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Essay Writing in University Entrance Examinations

By:  Wilfred Gábriel Gapas and Janina Denise Torralba

There are universities within the Philippines and in foreign countries that has an Essay Writing Portion. Don’t get nervous! Entrance tests with an essay writing portion would only require you to write one paragraph about a chosen topic. Here are some known universities in the country that give essay tests:

Ateneo de Manila University
De La Salle University-Taft
University of Asia and the Pacific

If you plan to study abroad, you will have to take tests such as the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), (TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS (International English Testing Service), GRE (Graduate Record Examinations), and other exams to be eligible to study. All of these definitely have an essay exam.

What are you going to do? In a word, practice!

Pieces of Advice:

  •     Read the directions carefully. This is one of the pitfalls of students in examinations.
  •     Aim for effectiveness instead of perfection.
  •     Practice early. This will help you not only in the exam but also in your college life, because your college work will entail a lot of writing.
  •     You cannot write without reading. Reading and writing are both interconnected macro skills. You can begin reading a few newspapers and pocket books, at least, internet news articles.
  •     Avoid fallacies. Using fallacies in your essay (whether you are aware or not) will most likely make your essay bad. Avoid making hasty generalizations, non-sequitur fallacies, and other illogical statements.
  •     Avoid code-switching; use only one language (usually English). Code-switching refers to the frequent using more than one language in a conversation. Do not do something like this: “The hostage crisis at the Quirino Grandstand is so nakakahiya to the world.” If you think you frequently code-switch, practice as early as you can using only one language.
  •     Use idioms very sparingly. Having a paragraph full of idioms will make it hard for the readers to evaluate.
  •     Avoid being wordy. Long and wordy paragraphs do not build content and only causes confusion, making it a mess.
  •     Use quotes when necessary. Always remember that you need to have your own voice in the essay! If you have an essay that has a quote here; quote there; quote everywhere, then that is not a good essay. It’s just a perfect piece of mess!
  •     Remember that this is NOT a research paper. Think of this as a formal theme writing session. Since this ISN’T a research paper, no need for citations. Just remember that you when you quote someone (like Patrick Henry, for his “Give me liberty or give me death!” line), give the man credit. It’s the least you can do.
  •     Observe proper punctuation. Know when to use the period (.); comma (,); colon (:); semi-colon (;); exclamation point (!); hyphen (-); dash (-); ellipses (…); double quotation marks (” “); and the single quotation marks (‘ ‘).
  •     A very important rule in using rare, difficult words: When in doubt, take it out. This rule applies to uncertainties in spelling and in meaning. After all, using unusual words does not always make you sound smart, especially when an easier synonym exists. It can make you sound pompous.

ESSAY PROMPTS

Choose one topic and then write a one-paragraph long essay.

Is language the source of misunderstandings? Why?/Why not?
Describe your best friend.
What do you prefer, studying by yourself or with group?
What do you think is beauty?
Describe yourself in ten years.
What do you know about your chosen field?
What is the most important value in your life?
What are your dreams and aspirations?
What can you do to help your enemies?
How do you study your lessons?
Give a quote that has affected your life and explain briefly how it did.
Who do you seek inspiration from?
What is your philosophy in life?

For more essay prompts, feel free to check: http://www.goodluckielts.com/IELTS-essay-topics.html

Related posts:

  1. Ateneo de Manila University: Procedures for Accepted Applicants
  2. TUP University Application and Entrance Exam Basics
  3. Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) Application and Entrance Exam Basics
  4. Fatima University Application and Entrance Exam Basics
  5. DLSUCET Review Guide
  6. College Entrance Exams: General Math Coverage
  7. College Entrance Exams: General English Coverage
  8. An ACET Sample Essay and Some Tips
  9. Guide to Writing your ACET Essay
  10. Ateneo Survival Guide: University Culture
  11. ACET Essay Portion Tips
  12. What to Expect from the Ateneo College Entrance Test or ACET
  13. Practical Guide: Reviewing for College Entrance Exams
  14. Ateneo de Manila University: Acceptance Procedures for International Students
  15. The Brain Train UPCAT Essay Writing Contest

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