Essay Writing

Essay Writing – Exam Information

You will be asked to complete an essay writing task as part of the exam.

The essay writing section consists of two topics.



Example Essay Topics

Here are two possible essay topics like those that you might encounter on the actual exam:

A. International students often suffer from feelings of homesickness during their courses of study. What possible positive and negative impacts might this have on a student’s academic performance?

B. In order to prepare an academic assignment, students can use resources in the library or they can utilize online media. Which one do you prefer? Please give reasons and explanations to support your point of view.

Writing Essays – Types of Questions

The essays on the exams are usually one of the following kinds:

1) Personal experience or opinion essay – You will be given a statement and asked to write about your personal experience or give your point of view.

Remember to give reasons and examples to support the assertions you make in your essay.

2) Imaginary situation – You may be asked to write about a hypothetical situation, like being homeless.

This kind of essay writing will require you to use conditional sentence structures.

3) Argumentative or discussion-style essays – you will be asked to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of a particular composition theme.

Remember to write about both sides of the argument, if you are asked to do so in the essay question.

4) Comparison and contrast essay – You will be asked to write an essay comparing two things, writing about their similarities and differences.

You will need to use phrases words and phrases like: in the same way, on the other hand, in contrast, likewise, similarly, and compared to.

How to Answer Essay Questions

You will need to choose one of the topics by circling choice A or choice B on your examination paper, according to your preference.

Then you need to write an essay on that topic.

You must choose one of the topics given.

If you write about a topic that is not provided, your essay will not be marked, and you will receive a score of zero for the essay writing part of the examination.



Planning Your Essay

You can prepare a plan or an outline to help you organize your writing on the day of your exam, but it will not be counted towards your final score.

You will be given 30 minutes to plan, write, and check your composition.

We give essay writing tips and advice in our Free Study Guide.

Length of the Essay

You are normally expected to write approximately 300 to 500 words.

For most students, that equates to one or two hand-written 8.5 by 11 inch sheets of paper.

If your essay is extremely short, you will receive a poor score on your essay writing task.

However, please don’t waste your time during the exam counting the words. Remember to stay within the 1 or 2 page guideline.

If you find that you need more paper during the essay exam, please raise your hand and ask the examiner.

The examiner must be able to read and understand what you have written, so be sure that your handwriting is readable.

Your essay level should be at the university or college level. You will need to use good essay structure, advanced grammar and vocabulary, and high level sentence constructions in your written composition.

However, not all students will need to write an essay as part of the English exam. You should inquire at your college’s testing and placement office if you are not sure about their requirements.

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