Method of Writing Essay Type Questions
Talking to several of my students I realized that a large number of students lose marks in writing essay type questions because of ineffective answering technique and not because of inadequate knowledge. Since this is a general problem I decided to write this blog, “Method of Writing Essay Type Questions”
Delink Examination from Preparation
Most of us tend to believe that preparation for examination and answering questions is practically the same process. This is a false belief. If you compare the process with a manufacturing industry then the preparation stage is equitable with the production stage and writing the examination is equitable with the marketing stage. We all know that poor marketing can fail to sell a good product, whereas good marketing can succeed in even selling junk profitably. Hence be clear that once you are in the examination hall you are in the marketing stage of selling your competence to the examiner. This stage is important and makes a considerable difference to your performance, particularly in essay type questions. Let us analyse how you can maximise your performance in such answers.
Time Plan: Essay Type Questions
In an examination having questions carrying equal marks, it is common for students to devote more time to questions that they know well, or answer initially. The later questions are given much lesser time. In case you do not know a question at all then it is a different matter, otherwise same amount of time should be devoted to questions carrying equal marks. Reasons for allotting same amount of time are:
- The question which you know very well can be answered faster.
- The question which is not known well will need more time to think and answer.
Sample Situation: Essay type questions to be answered: 10; time: 3 hours; to be left in choice: 2 questions
- Time to Study Questions: It is important to study all the questions properly to decide which questions are to be left in choice. While the choice is being made it is advisable to make a note of major points under which answers will be written to the chosen questions. Time: 12-15 min.
- Revision Time : 12-15 min.
- Time Per Question: 15 min (stick to this time strictly).
- Sequence of Answering : Answer the best known questions first and lesser known ones in descending order.
- In case a question can be answered in lesser time, then add the saved time to the revision time.
- Revision Time: Revise the answers. Make corrections, if required. Complete the unfinished answers. This time is very important. Proper utilization of the time is likely to add considerably to the total marks scored.
Tips for Answering Essay Type Questions
- Introduction: Give the reason for writing the essay in 2-3 sentences.
- Main Body. Cover the discussion in it by covering one point only in each paragraph. It will be better to give a group heading to the paragraphs. In case you are nearing the time limit then just write down the group headings, leaving space to be filled up during revision.
- Conclusion: Write the major deductions drawn from the main body in 2-3 sentences.
Tips to Fight Time Pressure
There would be occasions when several answers would be incomplete and revision time allotted would be apparently less to complete them. Some tips to complete such answers are:
- Write down only the group headings.
- Use SMS language to complete the work fast. Remember there is no time left to impress with good language now. In any case, the initial portion of the answer will convey the quality of your writing to the examiner.
- Just write points without making complete sentences.
Conclusion: Writing Essay Type Questions
Please use the above tips to maximise the marks scored in answering essay type questions.