Writing essays for exams can be daunting. After many years of working out ways to help students tackle exam questions I have finally settled on a method I think works. Try it out and let me know.
If you are a HSC student, one thing I can tell you is that the questions almost always gives you a thesis. Often in the form of a quote or a statement, the thesis gives you a starting point. The question itself will usually offer you a task that allows you to agree with the thesis, challenge the thesis or question some aspect of the thesis. This is a bit of a gift for HSC students. It takes the pressure off you and you can now focus on using your considerable knowledge of the text to answer the question. I am attaching a document I prepared for my students. It may help you.
This wikispace is a goldmine for HSC teachers and students. of particular usefulness is Ms MaGuire’s Essay writing toolkit!