English Language - Exam Technique

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You don't actually get marks for your plan, but if you spend a few minutes writing one it'll help you write a well-organised and thoughtful answer. And that will get you good marks, of course.

Think about the question...

Underline the key words in the question.

"Write a letter to a pen friend in which you explain what your ambitions are for the future."

Letter - the form you're writing in

Pen friend - The audience. Be fairly informal but remember they may have not met you.

Explain - This is the purpose - you'll need to give plenty of details and reasons.

...then make a plan

  • Spend about 5 minutes getting your ideas together. Think about language techniques as well as content.
  • You can write your plan in note form. It doesn't have to be in sentences.
  • You could use a spider diagram for your plan.
  • Decide which order you're going to write your points in before you start. Don't forget - you'll need a strong introduction and conclusion too.

There is no single right way to plan. So just choose the one that suits you best.

Choose your structure

  • While you're making your plan, you should think about your writing's structure.
  • For example, you might want to mention some bits in more detail than others, or create a certain effect with your writing.
  • Here's a plan for a piece of descriptive writing…


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