there a formula to the writing test?
Yes, there is. There are certain
elements that scorers look at while grading:
The sentence count for the
paragraphs is the following 4-7-7-7-5. (4 sentences for your
introduction, 7 for your first reason, 7 for your second reason, 7 for your
third reason, and 5 for your conclusion). I encourage my students to
memorize this number.
Many scorers look for your first
and third reasons to be the strongest. When planning, you
should try to arrange your reasons so that your third is the
Solid introductions and
conclusions are a must. Be careful writing your introduction! Scorers look
for hook sentences that relate to the topic. Memorize this
statement - restating the prompt is not a hook sentence!
are list of my favorite writing tips for the NC State writing test:
Build a list of strong
vocabulary. What words are strong? Words like zoomed, floated,
When planning, read your prompt
carefully. Some find it helpful to underline or circle important words.
Develop a solid beginning with
a hook. Sound words (or as English teachers like to call them onomatopoeia)
make awesome starters - Knock! Knock! Jackpot! Ring! Ring! Splash! Exclamation
sentences are also great.
Develop a strong ending.
Endings should not merely restate the prompt of the first sentence of
Use some figurative language,
but be careful not to overuse.
Plan. Plan. Plan. Planning
helps get you in the writing "zone." By planning, especially
planning out the details for your reasons, you lessen your chance of having
insufficient elaboration. When you plan, you can figure out which reasons
will generate the most details.
If you get frustrated, take a deep
breath and relax.