Writing for competitive exams is different from ‘normal’ writing assignments at school because the writing component for entrance exams:

  • Have a time limit imposed e.g. 15 minutes, 20 minutes etc….  You’ll need to write a full piece within that time frame.
  • Dictate a certain style.  Some exams dictate what style of writing you are to do e.g. analytical, report, creative etc… so students must comply with that

In this section, I’ll post up some great writing and critique others so that you know what examiners are looking for an you’ll have models of great essays to aspire to.  Writing also starts with solid foundations, by this I mean things like:

  • Good level of spelling and grammar
  • Organised and structured writing
  • Stylistic effects added.

While these seem simple, getting them all correct in one cohesive writing piece is a bit harder.  The best way to improve your writing is to practice and I’ll provide tips along the way on this blog.  You can practice here for free using a timer.


  1. Hema Shugumar says

    I want to find out if a title needs to be given for creative and persuasive essays. Will marks be deducted if there is no title?

    • says

      Hi Hema,
      In the NSW selective school it doesn’t hurt to put in a suitable title if the instructions in the exam ask for it. I know in the sample test they provide, it does say that a suitable title that represents the writing piece will contribute to a higher marking. The NSW selective school test is an ACER test (and ACER run scholarships). If you’re doing the Edutest (vic selective school) writing pieces, play it by ear. It certainly doesn’t hurt to include one but don’t include one when it doesn’t seem appropriate, for example, when the instructions say not to include it.
      Hope that helps & thanks for your comment! :-)

        • says

          Hi Fiona,

          Thanks for your comment!

          With writing test preparation (writing club), it works with your individual level so we have students who are preparing for the Vic selective schools (MacRob, Melbourne High, Suzanne Corey and Nossal) as well as students who are doing scholarships and selective tests at other levels for example, Perth Modern, Brisbane State High School and NSW selective schools.

          The thing with writing is that it requires a lot of things to work well together (structure, expression, relationship to the writing prompt) and each student progresses differently so writing club works around feedback and a formulated roadmap for learning. If you’re an ambitious student, it helps your writing progress further and if you need extra help, it will support you too.

          Hope this helps and don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any further questions.

          Kind regards,

  2. Giang says

    Does an exciting structure give you higher mark? or just the originality of the text? NAPLAN marks the exciting structure so I have to write a whole long adventurous story and I can’t pull that off in 15 minutes.

    • says

      I’m not sure NAPLAN stipulates that you have to write an “exciting” story. This link provides the marking criteria:https://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/writing
      There’s nothing there that says you have to write an “exciting” story and the only thing that would be close to it says: “The creation, selection and crafting of ideas for a narrative” which could lend itself to any type of story really.

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