How To Write Under Time Pressure

Writing is hard enough as it is without the added pressure of having a limited amount of time.

Budgeting time takes on a greater significance when you only have a few hours to write too many essays.

I’ve extracted tips from my tired brain about writing under pressure:

  • Write fast but not too fast. This goes for both handwriting and typing.
  • Production not perfection. Don’t strive to be perfect. Do strive to be done.
  • Be concise, clear. Try to know what you’re writing about to avoid beating around the bush.
  • Prepare accordingly. There’s nothing like a simulation of the real thing. Studying and reviewing is good. Replicating the test conditions as closely as possible is great.
  • Don’t forget to breathe. Like the protagonist in many YA novels, let out that breath you didn’t know you were holding.
  • Try not to overthink. Most teachers aren’t trying to trick you.
  • Just write something. Part marks are better than no marks at all. Get an idea down. It may lead to other ideas.
  • Make connections. Concepts often interconnect. Draw out similarities and differences. Compare or contrast. Brainstorm with a mind map. Outline in a way that work for you.
  • Write until you have nothing else to say. Stick with what you know when possible. Talking about what you don’t know makes your life harder.
  • Use the time given. There’s no reason to stop writing thirty minutes into a three hour exam.
  • Take care of any business beforehand. That way, you’re in a good place physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.
  • Eat and drink beforehand. A hydrated body beats a hungry one.
  • Move on. Especially when you’re stumped. Tackle the next question. You can always come back to a problem later.
  • Play to your strengths. Downplay your weaknesses.
  • Answer what’s asked. Ideally, you do this right off the bat.

If nothing else, remember writing under time pressure is a skill you can cultivate.


NaNoWriMo Realizations

NaNoWriMo Realizations

Since NaNo started, I’ve come to realize a few things. And maybe you have too.

I have more time than I thought I did. 

God knows what I did every morning before class in September. Managing my time wisely means not staying up until 11:38 p.m., writing frantically.

I underestimated the speed at which I write/type.

On good days, I don’t need an hour to reach 1,667 words. Being in the zone is a beautiful thing.

Writing a novel is more satisfying and will teach you a lot more than acing any test or exam. 

National Novel Writing Month reminds me that school isn’t everything. I’m much happier (albeit busier) when I’m working on personal projects outside of class.

What, if anything, have you realized?

Blogging · Dancing · Reading · Studying · Writing

Guess Who (Part 2)

I had another post titled Guess Who so I decided to name this one part two.

Guess who has a test on Wednesday?

Guess who hasn’t started studying for it?

Guess who spent this evening dancing, reading, writing, and now blogging?

Guess who intends on spending tomorrow evening doing the exact same thing?

Personal Reflection


I need a vacation. Like right now. This very second.

Of course, I’d read, write, blog, and dance during my days off.

Just as long as I don’t have to go to school or deal with stupidity, I will be the happiest person alive.

Let a girl dream.

Continue reading if you want to hear my other dilemma.

So I’m supposed to be studying for a test, but blogging is a billion times more enjoyable.

Someone needs to make an app that automatically disables my WordPress account anytime I should be doing homework or reviewing for an exam. Maybe then my marks won’t have to suffer. By suffer, I mean 80’s or 90’s. Not 100. I never seem to get perfect on anything these days, which doesn’t bother me so much since I’m spending more time surrounded by words.

Writing. Exciting.

Blogging. Amazing.

Reading. Humbling.

School. Bad.

Tests. Worse.

Studying. Words cannot even begin to describe my feelings towards this.

School · Studying

Story-time With Herminia Chow

Story-time With Herminia Chow is now officially a title of one of my posts because I think it sounds cool. Even though it probably doesn’t. In all honesty, I have no idea what else to call what I’m about to say.

Today, my history teacher quizzed us.

He told the class beforehand to read the first two chapters in our textbook. I’d be lying if I said I did the readings properly.

Two students had led a seminar and some of the information they presented was, lo and behold, on the quiz. I didn’t participate at all. Plus I know I zoned out a few times as well.

There were also similar questions to a worksheet he assigned the day he wasn’t here. I actually completed this worksheet. But my wonderful brain decides to get these questions and only these questions wrong. Questions I should have known the answers to.

I somehow still managed to get the highest mark. So did everyone else not attempt the readings, not listen to the seminar, and not bother with the worksheet?

For once, my guessing game was strong. Everything I guessed, I got right.

By the way, I wrote a follow-up article on test-taking. The post was published yesterday: Keep Calm and Get Straight A’s: What to Do Before, During and After Every Test.

The irony is not lost on me here.

And you wonder why I don’t study. Or rather why I despise it with a passion.

Blogging · School

Ten Tried And True Test Taking Techniques

Ten Tried And True Test Taking Techniques, written by yours truly, is currently featured on the SLN (Student Life Network) blog.

If you are a student, click here. Now. NOW!

If you aren’t a student but you know someone who is, share away. It’s December, the month of giving (and getting). Plus Christmas is right around the corner. You’ll be helping so many people out and it won’t even cost you a cent!

If you don’t fall into the two aforementioned categories, you can still laugh at the GIFs…well, kind of.

Thank you in advance. Also, thanks to everyone who participated in the poll from yesterday. I’ll take your opinions into consideration as to what I will blog about next. You can still vote here.


Preparing For NaNoWriMo

This is how I’m preparing for National Novel Writing Month:

  • Not completing homework.
  • Not studying for tests.
  • Not using the brain.
Personal Reflection · Writing

Why Bad Things Happen

Why did you fail that test? Why did you get a bad mark? Why did you break up with him? Why did you fight with her?

So you can write about it. Duh!

The more experiences you amass, the easier it is to write about life—convincingly.

Also, you can relate and sympathize with other people and even with fictional characters when you’ve been through it before.

Above all else, bad things happen to make you a better person. At least it should…