MYTUTOR SUBJECT ANSWERS

365 views

How do you to answer an exam essay question successfully?

The trick to writing an successful essay in the exam in the planning. Those first 5 minutes should be spend taking deep breaths and reading the questions carefully. It is a common mistake to see a topic you have studied well in an exam question and start answering it right away before you fully comprehend what is asking. It will be good to underline any key words (not the whole question though). You need to look at:

a) how the question is framed: is it a 'Discuss...' question, a quote that you need to agree or disagree with;

b) the chronological boundaries;

While reading the question you should also keep in mind your own knowledge and understanding. This will help you realise whether or not you will be able to answert the question effectively. You should ask yourself:

a) do I know events or individuals that I can base my answer on;

b) do I understand the turning points or continuities concerned with this question and which examples to use;

c) do I know a sufficient amount of primary and secondary sources to support my argument?

After deciding on a question, the next step is a brief plan. There you will write the first things that come on your mind, which are also likely to be the most important. You can refer to your plan when you are stuck and this will also help you to write an informed introductory paragraph.

REMEMBER: Do not make it difficult for your examiner to find your arguement. State it in the introduction. For example: "In this essay, I will argue that ... was indeed a turning point for ... because...'. Also give a brief summary of all the main point you are going to make.

Your main body works as evidence of what you have stated in the introduction. Every topic sentence should refer back to the question and let the examiner know this paragraph is relevant to what you are answering. Make sure that you tackle different aspects of the question and answer all its components! In each paragraph, give different reasons why your argument is correct and try to defy the opposing point of view. 

In the conclusion, do not try to insert new information, but simply bring home your most convincing statements and wrap things up.

This may seem as a lot to take in and it takes some practise to decide on a question and make a fast plan. Practise makes perfect so it is always a good idea to try to solve some past papers but - be warned - do not try to answer your exam question in the same way you did the past papers. Each question is framed differently and you should adapt your evidence to what is asked of you.

I truly hope this helps and best of luck with your exams! 

Maria C. GCSE History tutor, A Level History tutor, GCSE Chemistry tu...

10 months ago

Answered by Maria, an A Level History tutor with MyTutor


Still stuck? Get one-to-one help from a personally interviewed subject specialist

88 SUBJECT SPECIALISTS

£20 /hr

Frances W.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:History

History

“Hi I am Frances and I am second year History student at the University of Nottingham!”

£20 /hr

Rebecca J.

Degree: History BA (Hons) (Bachelors) - Nottingham University

Subjects offered:History, Geography+ 1 more

History
Geography
Economics

“I am a second year history student at the University of Nottingham. I've always been very passionate about history, but I also enjoyed economics and geography at school. In our sessions we will cover anything you need work on, be that ...”

MyTutor guarantee

£20 /hr

Annabel G.

Degree: History and Ancient History (Bachelors) - Exeter University

Subjects offered:History, English Literature

History
English Literature

“About Me I am a History and Ancient History student at the University of Exeter. I have always loved History, and knew I wanted to study it at degree level since I was 14. While studying for my A-levels I became an ambassador for the ...”

MyTutor guarantee

About the author

£20 /hr

Maria C.

Degree: History (Bachelors) - Glasgow University

Subjects offered:History, Classical Civilisation+ 2 more

History
Classical Civilisation
Chemistry
-Personal Statements-

“Top tutor from the renowned Russell university group, ready to help you improve your grades.”

MyTutor guarantee

You may also like...

Other A Level History questions

How do I structure a History essay?

What is the difference between voluntarist, structuralist and post-structuralist?

How do I answer a 'how far' essay question?

'It was Ronald Reagan who brought the Cold War to an end.' How valid is view with reference to the years 1985 to 1991?

View A Level History tutors

We use cookies to improve your site experience. By continuing to use this website, we'll assume that you're OK with this. Dismiss

mtw:mercury1:status:ok