Good written expression is not giftedness; it’s a skill you can improve for your scholarship, selective school or NAPLAN test. All you need is a bit of patience, writing practice, and our five powerful tips that will help you do your best on a scholarship or selective school exam.
Read on for the most valuable piece of advice on acing the written expression test for narrative writing and put your knowledge to test with exam-like creative writing prompts.
In case you're reading this and thinking: "Yeah, yeah… writing is important. But I'm doing fine," you might be right.
You might be underestimating the tough requirements of written expression for selective schools, scholarships and NAPLAN, making one of the biggest mistakes that will cost you valuable opportunities.
You see, many students think that doing well in school sets them up for success in a competitive exam.
But this couldn't be more wrong!
Because there's a big difference between writing for school and writing for exam success.
Let me explain.
All competitive exams like ACER, Edutest, Academic Assessment Services or the Victorian selective schools test, are designed to weed out average applicants and spot high achievers. Assessment exams like NAPLAN also group students in bands from below average to above average. If you want to ace your written expression test, it's not enough to show off a rich vocabulary and perfect grammar (which get you high scores at school).
To truly stand out from the crowd, you'll also have to demonstrate:
The writing prompts for a narrative/creative piece often come in the form of a worded statement that asks you to write about your life experiences: the events that happened to you, people you’ve met, or places you’ve visited.
Sometimes, the writing prompt comes in the form of a picture/image or as a combination of both a visual prompt and a text.
To give you a general idea of what to expect, here are some sample scholarship and selective test writing topics for grade 7 and grade 9:
Writing for exam success doesn’t have to be daunting.
Follow these 3 actionable tips below, and you’ll breeze through your written expression test and improve your essay score. Each tip is illustrated by a sample essay written by a real student to improve your understanding.
No matter how great your grammar is or how confident you are with stylistic devices, the examiner will mark your essay down if your piece doesn't correspond to the task.
If the writing prompt in your selective or scholarship test requires you to write a narrative/creative piece, it must include:
Remember that with narrative writing, you don't need to take a stand or develop a concept - you are required to tell a story.
Take a look at the writing prompt below and decide whether the sample essay answers the task. When you've got the answer, see the video feedback from our writing expert below.
(Source: Exam Success)
A good plan is a crucial part of writing a winning narrative piece in a short timeframe. It will help you map out your essay and stay on track as you write out the whole piece.
Your plan should be short and sweet. Ideally, you’d want to write just one summarising sentence for each paragraph of the story.
Feeling stuck? One trick we share with our students is to try writing your plan backwards. Start from the last paragraph that will summarise how the story would end and move to the beginning of your story.
Look at the writing prompt below again and try to plan out your story. Once you're done, check out a plan written by one of our students.
(Source: Exam Success)
The exam is not the place to create long masterpieces with complex plots and multiple characters. There’s no time for that!
Simplicity is your best friend.
Apply the KISS formula to almost everything in your narrative:
Look at the writing prompt below and think about how you would simplify the given sample essay. Once you're done, watch the suggestions from our writing expert.
(Source: Exam Success
You can go the trial-and-error path and miss out on amazing opportunities, or you can let our top writing experts reveal all the secrets to crafting an essay the exam assessors will love.
With our comprehensive narrative writing course and our monthly writing clubs, writing has never been easier!
How to approach a writing prompt, where to get great ideas from, what to do first… - with our guidance, you'll get a simple and actionable roadmap to crafting a powerful narrative from scratch.
Most importantly, you'll have plenty of writing practice from day one.
Author's Score (ATAR or IELTS): 96.04