Tricks of the Trade: Essay Tests

After being a physics major for 3 and a half years I decided to add on an English major just for kicks (and so that I would have a reason/time to read and enjoy some great books!) After some essay tests I’ve gathered a couple of suggestions that might be useful to you too. Good luck with all of your finals/essays this year!

~AJ Salois


  1. If you have a hard time remembering titles and authors make notecards with a short summary on the front (an identifying factor). Read it, make your guess, and then turn it over to see what and who it is!
  2. Make a list of all of the works the test will be over. Write a small summary for each and review these as well as any important quotations you think you may need.
  3. For essay tests, if the professor supplies you with a number of possible essay questions, write a short outline for each question. List which works will be important and why. Review these just before the test to make sure you remember them.
  4. Review important vocabulary that you should be using during the test. In your outline mark which words go with which essay question and why.
  5. Always re-write an outline during the test. This will let you refer back to it while taking the test and you can use more brainpower towards each paragraph and you won’t forget your overall argument or get lost in the organization and structure of the essay.

And don’t forget to re-read!

This entry was posted in Advice/Tips, English, Finals, J.William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply