If you’re planning on taking the SAT, you know that one of the tests given is an essay section. If you’ve never written an essay in such a short amount of time, don’t worry! It’s actually easier than it sounds like writing a timed essay, and these tips will help you do just that!
If you’re looking to start writing timed essays, it can be helpful to practice under simulated test conditions. There are several sites online that offer timed essay practice tests. You may also want to consider studying your essay with a timer in hand; use a kitchen timer or even just set your phone down with an alarm and see how quickly you can write a response. You should always expect a time constraint when you sit down to take an exam. The more practice you get planning out responses and crafting them as quickly as possible, the more likely you will do well on exam day! As an essay writer, you should be able to write with a time set.
Have an Outline
You’ll want to spend some time planning your essay in advance. The easiest way to do that is by having an outline of ideas prepared before you start writing. You might not need to write it out on paper or follow it strictly, but it will make it easier if you already know how your essay flows and what points you want to touch on. This will also help with essay writing; otherwise, you could end up panicking as time ticks away and find yourself filling every inch of space with words to reach your word count. Finally, having an outline will give you confidence during essay writing and allow you to focus more on connecting with readers instead of forcing topics together.
When you have only 30 minutes to write an essay, your focus should be on writing concisely and communicating ideas clearly. For example, if you are writing about global warming, rather than repeating global warming every time you want to make reference to it, try using synonyms. For instance, instead of writing, I believe that global warming is occurring as a result of human activities: I believe that climate change is occurring as a result of human activities. In doing so, you will save yourself valuable seconds when writing your essay, thus allowing more time to proofread.
Divide Into Sections
It’s usually best to divide an essay into three or four different sections, each with its own introduction and conclusion. If you’re given a specific question, create these sections based on that. For example, if you’re asked to discuss the challenges of education in rural India, your essay could be broken down as follows:
Introduction (challenges of education).
Section 1 (pre-primary education)
Section 2 (primary education)
Section 3 (secondary education)
Conclusion (why it matters).
Each section should have no more than two paragraphs; however, sometimes, one paragraph is necessary. Keep introductions short and to the point—don’t delve into backstory or elaborate explanations of terminology at first glance. Instead, focus on drawing readers into your topic quickly; what are you going to talk about? Why does it matter? What will they learn? Answering those questions succinctly is often good enough for a first paragraph.
Write as You Go
The most important thing is to relax and stay calm. You’re going to make mistakes, so just write as you go. If you have time in the end, go back and proofread your essay. Use what you learned in class and remember that once it’s written, it can’t be changed! It’s better to submit something at least semi-coherent than not submit anything at all. This means having an idea of what you want to say; writing out some key points or talking points before starting will really help ensure you keep on track and don’t get off-topic. Not only does doing some brainstorming beforehand make essay writing easier, but it also allows for more creativity during the actual act of composing and makes you feel like a professional essay writer.
When writing timed essays, it’s easy to get caught up in just getting something down on paper. While there is value in getting your thoughts and ideas out as quickly as possible, you want to take care not to send something out that isn’t your best work. Remember: you can always revise, but once an essay has been submitted, there is no going back. To write high-quality timed essays, it is key to take extra time and proofread carefully.