The Writing Center • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Essay Exams

What this handout is about.

At some time in your undergraduate career, you’re going to have to write an essay exam. This thought can inspire a fair amount of fear: we struggle enough with essays when they aren’t timed events based on unknown questions. The goal of this handout is to give you some easy and effective strategies that will help you take control of the situation and do your best.

Why do instructors give essay exams?

Essay exams are a useful tool for finding out if you can sort through a large body of information, figure out what is important, and explain why it is important. Essay exams challenge you to come up with key course ideas and put them in your own words and to use the interpretive or analytical skills you’ve practiced in the course. Instructors want to see whether:

  • You understand concepts that provide the basis for the course
  • You can use those concepts to interpret specific materials
  • You can make connections, see relationships, draw comparisons and contrasts
  • You can synthesize diverse information in support of an original assertion
  • You can justify your own evaluations based on appropriate criteria
  • You can argue your own opinions with convincing evidence
  • You can think critically and analytically about a subject

What essay questions require

Exam questions can reach pretty far into the course materials, so you cannot hope to do well on them if you do not keep up with the readings and assignments from the beginning of the course. The most successful essay exam takers are prepared for anything reasonable, and they probably have some intelligent guesses about the content of the exam before they take it. How can you be a prepared exam taker? Try some of the following suggestions during the semester:

  • Do the reading as the syllabus dictates; keeping up with the reading while the related concepts are being discussed in class saves you double the effort later.
  • Go to lectures (and put away your phone, the newspaper, and that crossword puzzle!).
  • Take careful notes that you’ll understand months later. If this is not your strong suit or the conventions for a particular discipline are different from what you are used to, ask your TA or the Learning Center for advice.
  • Participate in your discussion sections; this will help you absorb the material better so you don’t have to study as hard.
  • Organize small study groups with classmates to explore and review course materials throughout the semester. Others will catch things you might miss even when paying attention. This is not cheating. As long as what you write on the essay is your own work, formulating ideas and sharing notes is okay. In fact, it is a big part of the learning process.
  • As an exam approaches, find out what you can about the form it will take. This will help you forecast the questions that will be on the exam, and prepare for them.

These suggestions will save you lots of time and misery later. Remember that you can’t cram weeks of information into a single day or night of study. So why put yourself in that position?

Now let’s focus on studying for the exam. You’ll notice the following suggestions are all based on organizing your study materials into manageable chunks of related material. If you have a plan of attack, you’ll feel more confident and your answers will be more clear. Here are some tips: 

  • Don’t just memorize aimlessly; clarify the important issues of the course and use these issues to focus your understanding of specific facts and particular readings.
  • Try to organize and prioritize the information into a thematic pattern. Look at what you’ve studied and find a way to put things into related groups. Find the fundamental ideas that have been emphasized throughout the course and organize your notes into broad categories. Think about how different categories relate to each other.
  • Find out what you don’t know, but need to know, by making up test questions and trying to answer them. Studying in groups helps as well.

Taking the exam

Read the exam carefully.

  • If you are given the entire exam at once and can determine your approach on your own, read the entire exam before you get started.
  • Look at how many points each part earns you, and find hints for how long your answers should be.
  • Figure out how much time you have and how best to use it. Write down the actual clock time that you expect to take in each section, and stick to it. This will help you avoid spending all your time on only one section. One strategy is to divide the available time according to percentage worth of the question. You don’t want to spend half of your time on something that is only worth one tenth of the total points.
  • As you read, make tentative choices of the questions you will answer (if you have a choice). Don’t just answer the first essay question you encounter. Instead, read through all of the options. Jot down really brief ideas for each question before deciding.
  • Remember that the easiest-looking question is not always as easy as it looks. Focus your attention on questions for which you can explain your answer most thoroughly, rather than settle on questions where you know the answer but can’t say why.

Analyze the questions

  • Decide what you are being asked to do. If you skim the question to find the main “topic” and then rush to grasp any related ideas you can recall, you may become flustered, lose concentration, and even go blank. Try looking closely at what the question is directing you to do, and try to understand the sort of writing that will be required.
  • Focus on what you do know about the question, not on what you don’t.
  • Look at the active verbs in the assignment—they tell you what you should be doing. We’ve included some of these below, with some suggestions on what they might mean. (For help with this sort of detective work, see the Writing Center handout titled Reading Assignments.)

Information words, such as who, what, when, where, how, and why ask you to demonstrate what you know about the subject. Information words may include:

  • define—give the subject’s meaning (according to someone or something). Sometimes you have to give more than one view on the subject’s meaning.
  • explain why/how—give reasons why or examples of how something happened.
  • illustrate—give descriptive examples of the subject and show how each is connected with the subject.
  • summarize—briefly cover the important ideas you learned about the subject.
  • trace—outline how something has changed or developed from an earlier time to its current form.
  • research—gather material from outside sources about the subject, often with the implication or requirement that you will analyze what you’ve found.

Relation words ask you to demonstrate how things are connected. Relation words may include:

  • compare—show how two or more things are similar (and, sometimes, different).
  • contrast—show how two or more things are dissimilar.
  • apply—use details that you’ve been given to demonstrate how an idea, theory, or concept works in a particular situation.
  • cause—show how one event or series of events made something else happen.
  • relate—show or describe the connections between things.

Interpretation words ask you to defend ideas of your own about the subject. Don’t see these words as requesting opinion alone (unless the assignment specifically says so), but as requiring opinion that is supported by concrete evidence. Remember examples, principles, definitions, or concepts from class or research and use them in your interpretation. Interpretation words may include:

  • prove, justify—give reasons or examples to demonstrate how or why something is the truth.
  • evaluate, respond, assess—state your opinion of the subject as good, bad, or some combination of the two, with examples and reasons (you may want to compare your subject to something else).
  • support—give reasons or evidence for something you believe (be sure to state clearly what it is that you believe).
  • synthesize—put two or more things together that haven’t been put together before; don’t just summarize one and then the other, and say that they are similar or different—you must provide a reason for putting them together (as opposed to compare and contrast—see above).
  • analyze—look closely at the components of something to figure out how it works, what it might mean, or why it is important.
  • argue—take a side and defend it (with proof) against the other side.

Plan your answers

Think about your time again. How much planning time you should take depends on how much time you have for each question and how many points each question is worth. Here are some general guidelines: 

  • For short-answer definitions and identifications, just take a few seconds. Skip over any you don’t recognize fairly quickly, and come back to them when another question jogs your memory.
  • For answers that require a paragraph or two, jot down several important ideas or specific examples that help to focus your thoughts.
  • For longer answers, you will need to develop a much more definite strategy of organization. You only have time for one draft, so allow a reasonable amount of time—as much as a quarter of the time you’ve allotted for the question—for making notes, determining a thesis, and developing an outline.
  • For questions with several parts (different requests or directions, a sequence of questions), make a list of the parts so that you do not miss or minimize one part. One way to be sure you answer them all is to number them in the question and in your outline.
  • You may have to try two or three outlines or clusters before you hit on a workable plan. But be realistic—you want a plan you can develop within the limited time allotted for your answer. Your outline will have to be selective—not everything you know, but what you know that you can state clearly and keep to the point in the time available.

Again, focus on what you do know about the question, not on what you don’t.

Writing your answers

As with planning, your strategy for writing depends on the length of your answer:

  • For short identifications and definitions, it is usually best to start with a general identifying statement and then move on to describe specific applications or explanations. Two sentences will almost always suffice, but make sure they are complete sentences. Find out whether the instructor wants definition alone, or definition and significance. Why is the identification term or object important?
  • For longer answers, begin by stating your forecasting statement or thesis clearly and explicitly. Strive for focus, simplicity, and clarity. In stating your point and developing your answers, you may want to use important course vocabulary words from the question. For example, if the question is, “How does wisteria function as a representation of memory in Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom?” you may want to use the words wisteria, representation, memory, and Faulkner) in your thesis statement and answer. Use these important words or concepts throughout the answer.
  • If you have devised a promising outline for your answer, then you will be able to forecast your overall plan and its subpoints in your opening sentence. Forecasting impresses readers and has the very practical advantage of making your answer easier to read. Also, if you don’t finish writing, it tells your reader what you would have said if you had finished (and may get you partial points).
  • You might want to use briefer paragraphs than you ordinarily do and signal clear relations between paragraphs with transition phrases or sentences.
  • As you move ahead with the writing, you may think of new subpoints or ideas to include in the essay. Stop briefly to make a note of these on your original outline. If they are most appropriately inserted in a section you’ve already written, write them neatly in the margin, at the top of the page, or on the last page, with arrows or marks to alert the reader to where they fit in your answer. Be as neat and clear as possible.
  • Don’t pad your answer with irrelevancies and repetitions just to fill up space. Within the time available, write a comprehensive, specific answer.
  • Watch the clock carefully to ensure that you do not spend too much time on one answer. You must be realistic about the time constraints of an essay exam. If you write one dazzling answer on an exam with three equally-weighted required questions, you earn only 33 points—not enough to pass at most colleges. This may seem unfair, but keep in mind that instructors plan exams to be reasonably comprehensive. They want you to write about the course materials in two or three or more ways, not just one way. Hint: if you finish a half-hour essay in 10 minutes, you may need to develop some of your ideas more fully.
  • If you run out of time when you are writing an answer, jot down the remaining main ideas from your outline, just to show that you know the material and with more time could have continued your exposition.
  • Double-space to leave room for additions, and strike through errors or changes with one straight line (avoid erasing or scribbling over). Keep things as clean as possible. You never know what will earn you partial credit.
  • Write legibly and proofread. Remember that your instructor will likely be reading a large pile of exams. The more difficult they are to read, the more exasperated the instructor might become. Your instructor also cannot give you credit for what they cannot understand. A few minutes of careful proofreading can improve your grade.

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind in writing essay exams is that you have a limited amount of time and space in which to get across the knowledge you have acquired and your ability to use it. Essay exams are not the place to be subtle or vague. It’s okay to have an obvious structure, even the five-paragraph essay format you may have been taught in high school. Introduce your main idea, have several paragraphs of support—each with a single point defended by specific examples, and conclude with a restatement of your main point and its significance.

Some physiological tips

Just think—we expect athletes to practice constantly and use everything in their abilities and situations in order to achieve success. Yet, somehow many students are convinced that one day’s worth of studying, no sleep, and some well-placed compliments (“Gee, Dr. So-and-so, I really enjoyed your last lecture”) are good preparation for a test. Essay exams are like any other testing situation in life: you’ll do best if you are prepared for what is expected of you, have practiced doing it before, and have arrived in the best shape to do it. You may not want to believe this, but it’s true: a good night’s sleep and a relaxed mind and body can do as much or more for you as any last-minute cram session. Colleges abound with tales of woe about students who slept through exams because they stayed up all night, wrote an essay on the wrong topic, forgot everything they studied, or freaked out in the exam and hyperventilated. If you are rested, breathing normally, and have brought along some healthy, energy-boosting snacks that you can eat or drink quietly, you are in a much better position to do a good job on the test. You aren’t going to write a good essay on something you figured out at 4 a.m. that morning. If you prepare yourself well throughout the semester, you don’t risk your whole grade on an overloaded, undernourished brain.

