Tips on Answering an Essay Test

essay test

There are many types of tests available – multiple choice, matching type, and the essay test. While the other types of test are easier since the answers are partially shown, the essay format is much harder to answer since you either know the answer or you don’t. If you have not studied for the test, then there is no way you can answer the essay question. You cannot just write in random stuff or guesses since it will be obvious you were not prepared for the exam.

Aside from studying your lessons, here are some pointers which you can use to perfect answering the essay test portion:

  1. Read the question and the directions carefully.
  2. Before answering the essay test, make sure you read the directions carefully. Take note of extra guidelines such as the question itself and the number of sentences or paragraphs you are required to make. Remember that not following directions can be grounds for deduction of points even if your answers are correct.

  3. State your answer in a clear and concise manner.
  4. Unless your test is about literature or creative writing, always answer in a clear and direct tone. Do not beat around the bush by including so many sentences that basically mean the same thing. As long as you have made your point and satisfied the sentence requirement, then it is best to keep things concise.

  5. Support your main answer with sources, references, and evidence to strengthen your point.
  6. Most essay test questions require explanations or a justification of a chosen scenario. If you answer it directly but fail to give supporting evidences, then your argument would be weak and unrealistic. A good tip to remember is to make an outline for your essay. You can do this by identifying your main objective in answering the question. Then, include sub-topics or examples that fully support the main objective of your answer. This way, you can reiterate and support your point with concrete references.

  7. Use easy-to-understand words.
  8. Most students are guilty of using superfluous words to impress the professor or to cover up the fact that they have not studied. Most often than not, your professor can figure out if your choice of words are necessary or just plain flowery. The best thing to do is to explain your points using simple words and just adding sources to build up a good foundation.

  9. Make sure the essay is free from grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

Since the essay test is a writing requirement, it is necessary that your main submission be neat, clean, and free from grammatical eye-sores. Before you turn in your paper, proofread your words as well as the content so you would hand in a paper worthy of a high mark.

About the author:

Daryl Cooper, PhD, is a Mathematics Professor at UC Santa Barbara, University of California and a part-time writer at – a company that provides thesis services for college and university students. He is the author of “Calculus and Mathematical Reasoning for Social and Life Sciences” and graduated 14 PhD students.

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