Essay Tests: What It Is and How to Prepare


Essay tests are questions based on general ideas and topics covered by a course. Teachers often give essay tests, so they check how well students understand the main concepts. Such assignments may seem complicated because one must demonstrate knowledge of definitions, facts, and dates; and be able to provide the answer in a well-organized manner. Preparation is important in order to stay calm and do your best during the test. Study some tips below so that you feel confident on test day.

Tip 1: Collect Your Thoughts

You need to check your preparedness for the test. Collect the notes, find the textbook, and try to concentrate on the class material. Turn off electronic devices, log out of social networks, and ask your family not to disturb you. Then, skim the materials you have, get in touch with a study partner, and make sure you have all the information mentioned in class.

Tip 2: Anticipate the Essay Questions

Look through the questions from the last essay test and study the types of tasks that were given. Skim a textbook, and read titles of chapters and subchapters. Many teachers compose essay topics using the additional questions after the chapters. So, think ahead and employ your intuition. This strategy is also helpful in determining your weaknesses. Once you come up with the possible essay topic, make sure you can figure out the answer.

Tip 3: Write Possible Essay Thesis Statements

Since you know the topics covered in class, you can choose several main problems and prepare thesis statements for an essay. You do not have to write a full essay, but rather describe the main idea and pick two or three supporting arguments. Do not panic because of the variety of topics; stay concentrated and learn new ways of how to express your ideas clearly.

Tip 4: Take a Break

It is hard to stay focused and be productive all day long. Avoid cramming if you can; make the studying process a part of your daily schedule. It is fine to take a break, play with your dog, or have a snack. Many students agree that they feel comfortable studying with ten-minute breaks per every hour. Whatever the case, take your time and keep a comfortably steady pace.

Tip 5: Get Enough Sleep before the Test

A lack of sleep can ruin everything no matter how well you have prepared. Studying itself is important, but your brain needs some rest to remember the information and be able to generate new ideas. Therefore, go to bed early, meditate, and wake up in a good mood.


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