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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 5:01 pm
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My DS will be expected to write a 30min essay as part of an entrance exam. I have no idea whether this will be fictional, factual or whether a choice of titles will be given. What is usually the case?

My DS has really good presentation and neat writing under normal circumstances. However, with only 30mins he will have no time to rewrite the piece should he wish to make changes. We've practised a couple of times and by the time he has substituted a word or added something in towards the end, the result looks quite messy.

So I'm looking for some good tips, and tried and tested methods please.
Do you think writing in pen or pencil would be best? Should he leave a line, between each line so that he has room to add something? How do you go about writing a good story in such a short time?

Many thanks in advance


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
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Location: Warwickshire.
Make a short plan first.
Write in whichever medium he is more used to.
Leaving a line in between seems quite a good idea to me.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:39 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 4:56 pm
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In the exams my DS has done, they specifically say that no marks are given for neatness, so long as the writing is legible, so don't worry about adding things in. I think examiners quite like to see that they've gone back and re-read the text and made some edits.

The trick is to make the essay pretty simple in terms of story (ie not too much happening and only a couple of characters) but to put in plenty of good descriptive words etc. I find with my son that if his original idea is too complicated, he forgets to do the descriptive stuff and usually runs out of time before the end.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 10:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 10:47 am
Posts: 3310
Location: Warwickshire.
To add to This is madness's comment about having a maximum of two characters - there's no reason why your son could not already start thinking of a few different characters. If he invents a 'backstory' for them he will feel very able to write about them in the exam, as he will feel that he knows them. The same goes for already thinking of settings - even if it's just a few descriptive words.

My daughter has a couple of entrance exams next week and writes for pleasure ALL of the time. She's already thinking of metaphors/similes she could possibly incorporate.

Good luck, I know how this process feels!


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