Essay Writing for Standardized Exams

A majority (if not all) of college and high school standardized tests have a part for writing. Learners often get a topic on which they will write an essay on. It’s not a must for a standardized test to send chills down the spines of learners, but in most cases, that’s what happens. It helps to be ready before tackling an essay writing question.

Types of Essays.

Before you begin writing, it’s essential to understand the type of essay the prompt asks you about. Several essay types include expository, narrative, persuasive, argumentative, literary, comparative, and the list goes on. A particular type of essay determines the thesis and topics to use. In most cases, a standardized test will offer a literal or persuasive test. A persuasive prompt seeks to answer a given question while a literal prompt seeks to base an essay on what you have read.

Any standardized test requires the student to write approximately 500 – 800 words in 5 paragraphs. These paragraphs include the introductory paragraph, three paragraphs supporting the topic, and the final paragraph is the conclusion.

The Introductory Paragraph. 

In the 1st paragraph, you will introduce the topic for the essay. It’s the introductory paragraph as it gives a general direction in your essay. It serves to set the tone, which helps in getting the attention of your reader. Use the following tips to write your introduction best:

  • Describe the main idea/ what your essay is all about in a single sentence. You are free to use either the question or essay writing prompt to come up with the sentence.
  • Build your thesis statement or the main idea in your own words. Write your thesis in answer form when writing an essay that comes in a question form.
  • Jot down three arguments or points supporting your thesis according to the order of their relevance. Assign each point/ argument in its sentence.

Supporting details: 2nd, 3rd, and 4th paragraphs

These three paragraphs are also known as the body. They give details, including facts, examples, quotes, and concrete statistics for those points you mentioned as part of your introduction. To discuss the points listed in the introduction, use the following route:

  • 1st, form a topic sentence summarizing your point. The sentence should come at the beginning of your paragraph.
  • After that, start creating your argument or the reason why that sentence is factual.
  • Finally, give facts supporting your argument.

Do this for paragraphs 2, 3, and 4. Introducing a point in each of these paragraphs provides a good outline for the essay’s body and eliminating the need to have transitions between paragraphs.

The Conclusion.

At the end of your essay, you must summarize the whole document. It is the most challenging paragraph to write since you must encapsulate all the points in several sentences. Writing a conclusion ought to restate your thesis by connecting it to the essay’s body and explaining how those points support the main topic. The final statement serves the purpose of upholding the main idea clearly and in a compelling manner.

Parting Thoughts.

Essay writing for standardized tests requires one to go through the paragraphs quickly. Ensure you complete your essay because a complete one earns more marks than one that isn’t finished.

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