If for some reason you get yourself into this situation, take a minute every once in a while during the test to breathe deeply, stretch, and clear your brain. You need to be especially aware of the likelihood of errors, so check your essays thoroughly before you hand them in to make sure they answer the right questions and don’t have big oversights or mistakes (like saying “Hitler” when you really mean “Churchill”).

If you tend to go blank during exams, try studying in the same classroom in which the test will be given. Some research suggests that people attach ideas to their surroundings, so it might jog your memory to see the same things you were looking at while you studied.

Try good luck charms. Bring in something you associate with success or the support of your loved ones, and use it as a psychological boost.

Take all of the time you’ve been allotted. Reread, rework, and rethink your answers if you have extra time at the end, rather than giving up and handing the exam in the minute you’ve written your last sentence. Use every advantage you are given.

Remember that instructors do not want to see you trip up—they want to see you do well. With this in mind, try to relax and just do the best you can. The more you panic, the more mistakes you are liable to make. Put the test in perspective: will you die from a poor performance? Will you lose all of your friends? Will your entire future be destroyed? Remember: it’s just a test.

Works consulted

We consulted these works while writing this handout. This is not a comprehensive list of resources on the handout’s topic, and we encourage you to do your own research to find additional publications. Please do not use this list as a model for the format of your own reference list, as it may not match the citation style you are using. For guidance on formatting citations, please see the UNC Libraries citation tutorial . We revise these tips periodically and welcome feedback.

Axelrod, Rise B., and Charles R. Cooper. 2016. The St. Martin’s Guide to Writing , 11th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Fowler, Ramsay H., and Jane E. Aaron. 2016. The Little, Brown Handbook , 13th ed. Boston: Pearson.

Gefvert, Constance J. 1988. The Confident Writer: A Norton Handbook , 2nd ed. New York: W.W. Norton and Company.

Kirszner, Laurie G. 1988. Writing: A College Rhetoric , 2nd ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Lunsford, Andrea A. 2015. The St. Martin’s Handbook , 8th ed. Boston: Bedford/St Martin’s.

Woodman, Leonara, and Thomas P. Adler. 1988. The Writer’s Choices , 2nd ed. Northbrook, Illinois: Scott Foresman.

You may reproduce it for non-commercial use if you use the entire handout and attribute the source: The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Module 7: Study Skills

Strategies for answering questions, learning objectives.

  • Identify strategies for answering typical kinds of test questions
Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.

—Albert Einstein

Strategies for Better Test-Taking Performance

In many respects, test-taking is a skill. If you learn some key strategies, you can be quite successful in taking tests. There are many skills and strategies you can employ to help you be a better test taker:

Brigham Young University (BYU) has a put together a set of general guidelines for test preparation, along with specific strategies for doing well on different kinds of tests. Read BYU’s test preparation recommendations here .

Another list of strategies, widely used, is LAB B2OWL—an acronym to help you remember critical aspects of successful test-taking strategies. Watch the following video, which describes the strategies in detail. Then review the main concepts in the table, [1] below.

You can view the transcript for “Exam Strategies – Test Skills” here (opens in new window) .

The infographic, below, depicts key strategies you can use to improve your performance on tests. If you carefully examine the illustrations in the infographic and connect them with the text, you will likely remember these techniques in the future when you most need them.

Studying and Exam Prep Secrets. Set Goals: “Studying” for 2 hours mean nothing, instead, try a goal like “write 300 words”. Aim to Understand: Looking for concepts and arguments will allow you to remember MORE than if you just study facts. Do the Hard Stuff First: This will mean that as your exam gets nearer, your studying will get easier. Don’t Cram: Studies Show that pulling an all nighter actually reduces a student’s grade. Get Rest, Stay Healthy: Get plenty of rest and eat healthy goods for sustained energy. Image credit: UBC: a place of mind.


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  • "Preparing for Exams." Learning Commons . Web. 25 Apr. 2016. ↵
  • College Success. Authored by : Linda Bruce. Provided by : Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Exam Strategies - Test Skills. Authored by : UBC LEAP. Located at : . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Preparing For Exams. Authored by : UBC LEAP. Located at : . License : CC BY: Attribution
  • Studying and Exam Prep Secrets. Provided by : UBC Learning Commons. Located at : . License : CC BY: Attribution

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How to Write a Good Answer to Exam Essay Questions

Last Updated: March 17, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Tristen Bonacci . Tristen Bonacci is a Licensed English Teacher with more than 20 years of experience. Tristen has taught in both the United States and overseas. She specializes in teaching in a secondary education environment and sharing wisdom with others, no matter the environment. Tristen holds a BA in English Literature from The University of Colorado and an MEd from The University of Phoenix. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 645,315 times.

Answering essay questions on an exam can be difficult and stressful, which can make it hard to provide a good answer. However, you can improve your ability to answer essay questions by learning how to understand the questions, form an answer, and stay focused. Developing your ability to give excellent answers on essay exams will take time and effort, but you can learn some good essay question practices and start improving your answers.

Understanding the Question

Step 1 Read the question carefully.

