Writing@CSU Guide

Answering Exam Questions

Like any other kind of writing, answering essay test questions requires practice before it becomes easier. If you find yourself struggling with exam questions, ask your professor well in advance if you can have sample questions to practice on at home. Then set a timer and practice! Several practice sessions will give you better results than a single, long session, so give yourself plenty of time to prepare for this kind of writing under time pressure.

Several other strategies can also help you write better responses on essay tests.

  1. Read through the entire exam to plan an overall strategy.
  2. Look at each exam question to identify key words.
  3. Think about what kind of writing the key word or words call for.
  4. Make notes to yourself of the points you want to cover in the response.
  5. Begin your response by echoing the question.
  6. Leave yourself 10 minutes at the end of the test period to re-read both the questions and your responses.
  7. Final advice
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