However, this thinking process does not reflect the reality of the situation. In fact, even if your teacher hasn`t given you any hints about the essay question, you do know what it will be about: the concepts and ideas you`ve discussed in the course.
It`s important to give context that will help your reader understand your argument. This might involve providing background information, giving an overview of important academic work or debates on the topic, and explaining difficult terms. Don`t provide too much detail in the introduction—you can elaborate in the body of your essay.
If you did your best to write a complete, clear, and insightful essay within the time allotted, you should have nothing to worry about.
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.
After all, professors want to mark high-quality essays written by well-prepared students! This heads-up gives you a great chance to prepare for the exam. If you have the time, consider mapping out a possible essay in point form before the day of the exam arrives.
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.