1. If you aren’t a great essay writer use the 5 paragraph build. Intro, 3 bodies, conclusion.
Leave your thesis as the last sentence of your intro, have each first sentence in each body support the thesis, and repeat your thesis again in your conclusion. I have consistently used this build and it has always worked. You learned it in middle school, now put it to use.
2. The fastest way to think of facts:
Take 2 from anything you like that is legitimate fact (history, science, REAL examples people can look up on the internet). 1 can be an anecdote. You can make the anecdote up if you really can’t think of a topic. If you are morally opposed then so be it. I seriously don’t think the test people care. (I don’t advocate you do this on a college essay though, that stuff is legit).
3. Leave the flowery prose.
Seriously. If you are somehow a speed writer who can think of awesome prose while filling up both pages, go for it, but I don’t think most people can do it. Go into what I like to call “AP mode”. Get the facts out, cut the rest. Honestly, diction probably helps a little bit but I really don’t think 25 min’s is enough time for you to worry about anything like that. I don’t use big words and I get 12s, or at least 10s.
4. Cite the quote.
You know that quote they always give you? Embed it into your conclusion or intro, or wherever you like. Personally I use it as a way to write the conclusion because I can’t think of a good conclusion fast enough. I just say something like just as so and so said “whatever”, I believe . I don’t have empirical evidence but I think it makes you seem legit, and I’m pretty sure test prep teachers have advocated this.
5. Use 3rd person.
“One” is a good word, unless you are doing the anecdote paragraph.