Tips For Essay Tests


  • As soon as you get your test, write down any information you might forget during the test (e.g. formulas, equations, key points).
  • Mark questions you are not sure of and come back to them later.
  • Guess instead of leaving a question blank, unless you are penalized for wrong answers; you have a better chance of getting points.
  • Write a brief outline, listing main ideas and supporting points, to organize your thoughts. You may get credit for ideas included in your outline even if you run out of time to complete your essay.
  • Address and answer all parts of the question. Re-read the question to make sure you have covered all of it. List points you need to address and check them off as you go.
  • Note action words in the question. If the question asks you to define, describe, compare, contrast, explain or summarize make sure you are doing what it asks.
  • Don't waste a lot of time deliberating about the question. Get started by outline, and then write. If you are stuck, write what you know and try for partial credit.