How to Answer an Essay Question in an Examination

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The amount and variety of answers that need to be provided in an essay format in an examination depend on whether you’re in high school or college. In high school, chances are you will only be required to answer a single essay for a language exam.
But in college, each subject or paper may require an essay written on the spot. There are many factors that go into writing a good, well-informed and creative essay. This involves preparation and ingenuity.
Many students prefer to act on impulse and do the best they can at that moment, but there are ways in which one is able to master their skills betterin order to make the most of the time they are provided.
How to Answer Essay Questions

  1. Based on the Type of Essay
  • There are various types of essays that are assigned during an examination.
  • Usually, students are given a choice out of around 3 to 5 options.
  • Each topic or question will usually ask for something specific. It is very crucial to read the questions properly in order to answer them appropriately.
  • Words like compare, illustrate, evaluate, trace, etc., all have different meanings.
  • Knowing the context in which these terms are used can greatly help set the boundaries and guidelines for approaching the topic.
  • There are a few types of broad headings under which essays are based, for example, expository, descriptive, narrative and argumentative.
  • Depending on topic, each can be approached from various angles and perspectives.
  1. Expository Essay:
  • In an expository essay students are given an idea or concept that they are required to analyse and investigate.
  • While there is minimal scope for creativity here, it is not altogether avoided.
  • A little creativity can go into creating anecdotes for explanatory purposes.
  • Here, students must compare, contrast, and define their theories and arguments about the topic. It requires factual, logical and evidential support of any statements made at the beginning and in the course of the essay.
  1. Descriptive Essay:
  • On the other hand there are descriptive or creative writing essays.
  • These topics usually ask for a detailed picture of an event or experience that may be personal or completely imaginary.
  • The freedom for creativity, so use it wisely. Avoid repetitive sentences and use words that.
  • Do not use mundane terms, instead of violent make the storm tempestuous, or substitute cheap for miserly.
  • These minor changes can help build a more clear description and showcase your wide vocabulary as well.
  1. Narrative Essay:
  • Understanding the genre of narrative essays is simple. Think of your favourite story as narrated by the author; the way they choose to explain and formulate their thoughts.
  • These may be personal and story like, involving a plot, climax, characters, etc. Or they may even be in the style of book reports or a news article.
  1. Argumentative Essay:
  • An argumentative essay can be explainedin terms of a debate in a written format.
  • It requires students to develop on a given idea, place their argument, and defend it with reasonable and factual examples all in a concise and clear manner.
  • While it may be necessary to choose a side of the argument, do not forget to properly explain both sides in order to create a proper reason for your choice on the matter.
  1. Based on Subject/Topic
  • Picking a topic can be quite tricky for some students, especially, if they have a basic idea of all the options.
  • Pick a topic that you are most familiar with and will be able to write a comprehensive answer on.
  • Remember, essays are lengthy and will require proper information and not just endless descriptions or off topic points.
  • Language exams may be more open and flexible since the point of it is to check your hold on grammar, syntax and spelling.
  • Whereas, a literary essay will require a critique or analysis of a book, poem, short story, etc.
  • Identify your area of expertise and pick a relevant topic.
  • Keep in mind the subject you’re writing the essay for. Incorporate points and information that you’ve learned in class.
  • This is one of the 5 simple tricks to help you write an essay on the spot.

How to Structure an Essay

  1. Introduction
  • This is the most important portion of any essay, especially if you’re using it to make a statement or establishing an argument.
  • It is necessary to be very clear and concise. Do not extend the introduction too much.
  • Simply explain your motive and the progress that you intend to make through the essay.
  • If your essay is based on a creative writing topic or requires description, ensure that your introduction is gripping.
  • This is the one place where you have the opportunity to catch the examiner’s attention and hold it.
  1. Body
  • In the body of every essay, students should state all their points in an organized
  • Divide the body into three paragraphs.
  • Each paragraph should incorporate a set of points and explanations that are related to each other.
  • The paragraphs should be connected the one before and after it.
  • Try not to digress from your topic.
  1. Conclusion
  • Your conclusion should be a sort of restatement of your statement.
  • Unless you’re writing a story, in which case it should round off your story.
  • Use your creativity, the end of anything can be just as compelling as the beginning or the middle and can make or break a story.
  • Do not try to fit too many points or facts into this portion.
  • It should not be longer than a few sentences at most.

Factors to Consider

  • There are always limitations that must be kept in mind when writing for exam.
  • Time is the most important factor. Try not to spend too much time on essays as this will reduce your time for revision or answering other questions.
  • There is also a word limit that should not be ignored at any cost.

Following technical rules and instruction during writing any answer will earn good marks. This is something that many students seem to forget because they feel like the bulk of their marks can only be earned in their display of knowledge on a particular topic.

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