The introduction sets the tone for your essay. It should grab the reader`s interest and inform them of what to expect. The introduction generally comprises 10–20% of the text.
For example, if you`ve been assigned a five-paragraph expository essay for a high school class, you`ll probably spend the most time on the writing stage; for a college-level argumentative essay, on the other hand, you`ll need to spend more time researching your topic and developing an original argument before you start writing.
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.
Define a topic: If you`re allowed to choose your own topic, try to pick something that you already know a bit about and that will hold your interest.
If you have enough time left over, read your essay again and make corrections. When you`re working under time pressure, it`s easy to make grammar mistakes or produce hard-to-follow sentences; the final few minutes are your chance to clean up those errors.
However, it`s important to keep in mind that your professor understands the circumstances under which the essay was written. They`re fully aware of the time pressure you were dealing with, and they will judge your work far differently than they would judge a typical essay with a deadline set weeks after the assignment date.