  • Analyze: Explain the what, where, who, when, why, and how. Include pros and cons, strengths and weaknesses, etc.
  • Compare: Discuss the similarities and differences between two or more things. Don't forget to explain why the comparison is useful.
  • Contrast: Discuss how two or more things are different or distinguish between them. Don't forget to explain why the contrast is useful.
  • Define: State what something means, does, achieves, etc.
  • Describe: List characteristics or traits of something. You may also need to summarize something, such as an essay prompt that asks "Describe the major events that led to the American Revolution."
  • Discuss: This is more analytical. You usually begin by describing something and then present arguments for or against it. You may need to analyze the advantages or disadvantages of your subject.
  • Evaluate: Offer the pros and cons, positives and negatives for a subject. You may be asked to evaluate a statement for logical support, or evaluate an argument for weaknesses.
  • Explain: Explain why or how something happened, or justify your position on something.
  • Prove: Usually reserved for more scientific or objective essays. You may be asked to include evidence and research to build a case for a specific position or set of hypotheses.
  • Summarize: Usually, this means to list the major ideas or themes of a subject. It could also ask you to present the main ideas in order to then fully discuss them. Most essay questions will not ask for pure summary without anything else.

Step 3 Ask questions if anything is unclear.

  • Raise your hand and wait for your teacher to come over to you or approach your teacher’s desk to ask your question. This way you will be less likely to disrupt other test takers.

Forming Your Response

Step 1 Follow the instructions.

  • Take a moment to consider your organization before you start writing your answer. What information should come first, second, third, etc.?
  • In many cases, the traditional 5-paragraph essay structure works well. Start with an introductory paragraph, use 3 paragraphs in the body of the article to explain different points, and finish with a concluding paragraph.
  • It can also be really helpful to draft a quick outline of your essay before you start writing.

Step 3 Choose relevant facts and figures to include.

  • You may want to make a list of facts and figures that you want to include in your essay answer. That way you can refer to this list as you write your answer.
  • It's best to write down all the important key topics or ideas before you get started composing your answer. That way, you can check back to make sure you haven't missed anything.

Step 4 Begin your answer by rephrasing the essay question as a statement.

  • For example, imagine that your essay question asks: "Should the FIFA World Cup be awarded to countries with human rights violations? Explain and support your answer."
  • You might restate this as "Countries with human rights violations should not be awarded the FIFA World Cup because this rewards a nation's poor treatment of its citizens." This will be the thesis that you support with examples and explanation.

Step 5 Make sure that your answer has a clear point.

  • For example, whether you argue that the FIFA World Cup should or should not be awarded to countries with human rights violations, you will want to address the opposing side's argument. However, it needs to be clear where your essay stands about the matter.
  • Often, essay questions end up saying things along the lines of "There are many similarities and differences between X and Y." This does not offer a clear position and can result in a bad grade.

Step 6 Pay attention to your grammar and punctuation.

  • If you are required to write your answer by hand, then take care to make your writing legible and neat. Some professors may deduct points if they cannot read what you have written.

Staying Calm and Focused

Step 1 Stop and take a deep breath if you get too anxious.

  • If you get to a point during the exam where you feel too anxious to focus, put down your pencil (or take your hands off of the keyboard), close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Stretch your arms and imagine that you are somewhere pleasant for a few moments. When you have completed this brief exercise, open up your eyes and resume the exam.

Step 2 Use your time wisely.

  • For example, if the exam period is one hour long and you have to answer three questions in that time frame, then you should plan to spend no more than 20 minutes on each question.
  • Look at the weight of the questions, if applicable. For example, if there are five 10-point short-answers and a 50-point essay, plan to spend more time on the essay because it is worth significantly more. Don't get stuck spending so much time on the short-answers that you don't have time to develop a complex essay.

Step 3 Write as quickly as you can.

  • This strategy is even more important if the exam has multiple essay questions. If you take too much time on the first question, then you may not have enough time to answer the other questions on the exam.

Step 4 Stay on topic.

  • If you feel like you are straying away from the question, reread the question and review any notes that you made to help guide you. After you get refocused, then continue writing your answer.
  • Try to allow yourself enough time to go back and tighten up connections between your points. A few well-placed transitions can really bump up your grade.

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • If you are worried about running out of time, put your watch in front of you where you can see it. Just try not to focus on it too much. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • If you need more practice, make up your own questions or even look at some practice questions online! Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

Tips from our Readers

  • Look up relevant quotes if your exam is open notes. Use references from books or class to back up your answers.
  • Make sure your sentences flow together and that you don't repeat the same thing twice!

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About This Article

Tristen Bonacci

To write a good answer to an exam essay question, read the question carefully to find what it's asking, and follow the instructions for the essay closely. Begin your essay by rephrasing the question into a statement with your answer in the statement. Include supplemental facts and figures if necessary, or do textual analysis from a provided piece to support your argument. Make sure your writing is clear and to the point, and don't include extra information unless it supports your argument. For tips from our academic reviewer on understanding essay questions and dealing with testing nerves, read on! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Chapter 6: Preparing for and Taking Tests

College students sitting in a lecture hall, taking an exam

Robert the Noid – Friday….. Test….. – CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Where Are You Now?

Assess your present knowledge and attitudes.

Where Do You Want to Go?

Think about how you answered the questions above. Be honest with yourself. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your preparation for tests at this time?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your test-taking skills at this time?

In the following list, circle the three most important areas in which you think you can improve:

  • Reducing test anxiety
  • Cramming for exams
  • Using study time more effectively
  • Feeling confident for an exam
  • Staying focused while studying
  • Using my time effectively during an exam
  • Selecting the right things to study
  • Answering multiple-choice questions
  • Selecting the best time and place to study
  • Answering short answer questions
  • Working in effective study groups
  • Answering essay questions
  • Studying from my notes
  • Taking oral exams/giving presentations as exams
  • Studying from my text
  • Taking online exams

Are there other areas in which you can improve your test preparation and test taking? Write down other things you feel you need to work on.


