Although each UDWPA exam is different, there are a number of common pitfalls that cause UDWPA essays to receive non-passing scores. Thinking about these pitfalls ahead of time can help you prepare.
Students who don't spend enough time reading and thinking about the text before the test often find that two hours is too little time to read the text, think critically about the material and the issue at hand, and formulate a logical and well-developed response.
Instead of writing their essay in response to one of the exam questions, some students merely summarize, or even quote, large portions of the text without building an argument of their own. Remember that your essay should present an argument in response to the question and the text, so it's not enough to simply re-use the examples the text provides. As you read and think about the assessment text, try to consider material from your own observation, experience, or education that might help you respond to the argument the author is making. If you generate some of this material before the test, you'll be able to more easily support a strong argument for whatever position you end up taking.
Especially because the UDWPA is a timed-writing exercise, some students struggle to keep their essay clear and focused. As you take the exam, continually ask yourself the following questions: What is your main point? Is it easy for the reader to tell which sentence is your thesis? Does the rest of your essay support this thesis? Do all the parts seem logically connected, or is your argument difficult to follow? Do you contradict yourself? Check to see whether any of the material in your essay is off-topic or lacks adequate explanation.