Question: How do I "ace" an essay exam?
Answer: Turn the question into your thesis sentence or main idea with supporting topics. Turn each of the topics into supporting paragraphs.
Essay question: What were the three causes of the X war?
Thesis sentence: restate the question as a statement and add the supporting topics.
The three causes of the X War were economic expansion, ethnic hatred and the king's personal ambition. (Each of the three topics is completed by supporting details.)
After reading the opening thesis sentence, the instructor knows exactly what the writer is going to say, notes the explanation of each topic and can quickly dispose of the paper. Instructors love students who know how to answer essay questions. They can read them quickly.
All the best. RayS.