How to Write Good Essays in Exams

How to Write Good Essays in Exams

This article purely tells you on How to Write Good Essays in Exams followed by the best 12 tips which modifies your essay writing styles in your exams. Read this article below for more guidance.

Writing the answers for essay type of questions in an exam can be difficult and stressfull, which can make it tough to give a clever response. But there is a way where you can enhance your capacity to answer essay questions by figuring out how to understand the questions, shape an answer, and remain centered. Building up your capacity to give great answers on youy exams will require some hard work and time, yet you can take in some great article and practices and begin enhancing your answering methods.

Tips To Write Essays in Exams

1. Read the question precisely. Before writing the answer first, make sure that you have read the question of essay type twice and interpret what needs to be written for the same. Keep highlighting the most important phrases in the question as it helps you to stay focused on the answers that you write.

2. Analyse the key words. Professors use certain key words in essay type of questions to communicate what they want you to do. For instance, an essay question that which says you to “describe” an issue will be different from an essay question that says you to “argue” a position. Try to identify the key word in each essay question you read. Some of the most common key words are as follows:

  • Identify: Explain the what, where, who, when, why, and how. (Include pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, etc).
  • Compare: Discuss the similarities and differences between two or more things. (Don’t forget to explain why the comparison is useful).
  • Distinction: Discuss about how two or more things are different and differentiate between them. (Don’t forget to explain why the contrast is useful).
  • Define: State the meaning of that something and does and also achieves, etc.
  • Describe: List characteristics of something. You may also need to summarize something, such as an essay prompt that asks “Describe the major events that led to the American Revolution.”
  • Examine: This is more analytical. You must begin by describing something and then present arguments for or against it. You may need to consider the advantages or disadvantages of your subject.
  • Evaluate: Offer the pros and cons, positives and negatives for a subject. You may be asked to evaluate a statement for logical support or evaluate an argument for weaknesses.
  • Explain: Explain why or how something happened or justify your answer on something.
  • Confirm: Usually reserved for more scientific or objective essays. They might ask you to include evidence and research to build a case for a specific position or set of hypotheses.
  • Compile: Usually, this means to list the major ideas or themes of a subject. It could also ask you to present the main ideas in order to then fully discuss them. Most essay questions will not ask for pure summary without anything else.

3. Ask questions if anything isn’t Clear. If you aren’t able to understand what exactly the question is or if you are not sure of the meaning of the key word, get it clarified by your teacher. Do not attempt to answer the question until you fully understand what you are supposed to do. Otherwise, you may end up providing an incorrect answer.

4. Follow the instructions Given. Follow the instructions to understand what to include in your answer. Follow them to the letter and do not include unnecessary information. Professors say that students not following the instructions is the main reason why some students do not do well on essay questions.

5. Think on how to structure your answer. The structuring of your answer is very important. If the question suggests a specific order for your answer, then your answer must follow that structure. Take a moment to check our organisation of answer before you start writing your answer. What information should come first, second, third, etc.

6. Choose suitable facts to include in your answer. A strong essay question answer should provide a suitable answer while showing your knowledge on a subject. Take some time to consider the best way to accomplish the goal with the relevant facts that you have learned in your studies.

  • Make a list of facts that you want to include in your essay answer.
  • Write down all the important key topics or ideas before you get started composing your answer. It helps you to be sure that you haven’t missed anything.

7. Begin your answer by rephrasing. Rephrasing the question in the form of a statement is the best way to start an essay answer. Opening your essay in this way shows to the professor that you have read and understood the question. Rephrasing the question also helps you to stay focused on answering to that question right from the start. For instant, imagine that your essay question asks: “Should the FIFA World Cup be awarded to countries with human rights violations? Explain and support your answer.”

You might restate this as “Countries with human rights violations should not be awarded the FIFA World Cup because this rewards a nation’s poor treatment of its citizens.” This will be the thesis that you support with examples and explanation.

8. Your answer must have a clear point. Even in a differentiating situation, you must be very clear what your essay is arguing.

  • In case, you want to argue that the FIFA World Cup should or should not be awarded to countries with human rights violations and you would want to address the opposing side’s argument it needs to be clear where your essay stands about the matter.
  • Often, essay questions end up sayings like, “There are many similarities and differences between X and Y.” This does not offer a clear position and can result in a bad grade.

9. Be careful with grammar and punctuation. Try to use correct grammar and punctuation as you write because you may not have time to proofread your work. If possible, go back and proofread what you have written.

  • Write your answer neatly. Some professors may deduct points if they cannot read what you have written.

10. Take a deep breath when you get nervous. It is crucial to stay relaxed when you are writing an essay exam. If you get flustered, you may have trouble recalling important information or you may make simple mistakes.

  • If you feel too anxious to focus in your exam, stop writing, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Stretch your arms and think that you are somewhere pleasant for a few moments. When you have completed this brief exercise, open up your eyes and resume the exam.

11. Use your time well. Some exams may suggest on the time you should be spending on each question or even give you a time limit for each question. It will help you to budget your time. If your exam does not provide a guide on time, develop your own time budget at the beginning of the exam.

  • In case, if the exam is for one hour long and you have to answer three questions in that time frame, then you should spend more than 20 minutes on each question.
  • If there are five 10-point short-answers and a 50-point essay, plan to spend more time on the essay because it is worth comparitively more. Don’t get stuck spending so much time on the short-answers.

12. Stay focused on topic. You need to stay focused on the question when you write an essay exam. If not, you may end up providing unnecessary information and losing points for not including the information that was required.

  • If you feel like you are straying away from the question, reread the question and review if you can remember any notes. After you get refocused, then continue writing your answer.
  • Try to get enough time to go back and tighten up connections between your points. A few well-placed transitions can really bump up your grade.

Vagupu has some of the best English Teachers to help you in Exams. Book your first tutoring session now

If you have any query regarding essay writing which is not covered in this article, ask us in the comment section given below.

If you like this article, say Thanks!!!


20 Most Common English Grammar Mistakes Made by Students

How to Write Formal Letter in Exam



  1. Thank U so much…sir ,i am understanding your own. Read this tips and i know how can we write the better essay in the exams. Thanks again sir…