How to Get There

Here’s what we’ll work on in this chapter:

  • Knowing what exams really are and why the right attitude about them is important for your college success
  • Discovering how studying for and taking tests fit in to the learning cycle
  • Dealing with test anxiety
  • Learning when, where, and how to study
  • Recognizing types of tests and types of test questions
  • Learning tips for multiple-choice, true-or-false, fill-the-blank, matching, short answer, and essay questions
  • Applying general strategies for tests and exams
  • Applying strategies for math and science tests

Tested at Every Turn

Testing is a part of life. Have you ever participated in an athletic event? Completed a crossword puzzle? Acted in a play? Cooked dinner? Answered a child’s question? Prepared a cost estimate? All of these common life situations are forms of tests because they measure how much we know about a specific subject at a single point in time. They alone are not good measurements about how smart or gifted you are—they show only how much you know or can do at that moment. We can learn from how we have performed, and we can think about how to apply what we have learned to do even better next time. We can have fun measuring our progress.

Many of our daily activities are measurements of progress toward mastery of skills or knowledge. We welcome these opportunities as both work and fun. But when these opportunities are part of our academic life, we often dread them and rarely feel any sense of fun. In reality, however, academic tests are similar to real-life tests in the following ways:

  • They help us measure our progress toward mastery of a particular skill.
  • They are not a representation of how smart, talented, or skilled we are but rather are a measurement only of what we know about a specific subject at a specific point in time.
  • They are extraordinary learning opportunities.

Academic tests in college are different from those you took in high school. College instructors expect to see much more of you in an exam: your thoughts, your interpretations, your thinking process, your conclusions. High school teachers usually look for your ability to repeat precisely what you read in your text or heard in your class. Success on high school tests relies much more on memorization than on understanding the material. This is why you need to modify your study habits and your strategies for taking exams in college.

Take a look at the learning cycle in Figure 6.2 “The Learning Cycle: Review and Apply” . In this chapter, we cover reviewing and applying the material you learn; preparing for and taking exams is the practical application of this phase.

Figure 6.2 The Learning Cycle: Review and Apply


Absorb New Ideas (Listening) and Record (Taking Notes Memorizing) and Review/Apply

The end and the beginning of the learning cycle are both involved in test taking, as we’ll see in this chapter. We will discuss the best study habits for effective review and strategies for successful application of your knowledge in tests and exams. Finally, we will cover how the review and application processes set you up for additional learning.

Let’s start at the top of the cycle. You have invested your time in preparing for class, you have been an active listener in class, and you have asked questions and taken notes. You have summarized what you learned and have looked for opportunities to apply the material. You have completed your reading assignments and compared your reading notes with your class notes. And now you hear your instructor say, “Remember the exam next week.”

A sense of dread takes over. You worry about the exam and what might be on it. You stay up for a couple of nights trying to work through the volumes of material the course has covered. Learning or remembering it all seems hopeless. You find yourself staring at the same paragraph in your text over and over again, but you just don’t seem to get it. As the exam looms closer, you feel your understanding of the material is slipping away. You show up to the exam and the first questions look familiar, but then you draw a blank—you’re suffering from test anxiety.

College Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

by William Shakespeare

Hamlet quiz 1.

  • 1 Hamlet is set in England Sweden Denmark Scotland
  • 2 Hamlet is a prince fool king princess
  • 3 Hamlet's stepfather is also his brother nephew uncle grandfather
  • 4 Claudius poisoned Old Hamlet Ophelia Hamlet Gertrude
  • 5 The ghost is first spotted in Gertrude's chambers on the deck of the ship in the graveyard outside the castle
  • 6 The ghost claims he is the King of Norway Claudius Old Hamlet Old Fortinbras
  • 7 In his first appearance onstage, Hamlet is wearing the crown a jester's costume mourning clothes royal robes
  • 8 Hamlet claims to be afflicted by gout melancholy schizophrenia dyslexia
  • 9 Hamlet's famous speeches are called dramatic irony dialogues unilogues soliloquys
  • 10 What noise drives the ghost offstage? Hamlet crying his wife sleeping with Claudius a cock's crow a string quartet
  • 11 Who has Hamlet professed love for? Gertrude Rosencrantz Ophelia Guildenstern
  • 12 Why are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in Denmark? to cheer up Hamlet to kill Hamlet to bring Hamlet back to England to find out why Hamlet is acting mad
  • 13 Where does Hamlet go to university? England France Luxembourg Germany
  • 14 What religion was Denmark at time of writing? High Anglican Catholic Anglican Protestant
  • 15 Where does Hamlet say Ophelia should go? a bakery a castle a nunnery Russia
  • 16 How does Ophelia die? poison hanging fencing drowning
  • 17 Where does the ghost say he wanders? Heaven Baltic Sea Purgatory Hell
  • 18 When the play begins, the castle is celebrating Hamlet's return Laertes' return Old Hamlet's defeat of Old Fortinbras King Claudius and Queen Gertrude's marriage
  • 19 Who survives the play? Hamlet Claudius and Gertrude Laertes and Polonius and Ophelia Horatio
  • 20 There are images throughout the play relating to nose neck eyelashes ears
  • 21 The health of a state seems related to the physical state of its people the moral state of its people the moral state of the leader the physical state of its leader
  • 22 Young Fortinbras says he is invading Denmark Germany England Poland
  • 23 Who saves Hamlet's life? Polonius Old Hamlet Ophelia pirates
  • 24 In form, Hamlet is above all what sort of play? a punch and judy show a morality play a revenge play a comedy
  • 25 What does Hamlet call Polonius? dear man father-in-law a fishmonger father

GradeSaver will pay $15 for your literature essays

Hamlet Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Hamlet is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

Closely examine Hamlet’s most famous soliloquy on page 137 (lines 57-91). Summarize the arguments he is contemplating in this speech.

