Writing an Exam

Preparations for Exams Writing an Essay Answer


There are two components to doing well on tests and examinations.

  • Knowing the course material
  • Structuring the course material in your answer

One is as important as the other. If you know the material but cannot organize the material in your paragraph or essay answers, you will not get the grade that you are capable of getting. For example, a student may have studied the novel Lord of the Flies really well, so he knows the course material. However, he may not be able to apply the content to the question on the examination. Instead, he “tells the story” of what happened to the boys when they were stranded on the island. He has not answered the question, so his low grade on that component of the examination will reflect the lack of structure.

Knowing the course material

You, and you alone, are responsible for knowing the course material. This involves doing the assigned readings and assignments, whether they are novels, plays, or some other genre. If you fail to do that, then nobody can help you do well on an examination.

However, assuming that you are reasonably familiar with the course content, we will show you how structuring the content in your answers should help you improve your grades.