Let`s say we`re writing an essay about the development of Braille — the raised-dot reading and writing system used by visually impaired people.
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.
Once you hand your exam to the professor, relax! It`s easy to work yourself up after an essay exam when you didn`t get the chance to read your work over or you feel like your arguments were weak.
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.
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.
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!