The ANSWER Strategy for Essay Tests

Objective: Students use a strategy for answering essay questions.

Grades: Middle school and above


Read the question carefully

Underline key words

Gauge the time you need

N     NOTICE REQUIREMENTS Scan for and mark the parts of the question

Ask and say what is required

Tell yourself you will write a quality answer

S     SET UP AN OUTLINE Set up main ideas

Assess whether they match the question

Make changes if necessary

W     WORK IN DETAILS Remember what you learned

Add details to the main ideas using abbreviations

lndicate order

Decide if you are ready to write

E     ENGINEER YOUR ANSWER Write an introductory paragraph

Refer to your outline

lnclude topic sentences

Tell about details for each topic sentence

Employ examples

R     REVIEW YOUR ANSWER Look to see if you answered all parts of the question

lnspect to see if you included main ideas and details

Touch up your answer

Source: (1) Hughes, C. A. (1996). Memory and test-taking strategies. In D. D. Deshler, E. S. Ellis, & B. K. Lenz(Authors), Teaching adolescents with learning disabilities (2nd ed.), p. 208-266. Denver: Love. (2) Hughes, C. A., Schumaker, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (In preparation). The essay test-taking strategy. Lawrence, KS: Edge Enterprise.