1. Try to relax :) Your anxiety about the essays may be preventing you from tapping into your store of ideas!
2. I'd recommend doing a few essays without giving yourself a time constraint—if it takes you two hours, then so be it. Give yourself as much time as you need to brainstorm, plan the structure of your essay, write it out, and give it quick proofread. Once you've done this a few times and feel comfortable with the process, then start timing yourself so you can get used to a quicker version of this process when you're under pressure. Do several timed essays in this way, so that on the day of the exam, you're completely familiar with the approach of writing these essays, and it feels like just another practice essay you wrote at home.
3. Coming up with examples on the spot is definitely hard to do! What I like to do to combat this is have several topics on hand. By this, I mean that you should do a general brainstorm to come up with several topics you can easily write about—topics that you are an "expert" on, if you will.
For example, I love history. So, before test day I'd make a list of several important historical figures, events, documents, etc, and have these examples in my arsenal. Isaac Newton- inventive! Julia Child- a pioneering woman! The Emancipation Proclamation- groundbreaking! Now, of course I would think more about the influence these people/things had on the world, and of course consider how they fit into the context of questions I may be asked on the exam. But, just knowing that I can immediately recall several examples will ease my nerves, and this will likely also lead me to remember other facts that I can use as examples (I remember why Julia Child is important, and then I remember the era in which she rose to fame, and then I think about the 1960s and the events that happened in this decade, and then I think about women's rights, and so on and so forth). These first examples will work almost like a memory catalyst, and pretty soon I'll have a whole web of examples to use.
So, what interests you most? I'd recommend thinking up examples that have to do with history, gov, society, technology, education, law, and topics along these lines. Pick a few, do some brainstorming, and you'll have several examples at the ready.
I'll leave you with two resources from our blog that will help you brainstorm.
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Brainstorming is an effective and efficient activity to generate new ideas, thoughts that eventually lead to the solutions of several problems at a time. Brainstorming can be performed in groups or you can do it on you own. Start brainstorming session, when you are refreshed and relaxed to produce ingenious, original and creative ideas. Sit at the table and write down as many ideas on this subject as possible. Do not be afraid to sound silly, write everything that comes to your mind.
The next step is to bind your ideas and to assemble them into several topics, which require more careful investigation. Then jettison all other ideas, especially strange or irrelevant ones. Once you have finished this process you will see that you have come up with the idea which can serve as the starting point for essay writing.
Steps of the process in detail are:
1. Come up with the existing problem that should be investigated. For many people, the problem has some negative meaning. But here, you should present some facts that should be explored; it does not mean that they have to be negative ones, e. g. "The efficiency of Basic Health Care for Cats".
2. Present it clearly. Every person who reads it should understand what you intend to say.
3. Discover as many solutions and answers to the problem as possible. Do not be shy to express your ideas. You should write down all solutions you have thought of, even if they seem bizarre to you.
4. Select several (approximately five or six) ideas you like best. Set several criteria that give the best answer to the problem. Criteria may start with the word "must" or "should".
5. Score every idea (from one to five, for example) depending on how well it corresponds to the criterion. Once all ideas have been scored, sum up the points.
The idea with the highest score is actually the best one for writing an essay. Nevertheless, keep notes of all the ideas because even the best idea might not be work in the future.
If you still can not find the right topic, consult our essay writers or your tutor. No doubt they know the answers to all your questions.