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Chapter 21. In the Hot Seat: Writing Und... > When the Meter's Running - Pg. 245

In the Hot Seat: Writing Under Pressure 245 Be sure to use a writing style with sufficient complexity to handle the subject matter. In general, adopt a style suitable for educated adults. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. But don't rush!In your haste to answer everything, don't write so quickly that you make silly mistakes--or even worse, that you misinterpret the entire question. In the anxiety of pressure writing, it's easy to lose your way and misconstrue something you really know very well. You might misread a word; even skipping over a prefix can throw an entire question off kilter. Pace yourself, just as you would when running a race or boogying the night away. Cover all the bases.Make sure that your essay really does answer the question fully and completely. Have you addressed all the key points? Have you shown that you fully understand the material? Stay on topic.When you're under pressure, it's tempting to remake the topic into something you feel more comfortable answering. Stand strong. You're not going to get any points for answering your own question when you've been asked to answer someone else's. Go for brownie points.Even with recall questions, add some insight of your own, no matter how small. This not only shows that you've done some serious thinking about the issues, but also sets your paper (and you!) apart from the teaming multitudes. Use all your time; never leave early.Unless you're about to give birth to a child (and maybe even then), there's no excuse for leaving a pressure writing test situation early. For 11 years, I taught an English class that culminated in a three-hour test, complete with two major essays. Students had to pass this test to graduate high school. An astonishing number of students left the test early. Guess what--the students who stayed the full time always did better. Why? They had time to rethink and rewrite so they caught their errors and polished their writing. Proofread.So you've made some startling insights. So you've had some original thoughts. Maybe you've even been genuinely creative. To paraphrase the song, "That don't impress me