Essays for international exams, such as SAT, GRE, GMAT, TOEFL and IELTS, do not require a literary talent, but rather a mastery of the writing technique. Almost any international test for admission to universities contains a section devoted to writing essays. There is a general approach to writing essays for standardized tests, which includes four basic steps.
1. Define the type of the essay
First, you need to determine which type of essay you want to write. In standard tests taken from, they are often asked to write a problematic essay when it is necessary to state an opinion on a given problem and an argumentative essay where it is necessary to analyze the presented arguments against or in defense of one or another point of view.
2. Determine the volume of the essay
The volume of the text affects the complexity of the essay, the number of paragraphs. The basic three-paragraph essay consists of 300-500 words. In standard tests, it is called short. The volume of the long essay is at least 500-800 words, and it consists of five paragraphs.
In each paragraph, there must be at least three sentences. It is important to understand that it is not the volume of the printed text that is assessed, but the structure and content of the essay.
3. Formulation of basic thought, thesis, and arguments
The main idea is what the essay is about. The thesis is what the author thinks about the basic idea of the essay. Arguments are logical statements in support of the author’s thesis. Each of these elements must consist of at least one sentence.
If we state these elements in order, then we get an introduction. As the main idea, one can use the wording from the text of the task. If the text of the task is formulated in the form of a question, in most cases, the thesis should be formulated as an answer to the question posed.
4. Presentation of the main part of the essay
In an essay, up to three thousand words for the introduction and conclusion is allocated one paragraph each. The rest of the essay consists of the main part. For example, in an essay has five paragraphs, the main part should consist of three sections, i.e. one paragraph for each argument.
In an essay of three paragraphs, there is only one paragraph to represent all three arguments, which makes writing it even more difficult. After a brief outline of the main part, you should write one introductory sentence for each paragraph.
The main recommendation for writing essays for standardized tests is to quickly sketch out the initial version of the essay. In any case, the finished essay is always evaluated higher than the unfinished one. If you have a little time left, you can easily improve the essay with small changes.