VOMITS Technique for Exam Essays



Are you sick of not knowing how to approach your exam essays? With this simple strategy, the VOMITS Technique gives you a clear starting point for tackling your next exam essay – and also serves as a good reminder for how to approach to your research essays.



Verb: What is the question asking you to do? Does the question ask you to argue, define, explore? What do these verbs mean? I know it feels like a waste of time, but look them up in a dictionary. Understanding the definition of the verb will help you to better understand the requirements of your essay question.

One by one: Identify each key issue, topic or theme in the question. Do you understand what each issue, topic or theme is? Define them.

Main point: Decide what the main point (thesis) of your essay is. Write your thesis statement.

Information: What information and evidence will you use to back-up your main point? How many paragraphs will you write? Decide on the topic of each paragraph before you start writing.

Time limit: Allocate a time limit to each paragraph. Don’t spend the whole exam trying to write one perfect paragraph. Keep moving.

Structure: Every essay (even your exam essay) needs an introduction, body and conclusion.

Just remember the acronym VOMITS (pretty easy on the morning of an exam!) and what each letter stands for, and from this point forward you’ll be able to approach every exam essay with confidence.

The Night Before Essay Planner



Article by Bronwyn Hall, an educational research consultant and manager of The Research Den. Bronwyn is author of the best selling study aid The Night Before Essay Planner: A workbook to plan, research and write your essay.

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