The Essay Test-Taking Strategy

Essay Test-Taking Guidebook Cover Image

The Essay Test-Taking Strategy is designed to help students deal effectively with the complex test-taking demands of courses in school as well as the essay test-taking demands associated with state competency tests--including high-stakes tests--and college entrance exams. Students are taught to analyze essay questions, organize information, write their answers with a specific structure, and revise with edits to create polished products.

In studies, at-risk students who received instruction in the strategy earned an average score of 5 percent of the points available for essay test-taking behaviors before instruction. After instruction, they earned an average score of 85 percent of the points available. In addition, essay answers produced after instruction received higher ratings than those produced before instruction.

This product is available through Edge Enterprises, Inc.

Please note that professional development, coaching, and infrastructure support are essential components to effective implementation of SIM instructional tools and interventions. It is highly recommended that you work with a SIM professional developer. See the SIM Event list for sessions or email to learn more.

Author(s): Charles A. Hughes, Jean B. Schumaker, and Donald D. Deshler

Publication Info: Edge Enterprises, 2005



  • *Woods-Groves, S., Alqahtani, S. S., Balint-Langel, K. & Kern, A. (2018). Electronic essay writing with postsecondary students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
  • *Woods-Grove, S., et. al, (2014). An Investigation of Strategic Writing Instruction for Post-Secondary Students with Developmental Disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.
  • *Woods-Groves, S., Therrien, W. J., Hua, Y., & Hendrickson, J. M. (2013). Essay-Writing Strategy for Students Enrolled in a Postsecondary Program for Individuals With Developmental Disabilities. Remedial and Special Education, 34(3), 131-141.
  • Woods-Groves, S., Hughes, C.A., Therrien, W. J., Hua, Y., Hendrickson, J., & Shaw, J. (2012). Effectiveness of an essay writing strategy for post-secondary students with developmental disabilities. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. 47, 2, 210-22.
  • Therrien, W.J., Hughes, C.A., Kapelski, C., & Mokhtari, K. (2009). Effectiveness of an essay test-taking strategy on students with learning disabilities performance on persuasive essays. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 42 (1). 14-24.

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