Five Writing Tips for Excellent Exam Stories

By ,September 20, 2019

Worried about your narrative writing exam?

Well at Pre Uni College we are always striving towards unlocking each child’s full potential in regard to creative writing. To do just this the narrative writing tips below are designed to polish each child’s skills and strengthen their confidence and impact as a writer. The tips will guide them on how to get creative and engage their readers in the best way possible. Ultimately these tips will help students to excel in the Narrative writing component of the Selective Entrance Test and other standardised tests such as NAPLAN and Opportunity Class test.

Every writing technique below has a detailed step-by-step discussion and story-planning advice. They are structured to help students develop high-level skills – and just as importantly, to enjoy themselves!


1 – Before you write – before you plan – take a few minutes to daydream.

If you can imagine your story in your mind, you will be able to describe it powerfully. For example, if you can imagine your character’s face and description and your setting, only then can you start writing about them in a powerful and meaningful way. If you can’t, your descriptions risk being superficial and your writing uninteresting.

The next step is to turn your ideas into a simple plan:

The first thing to write in your plan is the main event in your story. Next, jot down a few dot points about your main character.

Finally, write a few thoughts about what will happen after the event: why does it matter, and – above all else – how does it affect your characters?

Everything else should be very simple, allowing you to focus on describing beautifully.


2 – Keep things simple! In a narrative story, choose one main plot event and bring it to life!

If there are too many things happening, your descriptive skills may get lost. This is because when there a multiple dramatic event occurring in a story, it can be a struggle to write clearly and effectively.

This is often a problem in narrative stories with too much action, or with too many plot events.

It’s best to structure your story around one main event, which isn’t too extreme.


3 – Focus on one character

Just as it’s best to focus your writing around one main event, it makes sense to have one core character.

You probably won’t have time to make more than one person interesting and believable in a twenty minute writing exam, if you try, you’re at risk of coming unstuck.

Make your main character really interesting, and only refer to others in passing. You can make your characters interesting by describing them with vivid descriptive words and adding colour to their personalities. To do this effectively give your character distinct characteristics . For example describing a beard and its colour, rather than just describing the character as ‘manly’.


4 – Use similes and metaphors carefully in your narrative writing

In exam stories, be careful with similes and metaphors.

Similes and metaphors are useful (and can be impressive), but they have to make things clearer for the reader, not create confusion.


“She won the sprint like a racing car” asks more questions than it answers.

Was she noisy? Was she travelling at 150 miles per hour?

On the other hand, “She ducked her head and slipped across the line as cleanly as a racing car” helps to picture the event exactly as intended.


5 – Importance of suspense

Try not to overdo suspense in story writing.

Suspense is good if it’s appropriate to the story, but avoid adding it in just for the sake of suspense.

“It was a calm, sunny day. Or was it?” doesn’t really make the reader curious.

It will just appear like you’re trying to pester the reader into being excited, rather than persuading to feel that way through your excellent writing.

If you write in a way that builds suspense by making the reader interested in the characters and events in the story – while keeping some important information hidden from the reader, just out of sight – this will speak for itself.


At Pre Uni College, we want the very best for your child.  Join today to improve their writing skills and overall confidence. We can do this by honing your child’s writing skills in practising ,improving their writing techniques and introducing more tips and tricks in writing an impressive piece. Doing this can be a betterment to their personality, credibility and education.

Call us at 1300 773 864 or email us at today!