This is NOT an essay. You do NOT need to write an introduction or conclusion! You do NOT need a thesis! You do NOT need 5 paragraphs. This is not APUSH or AP English.
Take your time to work thoroughly and carefully.
Now, breathe in slowly. Hold your breath. Exhale. Repeat.
Read the question carefully. All questions have multiple parts. Many questions have visuals (charts, graphs, maps) Look at the visual (if there is one) carefully. Make sure you understand the visual. Take a second and write a title for the visual right on it right on the test. Don’t freak! Break the question down into parts (a, b, c, d). Highlight the numbers of facts required for each part (identify 2, list 3). Get organized. Read the question again. Highlight or circle the key words in each part of the question.
Identify = List, Name, Describe
Describe = List, Name, Identify
Define = Write what the term means
Compare = Contrast, Evaluate, Weigh
Explain = Clarify, Connect, Link, Analyze, Give reasons
Discuss = Explain, Write about, Argue for
Now, rewrite the entire question in your own words. You can write right on the test. It won't count against you and nobody is going to stop you!
Respond to the question with a chart or graphic organizer with answers to every part of the question. Answer everything! You can write this on the actual test question. It will not be graded. This is your chance to organize your answer.
Now, make your chart or organizer with facts to answer the entire question.
Write your free-response answer. Be specific and factual. Don’t be wordy. Get to the point! Less is More. Write one page maximum. Really, that's all it's going to take. Do NOT write an introduction, conclusion, or thesis statement. Write in sentences. You may bullet your paragraphs, but do NOT number "1), 2), 3)" or letter "a], b], c]" your answers!