What act and scene are you referring to?

Describe Fortinbras based on what Horatio says.

Do you mean in Act 1? Based upon Horatio's description, young Fortinbras is bold, inexperienced, and willing to do anything to regain his father's lost lands.

Why is a clock mentioned in Hamlet. There weren’t any clock’s in Hanlet’s time.

Yes I've heard this question before. This is called an anachronism. It is an inconsistency in some chronological arrangement. In this case, there were clocks in Shakespeare’s time but not in Hamlet's. Shakespeare wrote it in because he thought it...

Study Guide for Hamlet

Hamlet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Hamlet
  • Hamlet Summary
  • Hamlet Video
  • Character List

Essays for Hamlet

Hamlet essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

  • Through Rose Colored Glasses: How the Victorian Age Shifted the Focus of Hamlet
  • Q to F7: Mate; Hamlet's Emotions, Actions, and Importance in the Nunnery Scene
  • Before the Storm
  • Haunted: Hamlet's Relationship With His Dead Father
  • Heliocentric Hamlet: The Astronomy of Hamlet

Lesson Plan for Hamlet

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to Hamlet
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • Hamlet Bibliography

E-Text of Hamlet

The Hamlet e-text contains the full text of the play Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

  • List of Characters

Wikipedia Entries for Hamlet

  • Introduction

answering essay questions quiz quizlet

AP U.S. History Practice Exams

Ap us history practice exams.

We have links to all of the online AP US History practice exams. Loads of free practice questions are available. Review the resources listed below to start your test prep now!

Official Practice Test

Apush practice tests, ace practice tests, american history ap quizzes, us history quiz, alan brinkley chapter quizzes, apush course review, apush review flashcards.

AP US History | Practice Exams | FRQ & DBQ | Notes | Videos |  Study Guides

  • Artificial Intelligence /

Quizlet’s AI study tools think I’m a bad student

Students now use ai to study, but how will i, a non-student, fare.

By Emilia David , a reporter who covers AI. Prior to joining The Verge, she covered the intersection between technology, finance, and the economy.

Share this story

A stock photo of a school bus

Quizlet, a tool that helps personalize studying for students, recently released a set of new AI-powered features.

Quizlet is one of the many educational platforms embracing generative AI to facilitate learning, despite consternation from teachers when ChatGPT first burst into the scene. I no longer have assignments to read, but to do my job, I have to read tons of news articles, reports, and research papers fairly quickly. I wondered: can I use Quizlet to make my job easier and test how much of my beat I actually understand?

Oh man, it didn’t turn out well for me. 

Quizlet released several AI-powered tools on August 8th. Memory Score schedules reviews and tracks scores to help users remember the material. Quick Summary takes key concepts from readings. Brain Beats turn flashcards into songs — a far cry from the mnemonics I used as a kid to remember the order of operations. And Q Chat lets students talk to a ChatGPT-powered tutor. Before adding generative AI, users had to manually add questions to custom flashcards and quick quizzes.

Quizlet Plus users, who pay $7.99 a month or $35.99 a year, have unlimited access to the new features. 

Quizlet gave me early access to one of the features called Magic Notes. (Sadly, I didn’t get to try the song generator.) Magic Notes lets users upload or copy-paste text, and Quizlet summarizes it, then offers an outline, sample essay questions, creates flashcards, and even puts together a practice test. 

I decided to plug a story by The Verge ’s Makena Kelly into Magic Notes. This story is frequently open in my browser as I tend to link back to it often, which means I’ve read it more times than I can count. 

After pasting the story, Magic Notes generated a bullet-point summary of the article’s main ideas. It offered me a sample essay prompt to discuss the importance of AI companies investing in AI safety, and then there was the practice test.

I got a solid D on the practice test, answering nine of the 15 questions correctly. 

In my defense, some of these questions were nonsensical. Quizlet offered me a list of terms with options for “definitions” and asked me to say whether they matched. (Terms and definitions were sometimes but not always phrased in the form of a question, like on Jeopardy. ) For this one, it asked if the definition “Open-sourcing it for researchers and most commercial use” matched the term “What is watermarking in the context of AI-generated content.” Okay, odd phrasing because that’s not how I would define watermarking. The correct answer was: “What did Meta announce about their language model Llama 2?” I’m sorry, but what?!

quizlet ai tool

It did get some questions to mostly make sense. Quizlet prompted me to define AI voice assistants. The answer choices were “What is the importance of responsibility in AI,” “What are measures related to cybersecurity,” “What is the concern regarding enforcement of AI commitments,” and “Which type of AI-generated content would not be covered by watermarking.” The correct answer is the last one. This one was a gimme.

Next, I put in one of my stories , thinking I should do better because I wrote the thing, and I feel like I understand what I wrote. Somehow, Quizlet believed the phrase “fostering trust” was an actual term I was looking to define in the story. It isn’t. I simply needed a synonym for “building trust.” 

Quizlet does say the technology isn’t foolproof and will occasionally return incorrect or problematic answers, so make sure to continue guiding your child while using the features. Quizlet built its new AI features with various generative models, including GPT-3.5. 

Students were some of the first to embrace generative AI and ChatGPT. This prompted panic from educators who worried kids used the tools to cheat. School districts banned access to ChatGPT. In May, New York rescinded its ban . 

Since then, generative AI has become more ubiquitous. Like every other sector out there, education-focused platforms want to take advantage. Quizlet is not the only kid-focused startup exploring generative AI for students. Smartphone for Kids maker Pinwheel announced PinwheelGPT, basically ChatGPT for kids with less complex vocabulary. Inside Higher Education said AI in education will grow to a $25 billion industry by 2030 from $2 billion in 2022. 

