Take timed practice exams to get used to the situation, and also to identify your strengths and weaknesses. The weeks before the exam paraphrasing sentence are when you should figure out which topics you write best on, and which grammatical errors you make most frequently. When you take a timed essay exam, preparation can mean the difference between a great score and a poor one.
In this section you will learn the general features of the most common timed essays, as well as how to get the most up-to-date information about topics and any changes made to the tests. GED The General Educational Development (GED) test contains a 45 minute-writing section in which test takers must develop an expository essay which includes personal observations, knowledge, and experiences. The typical GED essay is about 250 words in length, written on one of five given topics. Those who score the GED essay read between 25 and 40 essays an hour.
Minor errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics are not weighed against you. Scorers instead read the essay to get an overall impression of your writing abil- ity. They look for evidence of critical thinking: how well did you respond to the topic, develop a point of view, and use appropriate examples and evidence to support your position?
Is your essay clearly focused, and does it transition smoothly from one point to the next? Do you show evidence of having a varied and intelligent vocabulary? Since readers will look at dozens of essay, an hour, it is important to make your essay stand out.
This is best done through the use of examples and evidence. Stand out by using specifics that make the essay uniquely yours. The latest information on the SAT I essay may be found at www. These tests vary, so it is important to get specific information about the test you are preparing to take. How- ever, most exit exams allow 60 minutes to develop an essay based on one of a choice of top- ics. A typical exit essay is approximately 1,500 words, and is either expository or persuasive. Other possible topics include responses to literature, biographical narratives, and even busi- ness letters. They might have been a response to something you read, an argument about a particular topic, or an explanation of an event or other subject of study. However, almost all timed essay exams fall into one of two major categories: expository or persuasive. In fact, the SAT I essay exclusively calls for persuasive essays. EXPOSITORY help in writing essay An expository essay gives directions, instructions, or explanations. In fact, think of the verbs used in your topic as key words that clue you in to the fact that you are being asked to write an expository essay. Your purpose is not to merely show your side, but convince your reader why it is best. In order to convince effectively, you must base your argument on rea- soning and logic. The most important strategy for the persuasive essay is to choose the side that has the best, or most, evidence. An important component of a persuasive essay is the inclusion of other points of view. They are presented in order to be refuted or weakened, thereby strengthening the case www. However, it is important to use reasoning and understanding to refute them. You must show that your idea is most legitimate in part because other ideas are weak or incorrect. You must address the topic in a clear, well-organized fashion, using examples and details to make your point. The best way to accomplish those goals is to stick to a traditional format. Aim for an introduction, at paraphrasing sentence least two to three body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph.
Transition words help the reader follow your thoughts.
A restatement, summary, or conclusion can effectively reinforce these points, but remember to reword them and keep the conclu- sion fresh. If you have a fitting quotation, use it to conclude your essay. The person quoted does not have to be famous, but the quote should help you to make your point.
A revision of your introduction can make it appear as though you had the great new idea before you even began writing. Check the resources at the end of this book for information about your exam, and research it on the Internet. Once you have familiarized yourself with the basics, such as how long you will have to write the essay, what the topics might be, and how the essay will be graded, you can begin to prepare more thoroughly.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR TOPIC This advice might seem obvious, but it aims to correct one of the most common mistakes made on essay exams: spend time understanding the types of topics you may encounter. Remember that your score depends in large part on how well you address the topic. Preparation materials, both in print and on the Internet, are available for many types of essay exams.
If they include sample topics, familiarize yourself with them. If they simply tell you the types of topics (for instance, prompts for persuasive essays), you can find examples to study in print and on the Internet.
When reading through sample topics, make a note if you understand what each one is asking you to write about. The best way to determine whether you understand the topics is to put them in your own words, and then compare yours with the originals. If you have trouble with this exercise, go back to your list of topics. Circle the verbs (key words) in each one that tell you what to do.
These are the same key words you will look for during the exam (see pages 87-89 for lists and explanations of the most common key words for both expository and persuasive essays).