You have 2 ½ hours to write three essays, which equates to 50 minutes per essay. Even though you may be in a hurry to write as much as possible, that is not necessarily the best strategy. There are certain key ways in which slowing down can be very helpful:
- Choose your three questions. Any three – two can be from the same section – just make sure you can answer them.
- Remember that this is the regional option: if you choose examples from another region you will not get credit. Look a the map one last time to reassure yourself.
- Slow down so that your writing is legible. Handwriting does count, and while examiners will do their best to read what you wrote, if it cannot be read then it might as well not be there.
- Rather than starting essays immediately when you are allowed to begin writing, take the time to develop a plan. It does not have to have a lot of detail, but drafting your thesis and writing down your main arguments can help you better structure your essay.
- Listing facts and dates that you are worried you might forget can also be useful, as can writing down different historical perspectives. However, do not feel the need to use every piece of evidence you write down. It is better to take some time to consider whether it is just information that you are proud that you know, rather than information that will advance your argument.
- If your mind starts to wander, it might be worth it to take a brief mental break before you keep going. This may be especially true as you transition from one essay to the next; allowing yourself to take a deep breath is sometimes exactly what you need to get yourself back on track.
- Reviewing your essays once you have completed them is also very helpful. If you have finished your essays and have some time left, reading through your work gives you one last opportunity to add material that you forgot or delete irrelevancies. This could help you with your level of focus, structure, organization and analysis.