Magic Notes did do a pretty good job summarizing the article, and maybe a news story isn’t the best way to test out a study guide. Some news articles summarize an event or talk about company plans; not everything is defined. News assumes a reader already knows the context stories talk about.

So I put in Shakespeare Sonnet 116, mainly because I studied it in college a decade ago. Magic Notes did better, and more importantly, I did better in the practice quiz. The questions made sense. For example, who is the author of the sonnet? William Shakespeare, of course. What are tempests in the sonnet? Obstacles or turbulent times.

But the quiz still didn’t do well with ambiguity. It asked me to choose the best definition to match with the phrase “Love as an unchanging and unwavering force.” The two choices were “What is the meaning of ‘marriage of true minds’?” and “What is the central theme of Sonnet 116?” I said it was the marriage of two minds; the correct answer is the latter. That is a valid answer, even though I can argue why my choice was right. But I am a literature major and believe literature should be open to interpretation.

Quizlet is a tool for students to get an overview of the topics they discuss in class so they have a quicker grasp of the material before a lecture. It is not a place to discuss the choice of nature and time as imagery and relate it to Shakespeare’s life. These questions were fine for that — but, in general, pretty basic.

quizlet on Shakespeare

I played with Quizlet’s Magic Notes for a few days and kept pasting in different texts, from research paper abstracts to opinion pieces, to varying degrees of success. It isn’t perfect, though I could see how students can find these AI-powered study tools helpful. It breaks down concepts and saves time when reading denser material. 

Then again, does no one use CliffsNotes anymore?

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Multiple Choice

Which of the following foods is NOT made by fermentation?

  • orange juice

Who is considered the “father of Western medicine”?

  • Marcus Terentius Varro
  • Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
  • Hippocrates

Who was the first to observe “animalcules” under the microscope?

  • Ötzi the Iceman
  • Robert Koch

Who proposed that swamps might harbor tiny, disease-causing animals too small to see?

  • Louis Pasteur

Which of the following was NOT a kingdom in Linnaeus’s taxonomy?

Which of the following is a correct usage of binomial nomenclature?

  • Homo Sapiens
  • homo sapiens
  • Homo sapiens

Which scientist proposed adding a kingdom for protists?

  • Carolus Linnaeus
  • Robert Whittaker
  • Ernst Haeckel

Which of the following is NOT a domain in Woese and Fox’s phylogenetic tree?

Which of the following is the standard resource for identifying bacteria?

  • Systema Naturae
  • Bergey’s Manual of Determinative Bacteriology
  • Woese and Fox’s phylogenetic tree
  • Haeckel’s General Morphology of Organisms

Which of the following types of microorganisms is photosynthetic?

Which of the following is a prokaryotic microorganism?

  • cyanobacterium

Which of the following is acellular?

Which of the following is a type of fungal microorganism?

Which of the following is not a subfield of microbiology?

  • bacteriology
  • clinical microbiology

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Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Access for free at
  • Authors: Nina Parker, Mark Schneegurt, Anh-Hue Thi Tu, Philip Lister, Brian M. Forster
  • Publisher/website: OpenStax
  • Book title: Microbiology
  • Publication date: Nov 1, 2016
  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Book URL:
  • Section URL:

© Jan 10, 2024 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.


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Descriptive essay

1st - 3rd grade.

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10 questions

Player avatar

Introducing new   Paper mode

No student devices needed.   Know more

Descriptive essay is describe about __________.

i) A person

ii) An Event

iii) A thing

iv) A place

i, ii, and iii

ii, iii, and iv

i, ii, iii, and iv

What is the correct structure of paragraph in descriptive essay

Topic sentence, 3 supporting details, conclusion

Introduction, 3 supporting details, conclusion

There are 6 step in writting a descriptive essay. choose the second step in writting descriptive essay.

Create a topic sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph

Write your introductory paragraph

Structure your essay in a way that makes sense for your topic

Write your body paragraphs based on your sentences

which one on these statement is true about descriptive writting

Descriptive writing tries to SHOW you, not TELL you about something or someone

Descriptive writing tries to TELL you, not SHOW you about something or someone

Descriptive essay contain how many elements?

which of these elements are there in good descriptive essay?

i) precise langguage

ii) sensory details

iii) dominant & impressions

There are 4 types of sense in sensory details. Which statement shows the sense of sound?

My residential area has been quiet since the movement control order (MCO) was enforced.

I still remember the first time I played snow in Tokyo and the snow was freezing cool

I really like the sunset view from the beach

My mum bake a cookies and the smell reminds me of Famous Amos cookies

"Using specific words and phares will help reader to 'see' what are you describing"

choose the element which is related the given statement above.

Supporting details

Precise language

Spartial orders

Dominants impressions

How to use your sense in supporting details?

You are required to describe only one thing which act as your main point

Add specific details to support your topic (thesis) statement

“Descriptive essay organize the details by moving through space”

This statement is describe elements of Spatial Order.

Explore all questions with a free account

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Continue with email

Continue with phone


  1. Answering the Essay/Short Answer Exam Question

    answering essay questions quiz quizlet

  2. How To Answer An Essay Question

    answering essay questions quiz quizlet

  3. Answering Essay Questions Scaffold (teacher made)

    answering essay questions quiz quizlet

  4. Answering Essay Questions: 10 standard rules and tricks for HIGH SCORES

    answering essay questions quiz quizlet

  5. Study Skills Answering Essay Questions

    answering essay questions quiz quizlet

  6. Quizlet Test

    answering essay questions quiz quizlet


  1. Answering Essay Questions Review and Quiz Questions Flashcards

    D. True or False: It is not necessary to spend a large amount of time preparing for an essay because you are never really sure of what the questions will be. False. Outlines should be written. a. In complete sentences. b. In complete thoughts, but not always complete sentences. c.

