Thompson Rivers University

Three final exam strategies

  Posted on: October 4, 2016

by Jessica Messerer-Trosin

Writing an essay during a final exam can be a daunting task, resulting in high levels of stress and anxiety. Here are three strategies to ensure success:

1. Condense the essay question.

Start by circling or underlining the key words and phrases in the question. This makes the question seem less complicated. Some key words to mark include

• The verbs that provide instruction, e.g., describe, explain, analyze, compare, discuss.
• The key nouns (e.g., factor, principle, reason, issue), and other important terms that are related to the course.

2. Create an outline.

Using the back of the test page (or the margins), make a list of all your ideas that come to mind. Write down any key words or terms that could go into the essay. Instructors want their students to show that they understand the key concepts taught in the course.

Writing a list helps you organize your thoughts so you can create topic sentences, and determine a logical order for your paragraphs.

3. Write the first sentence.

Begin by making your first sentence a restatement of the question. For example:

Question: What are some of the positive and some of the negatives experienced by commuters who make the switch from driving a car to using public transit?

First Sentence: Commuters experience both positive and negative outcomes when they switch from driving to using public transit.

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For more information on the Writing Centre please visit the website or call 250-371-5689.