How to Prepare for the Timed Extemporaneous Writing Competition – February/March
During this month, practice randomly selecting 4 prompts from the 20 given for the student’s level (Span II, III, or IV) and category (A-D).
Students should practice writing essays USING their notes that they spent time creating last month, taking special care to focus on the areas of import as noted in the rubrics. Depending on the given timeframe for practice (an hour after school vs. a whole Saturday afternoon, for some examples), it is a good idea to have a student write out an essay for each of the four prompts until he or she has accumulated essays for all 20 possible prompts.
*You and your students may feel comfortable creating meaty outlines as opposed to writing out complete essays. That is an additional way to practice that allows for sustained practice with less time commitment!
During this time of practice, the student should work with a teacher, tutor, or excellent upper-level student to proofread the essays and make notes for improvements.
Once the student has accumulated all 20 essays with notes for revisions, start the process of pulling 4 random prompts and re-writing them with the corrections and improvements.
Side note: If a student has a piece of writing—an in-class assignment, an IPA, etc.—wherein he or she has already covered a topic from the list, then work to make changes to adapt it to satisfy the rubric; don’t re-invent the wheel!