1. Use common sense. Don't panic.
You're the student who's taking the test, so you belong exactly where you are and need to make yourself at home in the assignment.
2. Keep your mind engaged and focused by keeping your hands busy highlighting, taking notes, drafting, editing, revising.
3. Use the text and its language to your advantage. Keep returning to the text for clues and evidence. Use terms and brief quotations from the question and its text in your answer.
4. Connect to your own experience in reading and life, but keep refocusing on what the text is doing not just for you but for any reader.
5. Pursue the point you want to make.
Keep asking yourself, what's next? Have I done or thought everything I can do or think?
That last idea--can I turn it over again?