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Tips On Taking Essay Tests

So you've studied everything you could, been working hard on what you know and just trying to get ready for the big essay exam. The big day has arrived and now there is really not much you can do except rely on your work and hope for an easy exam. Or is there? There are a lot of things you can do to improve your odds when taking an essay exam, and hopefully if you do things right, it can make the difference between a negative grade and a positive grade. In this article we will look at some tips that can help you achieve success.

Anticipate Questions

You know the teachers, you know the questions that they usually ask during class, you know what could possibly be on that exam, so get ready to answer these questions even before the big day. A good way to anticipate these questions is to picture yourself in the role of the examiner, what would you place on that test?

Memorize Key Points

There will probably be so many details on what you have been studying that you really won't be able to remember everything from the top of your head. You could try to devise ways to improve your memory, but that would just add up to the workload you will have and it will make things worse. The strategy is to memorize key points that will help you remember the rest of what you need to know.

Organize Things In Your Mind

Knowledge about the subject will not be enough to pass the essay exam with flying colors, you'll need a little more than that. You will need to organize the knowledge you have inside of your head in order to make the most of the work you had while studying the subject. If you don't have everything well organized in your head, you just might end up confusing to concepts together, and thus getting a question completely wrong because of that.

Dump Everything You Know

As soon as exam begins read every single questions, and as you read, dump everything you know about it on paper, just so you can have a little memory aid (one you can actually use) during the exam. Don't extend things too much, just make key points of what you know and do this for every single question. Now all you will need to do is organize the knowledge you have and put it into a beautiful answer.

Read Carefully

Read every question carefully and follow instructions precisely. Sometimes, not noticing one simple word in a question can be the different between knowing everything you need to know about it, and never had hearing about it before in your whole life. So make sure you read everything carefully and to double check every single questions. Avoid mistakes as much as you possibly can.

Make Persuasive Arguments

Be persuasive, show the teacher you know everything and that you worked hard for the exam. Even if you don't really get the questions right, the teacher just might consider how hard you studied and give you a few extra points that weren't really there. Sometimes bad luck can be involved in the situation, and teachers do know that. As long as you work hard and actually try to learn, they'll help you out.

Organize Your Time

Make sure you have time for everything and don't waste too much time on a question you won't get a lot of value from anyway. Just make sure you start with the questions you are the most comfortable with and finish with the questions you are the least comfortable with. It is very important that you manage your time correctly, because if you don't you just might end up doing things in a hurry and damaging your final results because of that.

Keep It Simple

If you are facing a question asking for straightforward facts, answer the questions with straightforward facts, even if the answer ends up being kind of short. Don't try to fill it up with your personal opinion or with things you are not familiar with. Furthermore, if a question is asking for an explanation about something and then for your personal opinion, make sure to keep things separated (your opinion and the explanation) and to justify your opinion with well thought arguments.


This is also a crucial part of your exam. It is only natural that throughout the exam you make mistakes, forget about key points, don't explain yourself clearly, and so on. Even if you do things slowly and carefully, there will eventually be mistakes because, well, you are human, and humans make mistakes. After you finish every single questions, just make sure to proofread everything you wrote and edit it as well as you possibly can in order to ensure you did your very best. Even if things don't have the outcome you want them to have, you can still be happy you did your very best on the essay exam.

Focus On The Exam

It is very tempting to look at the size of the answers other people wrote, to try to look at what other people are doing and just examine their faces to see if they are finding the exam too hard. Just don't do this, focus on your own exam and use your time wisely. After you finish proofreading, you can look around and exhale.