Guidelines for a Standardized Five Paragraph Essay Test

The sound of a standardized test can strike fear to most ardent students in college or high school. It always tests a couple of areas, and this includes an essay section. In most cases, you will have prompts for such an essay, and therefore, no reason for worry in instances where you have adequately prepared.

So what should you know, to adequately prepare for a five-paragraphed essay exam? Most standardized essays focus on either literary or persuasive aspects in as much as different types of essays exist. In a persuasive essay, you will have to answer a query, while in a literary essay, you have to write something based on what you have read.

Further, a standardized essay will typically require you to write five paragraphs equating to about five to eight hundred words in length. As such, it will have an introduction, three body text paragraphs, and a conclusion.  

The Standardized Essay Sections

  • Introduction. You have to introduce your subject in the first paragraph, which doubles up as the introduction. It has to give direction to the whole essay while grabbing the attention of the reader. Set the essay’s tone by making a clear description of your central idea in the form of a thesis statement. It can come in the form of an answer to the essay prompt that came in as a question. Further, list three arguments or points that can back your thesis statement in their order of significance. 
  • Body text. It should have the three body paragraphs, namely, the second, third, plus the fourth paragraphs. Each paragraph should contain supporting details to the thesis statement, such as quotes, facts, statistics, and examples. Remember that each body paragraph should contain a single point stated in the introduction with clearly articulated transition words to ensure a smooth flow from one paragraph to the next. The points form the topic sentences that start every paragraph. It has to then, get followed by an argument that supports the main concept, before concluding with a presentation of evidence to back up the argument. 
    Ensure to repeat the process for the third and fourth paragraphs of the essay. With a proper introduction to the main point, you don’t necessarily need to use transitional words between the paragraphs. 
  • The conclusion. It forms the essay’s fifth paragraph and should summarize the entire essay. Most people consider it as the most difficult section to write. Ensure that you restate the thesis besides linking it to the body text, and explaining how every point backs the thesis up. Finally, the last sentence should compellingly uphold your key idea without introducing new information. 
  • In as much as that constitutes the farthest one can go concerning an essay’s components, try and ensure to proofread and edit your work if and when time allows it. 


It always proves useful, to outline your standardized essay exam to allow you to tackle the paragraphs quickly. You can think of it as the first rough draft, but it can prove useful in scoring more points compared to incomplete essays as such standardized exams have a time limit. By observing the outlined guidelines concerning the structure and what to incorporate in each section, you stand a better chance of completing, let alone write the essay and with quality.

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