When composing essays, many students stop and read over each paragraph once they finish it, making sure that it`s well-written and free of errors before advancing to the next one. This approach is entirely logical when there`s no time pressure involved, but it can actually work against you during an exam.
Take note of the amount of time allotted for the exam and split it into reasonably-sized segments, leaving some time at the end for revision if possible. Without a schedule to follow, it`s easy to become too focused on a single paragraph and run out of time to finish the essay.
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.
This tip may seem basic, but it`s easy to forget and it can make a big difference. Both these measures won`t just make it easier for the marker to read your paper; they`ll also help you write it. If you have time left at the end of the exam for review, having the ability to skim quickly through your work and write revisions in blank spaces will be incredibly helpful.
Do your research: Read primary and secondary sources and take notes to help you work out your position and angle on the topic. You`ll use these as evidence for your points.
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.