There is no way to make exam essays simple and enjoyable. The questions are always challenging and you have to think of a practical answer to an abstract question. Your professors expect you to show how you can implement textbook knowledge into real-life situation. That’s the first thing you need to keep in mind when writing exam essays. Then, you can follow these 7 tips that will help you write better:
1. Choose one idea and make it clear!
Take a moment to think about those students who use big terms and always have something to say, although their opinions are rarely related to the current topic. Guess what: they don’t write successful essays.
When you are writing an exam essay, you have to stick with your best idea and elaborate in clear language. You are not being graded on quantity of ideas; quality should be your main focus. IELTS is more a test of focus than a test of intelligence.
2. Take the time to consider every sentence you write!
When you are taking an important essay exam, you should leave some time to read and reconsider every paragraph and every sentence you wrote. It’s important to make proper transitions between the paragraphs and arguments. Keep the content coherent and readable.
When you practice writing before the exam, test yourself and see if you perform better when you read the paragraph you just wrote before proceeding to the other one, or you like writing the entire answer and then making the needed corrections.
3. Don’t bother with too many explanations. Write examples!
Evaluators are impressed with students who add smart examples in their answers. This shows that you’re able to implement the knowledge into practice. Thus, try to explain less and show more! The best part is that examples are much easier to write when compared to ‘academic’ arguments. Make them creative and relevant to the main idea!
4. Plan the essay before you write it
You might not be able to brainstorm and construct an outline before answering the exam question, but you can create a map in your own mind. Think about the main idea, arguments, and examples you are going to write. This simple tactic will help you write a coherent, believable answer.
5. Practice properly!
If you don’t practice writing before taking the exam, your chances of success will be minimal. However, it’s also important to practice properly, so pay attention to each section of the structure when you’re writing your samples. Think about the information the introduction, paragraphs, and conclusion should contain. When you’re used to this structure, you’ll do much better on the actual exam.
6. Know yourself!
Plato didn’t have essay exams on mind when he gave this advice, but the idea is still valid: you have to know where you stand in order to write a great answer. Think about your values and goals. When you explore your personality, you’ll always have things to write about. Research and form opinions! That’s how you’ll make your essays believable.
7. Stick to the word count limit!
So you like writing additional 400 words than the required minimum? Not a good idea. You’ll only frustrate the examiner by taking more of their time. Meet the minimum and exceed it by not more than 100 words. The more you write, the less time you’ll have for editing and the more language mistakes you’ll end up with.
The bottom line is: practice, establish strong opinions, and keep it clear!