  2. Answering Essay Questions: Practice Test Flashcards

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like The only time to not use complete sentences in an essay is when a. Complete sentences are always necessary in ANY answer to an essay question b. You don't know what to write about, so you list the vocabulary words associated with the topic c. You have no choice but to outline your answer d. Complete sentences are never necessary ...

  3. Answering Essay Questions : AP Flashcards

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like The 5 paragraph essay format includes a. an introduction b. 3 supporting details c. a summary d. all of these, Create an outline that identifies the 5 sections of a 5 paragraph essay., If you must use an outline for an essay answer, you do not need to use complete thoughts T or F and more.

  4. Answering essay questions Flashcards

    Q-Chat. Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like This is the first step of your essay, details, sequential words and more.

  5. answering essay questions Flashcards

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like analyze, compare, contrast and more. ... Test. Match. Created by. kyliephillips30. Terms in this set (14) ... Terms before you write- Answering Essay Questions. 14 terms. lbryant1234. Words to know for essay questions (CP English) 16 terms. sarahesther. vocab. 20 terms.

  6. 6.4 The Secrets of the Q and A's

    6. Short answer questions require a _____ answer. 5. Essay questions often have more than one _____ answer. 8. Describe the meaning of a word: 7. Show similarities and differences: 9. Give a brief, precise description of an idea or concept: 12. Most common answer in true and false questions: 10. Type of question used to evaluate thinking and ...


    Then put the information in a logical order. Stage Four: Restate the Question—To begin writing the answer to the question, rephrase the question in your opening sentence. It is important to repeat many of the words found in the question to show your instructor that your answer is clear and on target. Stage Five: Use Transitional Words—As ...

  8. PDF Answering Essay Questions Made Easier

    A list of important words in essay questions has been given below to help students answer essay questions with the kinds of responses that instructors seek. These words are called KEY WORDS! One suggestion many students have found helpful is to mark all the KEY WORDS in all test directions and question before beginning to answer.

  9. Essay Exams

    You must be realistic about the time constraints of an essay exam. If you write one dazzling answer on an exam with three equally-weighted required questions, you earn only 33 points—not enough to pass at most colleges. This may seem unfair, but keep in mind that instructors plan exams to be reasonably comprehensive.

  10. Strategies for Answering Questions

    B. BUDGET: Budget your time based on the point allocation for each question. For instance, let's say your exam has one essay question worth 50 percent, and 5 identifications worth 10 percent each. If you have two hours to take the test, this gives you one hour to complete the essay, and 10 minutes for each of the five short-answer questions.

  11. How to Write a Good Answer to Exam Essay Questions: 13 Steps

    Start with an introductory paragraph, use 3 paragraphs in the body of the article to explain different points, and finish with a concluding paragraph. It can also be really helpful to draft a quick outline of your essay before you start writing. 3. Choose relevant facts and figures to include.

  12. PDF Test Your APA Style Knowledge Quiz, APA Style; 7th Edition

    The following questions test your knowledge of seventh edition APA Style. The 45 questions assess APA Style paper format, in-text citations, references, numbers, lists, spelling, capitalization, and abbreviations. The numbers in parentheses after most questions indicate the sections where you can find more information about the topic in the ...

  13. Chapter 6: Preparing for and Taking Tests

    In this chapter, we cover reviewing and applying the material you learn; preparing for and taking exams is the practical application of this phase. Figure 6.2 The Learning Cycle: Review and Apply. Absorb New Ideas (Listening) and Record (Taking Notes Memorizing) and Review/Apply. The end and the beginning of the learning cycle are both involved ...


    There are two major purposes for using essay questions. One purpose is to assess students' understanding of and ability to think with subject matter content. The other purpose is to assess students' writing abilities. These two purposes are so different in nature that it is best to treat them separately.

  15. Hamlet Quizzes

    Hamlet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. ... The Question and Answer section for Hamlet is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel. Closely examine Hamlet's most famous ...

  16. AP U.S. History Practice Exams

    It includes 55 multiple choice practice questions, 4 short answer questions, 1 DBQ, and 2 long essay questions. The test begins on Page 4 of this PDF file. APUSH Practice Tests. ... Another great set of flashcards from Quizlet. Includes 518 terms beginning in the colonial era and ending at 9/11.

  17. Quizlet's AI study tools think I'm a bad student

    Before adding generative AI, users had to manually add questions to custom flashcards and quick quizzes. Quizlet Plus users, who pay $7.99 a month or $35.99 a year, have unlimited access to the ...

  18. Parts of an Essay

    Parts of an Essay quiz for 6th grade students. Find other quizzes for English and more on Quizizz for free! ... Show Answers. See Preview. 1. Multiple Choice. Edit. 1 minute. 1 pt. ... Explore all questions with a free account. Continue with Google. Continue with Microsoft. Continue with email.

  19. Ch. 1 Multiple Choice

    Test your knowledge of microbiology with this free online quiz. Choose the best answer from multiple choice questions on topics such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and more.


    This is vital. Look for key words (the issue to be considered) and topic words (the subject matter) and you can ensure that you actually answer the question rather than provide a simple narrative of events. Once you have analyzed the question, you are ready to write your plan. Answer the question asked without adding extraneous information.

  21. Descriptive essay

    1 pt. There are 6 step in writting a descriptive essay. choose the second step in writting descriptive essay. Create a topic sentence at the beginning of each body paragraph. Write your introductory paragraph. Structure your essay in a way that makes sense for your topic. Write your body paragraphs based on your sentences.