This section gives you help and advice for all types of writing tests and exams, and focuses on planning time, writing time and reviewing time.


Writing exams can sometimes be scary. You’re sitting down, the exam has started and you have the exam paper. Now what? The first thing is not to worry! The tips and advice in this section will help you to plan, write and review your writing task in an exam. 

When you are in a writing exam you shouldn't start writing immediately. You must think about the following questions and then plan your time carefully. 

  • How much time do you have for the writing exam?
  • How many writing tasks do you have to do?

When you know the answer to these two questions you should divide your time into three parts:

  • Part 1 – Planning time 
  • Part 2 – Writing time 
  • Part 3 – Reviewing time

We have organised this section into these three parts. Use the 'Book navigation'  box on the right-hand side of the page to work through this section. Remember that you can ask us questions in the comments if there's anything you don't understand. 

Total votes: 1485
Language level: 


Do you find writing exams easy or difficult? What sort of writing exams do you have to do at school? 


linolo09's picture
30 September, 2016 - 07:50

I don't find them particularly hard and I find them quite fun to do. I really like writing in general. We havenät had that many writing exams in school yet.

88 users have voted.
jaknil's picture
27 September, 2016 - 10:56

I don't find the writing part of a writing exam hard but I think that the part where you need to come up with an idea is pretty hard.

84 users have voted.
Srilal's picture
20 July, 2016 - 17:02

Dear Sir
PLease let me know the diffeerence: 1. The ground is wet. It has rained 2. The ground is wet.It has
been raining. In one of your websites the second has been written. If the first one is gramatically correct why can't we use it in this situation. eg. It has rained
Thank you in advance

127 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
23 July, 2016 - 11:24

Dear Srilal, Both options are possible, but the second one sounds more natural. This is because we use present perfect continuous for recent actions which might continue. Compare:
- Have you been eating my chocolate? (= There is still some chocolate left, so the action might continue.)
- Have you eaten my chocolate? (= There is no chocolate left, so the action is finished.)
In the example you gave we would say 'It has been raining' because the action might continue. For more practice with this go to Grammar videos - Present perfect and continuous. Best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)


123 users have voted.
piku99's picture
16 June, 2016 - 12:58

In the next I week have a exam in Writing . I am to much worry about my writing . Because my writing is to much bad. In the exam I do lots of mistake in grammar and lots of mistake in spelling. I cannot get time review my writing in the exam . Please Anyone give Some tips how can I improve my Writing.

149 users have voted.
ksenchenk's picture
11 June, 2016 - 10:57

I'm going to pass my English writing exam. It's really a bit scary))
By the way,
Explain me, please, what is the difference between these sentences:

My mother starts to cook
My mother starts cooking

When I wrote a test, the second variant was noted as wrong(( I don't know why...

Thanks in advance)))

154 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
15 June, 2016 - 08:16

Hi ksenchenk! Both of these forms are possible with very little difference in meaning. In this case both are correct and mean the same thing. Sorry to hear you had that marked wrong in a test. :(
Best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglish Teens team)

150 users have voted.
tk_zsanett's picture
7 April, 2016 - 19:58

In my school the exams are not too bad, but if I have to write an essay about history... In english, I usually write short essays because I don't have that much knowledge to write 45pages :D

176 users have voted.
naslev_89's picture
17 February, 2016 - 15:54

In my country exams is really important thing. I really worry about it. We have a difficult school programm. But exams is more difficult. There is impossible to steal stuff on exam. We can't keep our phones in class for exams, my government use video supervision in exam's class. And everyone who tried to steal won't have chance to repeat exams in those year. Even good pupils are worry in here. We have real panic every time. I am scraed

221 users have voted.
smilemaria85's picture
23 January, 2016 - 15:10

Hi! This year I have got a KET exam in my school.But I can't do reading and writing part.What should I do?

213 users have voted.
Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
26 January, 2016 - 10:08

Hi smilemaria85. First of all, good luck! You still have time to get fully prepared. 

Here are some links to help you. We have some tips for reading exams - especially check out the tips for how to do multiple choice questions, missing sentence questions and vocabulary questions because these are common in KET.

Also try our Reading Skills Practice section. In the exam you will need to answer questions about short reading texts. These are often messages, signs and notices. You can practise on the pages below.

For the Writing part, here are our tips for planningwriting and reviewing. In the exam you will need to do a short piece of writing. You can practise this in our Writing Skills Practice section, for example:

Last but not least, here are some tips from the Cambridge English website and also a vocabulary list. See how many of these words you know. On this page you can download a set of sample papers to see what the exam looks like. I would highly recommend doing that and trying the sample papers first as practice before the real exam.

Once again, good luck! :)

Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

223 users have voted.
Khan123's picture
30 April, 2016 - 11:53

Dear Sir,
I need some information. Do you know any blog or group where I can post my writings and other people can check my writings and tell me my mistakes? Thanks

166 users have voted.
vision's picture
4 February, 2016 - 10:33

Hello Jonathan, well first of all i really want to study with site, but am above the age specified for this particular interface, so please can you give me the direct link to register for above +18- or can i join contribute to help my younger sisters or i should delete my account??

211 users have voted.
Jo - Coordinator's picture
5 February, 2016 - 08:34

Hi vision! You're welcome to use LearnEnglish Teens to study and to help your sisters (what a great big brother / sister you are!), that's no problem. You don't need an account to access the practice material. It's just commenting that is only for teenagers. This is to make sure LearnEnglishTeens is a safe space for under 18s to intereact.

Here's the link to LearnEnglish and to sign up for an account. We can delete your LETeens account for you so don't worry about that.
Thanks and best wishes, Joanna (LearnEnglishTeens) 

202 users have voted.
Vamp_girl's picture
3 January, 2016 - 13:48

The exam is always easy when you learn. I usually learn after school in the afternoon because then the easiest way to remember everything :)

207 users have voted.
vision's picture
4 February, 2016 - 10:36

thats right and aside that you can also recall anything you have learnt when you wake up around 1:00am to 4:00am to learn.
it stays longer in your memory more than any other time learnt

208 users have voted.
SwanQueen's picture
18 December, 2015 - 19:57

At first I just think and start saying "what am I going to write " but after that I just start writing and I indeed love writing in English so much.

217 users have voted.
HadiaSABAH's picture
11 December, 2015 - 14:20

I find english exams very easy and quick to complete.We usually get comprehensions(LONG ONES), Journal entries, dialogue writing, essay writing and proverbs,ajectives,nouns and stuff which i find interesting.

223 users have voted.