How to answer an essay paper

1. Give adequate time to each question in the paper.  A common mistake is to find one or two questions in the paper which the candidate knows well and over which he/she devotes too much time. The result is an inadequate answer to the remaining questions. The best approach is to place a watch on the desk and allocate a definite time for summaries (answer plan) and a specified time to each question and keep a constant watch on the time)

2. When the paper is received each question should be read over several times and a plan jotted down before the writing starts. an essay written without a plan tends to wander and can lose marks for organization and coherence

3. Understand the meaning of the questions. This may seem superfluous, but under the stress of examination this is not uncommon. For example, candidate has been known to waste valuable time writing Lebers optic atrophy when the questions was about Lebers amauorosis. Also avoid writing essay if the questions asked for short answers.

    There are certain terms which occur regularly in the essay paper and its is wise to consider their meanings. These include

4. Presentation. Write intelligibly and use sub-heading. Write short sentences and avoid putting more than two pints in each sentence. If diagram were required, make sure it is large, clear and well-labelled

5. Read the answer when finished to correct any slips or punctuation

If the above techniques were adopted, the final appearance of the essay will be significantly improved.

Click here to return to the index