QUOTE(nicki_flute @ Apr 23 2007, 06:23 PM)
Unfortunately, at A2, you have to write it as an essay
From experience in uni exams: if you have a good basic structure/essay plan that you can revise, it's worth taking two minutes to write that out for each essay when you start the paper.
That way, you have all the important points down, and just need to expand on them: then when you've finished the essay you cross out the plan (no need to scrub it out, just make it clear it was just a plan).
Two major advantages here: you're writing down a nice structured, concise plan of your essay - you have the basic skeleton to hang everything on, and you've got it all down in the first few minutes while it's fresh in your head, before you're tired and the memory starts to lapse, so you can relax a little knowing you just have to flesh it out - and your essay is likely to be well structured because you have a good guide to what points are going where.
And secondly - if disaster strikes and you fail to finish an essay, your essay plan is there and can be taken into consideration. Granted, you won't do as well as if you'd finished it, but it will help examiners give credit where it's due even if it doesn't get you the best marks.
You hard working well revision-drilled folks may go "duh, of course", but I thought I'd share just in case because it wasn't something I'd ever done before uni, and it got me through at least two or three sticky exams that I may have struggled with/hopelessly waffled on otherwise
I don't know how useful this is for the kind of essays you have to write, but it helped me in subjects as diverse as essays about Russian history, mediaeval literature, and cults and sects in Russia, so I'm willing to believe it's a useful thing to know
It works best with things where you've a lot of details you KNOW need to go in (almost regardless of exact question wordings!) which can be scribbled down in bullet point form, but it is helpful even if you only have a vague idea of what the questions will be, to have yourself a structure and note down anything that immediately springs to mind as a "oh, that question - I must remember to mention X, Y and Z" - things all too easily forgotten in the stress of the exam room while you're trying to write a nice concise introductory paragraph!
Just leaving a little space to be able to scribble those things down as they occur to you, rather than having to think "I must remember to talk about such-and-such when I get to the relevant bit of the essay" is really useful. Even the best essay-writers can forget a vital fact under pressure; even if it was in their heads at the start of the exam, when 2 or 3 hours have gone by sometimes remembering one's own name is a 50-50 chance
Hope I've explained that OK.....!