The most important part of writing an essay exam is ensuring that you`re answering the question was posed. Even if you made sure you were interpreting everything correctly before you began, you may have forgotten to address a subquestion or integrate an example as you were writing. Before you submit, read the prompt again and make sure your completed essay matches up!
Although it may seem like a waste of time – especially during examswhere time is tight – it is almost always better to brainstorm a bit before beginning your essay. This should enable you to find the best supporting ideas – rather than simply the first ones that come to mind – and position them in your essay accordingly.
Become familiar with the course content. If the professor hasn`t told you in advance what a timed essay prompt will be, it can be intimidating to think that you will have to write about a subject you`ve never seen before.
An academic essay is a focused piece of writing that develops an idea or argument using evidence, analysis and interpretation.
For this reason, it can be helpful to simulate the conditions of a timed exam before the actual day: pick a practice question, find some lined paper, set a stopwatch, and see how you do!
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.