Before you start writing, you should make sure you have a clear idea of what you want to say and how you`re going to say it.
Remember the paragraph-based schedule we discussed above? It`ll be useless if you don`t do regular check-ins during the exam. Keep an eye on the clock to ensure you`re always on track.
Start planning if you can. Although the situation described above sometimes occurs, it`s also very common for professors to give their students a fairly detailed idea of what an essay question will involve in advance of the test day.
Decide on your thesis, the topic of each paragraph, and the arguments which you intend to cover, then jot down some quick point-form notes. This process won`t take long, and, once you complete it, all that`s left will be to expand those notes into a well-organized essay.
Without a clear plan, you run the risk of realizing partway through that you`ve drifted off topic or written yourself into a corner, and fixing these mistakes will consume a ton of extra time.
Come up with a thesis: The thesis is the central point or argument that you want to make. A clear thesis is essential for a focused essay—you should keep referring back to it as you write.