Paragraphs
How to write a good essay in an exam is not just about having good ideas, but also about knowing how to convey these ideas in a convincing way. At this step, we’re talking about style. When putting down your arguments on paper, make sure that sentences flow smoothly and logically. A good way to achieve this is to use transition words and phrases, like “by contrast”, “furthermore”, “additionally” and many others. They will naturally lead the reader from one paragraph to another.
6. Write a Strong Conclusion
One of the best essay exams tips you should never ignore is to not simply copy-paste the introduction in the conclusion paragraph. The conclusion should not repeat word-by-word your thesis statement but rephrase it in an artful way. Since you’re at the end of your essay, you should refer back briefly to your strongest arguments and show how they demonstrate the relevance of your thesis statement. Again, take your time to craft a convincing conclusion as you have to convince the examiner that it was worth investing time in your essay.
7. Allocate Time for Editing
If you follow each of the steps above correctly, your essay will truly shine by this stage. To not sabotage your efforts right at the end, allocate a good amount of time for rereading the essay. Read each sentence carefully and spot misspellings or punctuation mistakes. Ensure that your grammar is flawless. Any writing mistake will detract attention from your ideas and make the reader doubt your education level.
Since you’re not at home where you could use an editing service or rely on free online essays for an assignment, during an exam you can only count on your own skills. While it’s hard to edit your work especially right after finishing writing, without good editing your essay will fail to bring you the expected mark.
Follow the steps above if you want to master the art of essay writing in any circumstance. At home or in an examination room, these tips will help you craft an intelligent essay.