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Exam Preparation: techniques for Essay Exams/SLC top links
Essay exams test you on “the big picture”- relationships between major principles and themes into the program. Below are a few suggested statements on how exactly to get ready for and compose these exams.
Discover the materials with all the exam structure in your mind
- Learn the maximum amount of information that you can in regards to the exam – e.g., whether there may be choice – and ccordingly guide your studying.
- Review the material often to steadfastly keep up a good grasp regarding the content.
- Think, and work out records or concept maps, about relationships between themes, tips and patterns that recur through the course. Start to see the guide Listening & Note-taking and Learning & Studying for information about concept mapping.
- Exercise your critical and analytical abilities as you review.
- Compare/contrast and consider what you agree and disagree with, and exactly 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:
- Seeking habits of concerns in just about any tests you have got currently written in the program;
- Taking a look at the program outline for major themes;
- Checking your records for just what the professor has emphasized in course;
- Thinking about what sort of concerns you’ll ask if perhaps you were the teacher;
- Brainstorming questions with a scholarly research team.
- Formulate concept or outline map answers to your test concerns.
- Organize supporting proof logically around a main argument.
- Memorize your outlines or tips.
- A short time prior to 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 and also have at the least an answer that is outline each.
- Unless the teacher has instructed one to work alone, divide the concerns among some people, with every in charge of an answer that is full more than one questions. Review, think of, and health supplement responses composed by other individuals.
Prior to the exam
- Free write on the program for around five minutes as being a warm-up.
- Seek out guidelines as to whether there clearly was option in the exam.
- Circle key term in concerns (e.g.: discuss, compare/contrast, analyze, evaluate, main evidence for, 2 examples) for information about this is of particular question words.
- See info on learning and learning methods on the SLC web page for Exam Preparation.
Manage your time and effort
- At the beginning of the exam, divide enough time you’ve got because of the wide range of markings in the test to determine exactly exactly exactly how enough time you should invest each mark and each concern. Keep time for review.
- In the event that exam is mixed structure, do the numerous choice, true/ false or matching part first. These kind of concerns have information that might help the essay is answered by you part.
- When you can choose which questions to respond to, select quickly and don’t improve your brain.
- Begin by answering the simplest question, progressing towards the most challenging by the end.
- Generally compose in sentences and paragraphs but change to aim kind if you’re operating away from time.
What to add and/or exclude in your responses
- Add basic statements supported by particular details and examples.
- Discuss relationships between facts and ideas, instead of just facts that are listing.
- Add one product of data (concept, information, or instance) for almost any mark the essay will probably be worth.
- Limit individual emotions/ anecdotes/ conjecture unless especially expected of these.
Have a writing procedure
- Arrange the essay first
- Utilize the very very first 1/10 to 1/5 of the time for the relevant concern to create a plan or concept map.
- Organize the program around a thesis statement that is central.
- Order your subtopics as logically that you can, making for easier transitions when you look at the essay.
- To prevent going down topic, stay glued to the outline while you compose.
- Turn in the outline. Some teachers or TAs can provide markings for product written about it.
- Write the essay quickly, utilizing clear, concise sentences.
- Preserve an essay that is clear making it easier for the teacher or TA to mark:
- A sentence that is 1-2, including an obvious thesis declaration and a preview of this points.
- Add key term from issue in your thesis statement.
- Body paragraph each containing one primary concept, with an interest phrase connecting back once again to the thesis declaration, and change terms (e.g.: although, however) ultius between paragraphs.
- A quick summary as a summary, when you have time.
- If it’s easier, keep a place when it comes to introduction and write your body first.
- Address dilemmas of spelling, grammar, mechanics, and wording only after drafting the essay.
- While you compose, leave room for corrections/additional points by double-spacing.
- Review the essay to be sure its content fits your thesis statement. If not, replace the thesis.
For more information on exam planning and writing methods, see our “Exams” pages.
Some recommendations in this handout were adjusted from “Fastfacts – Short-Answer and Essay Exams” on the University of Guelph Library website; “Resources – Exam Strategies” in the St. Francis Xavier University composing Centre webpage; and “Writing Tips – In-Class Essay Exams” and “Writing Tips – Standardized Test Essay Exams” on the Center for composing Studies during the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign internet site