Open Book Exam


What is open book exam?

Open Book Exams allow student to take notes, texts or resource materials into an exam situation. They test ability to find and apply knowledge and information.

Types of open book exam

  1. Traditional sit-down limited time exams.
  2. Take Home exams.

What do you understand by open book exam

Open book exams means an exams which test your ability to find and use information for problem solving rather than testing your memory, and test ability of the individual to deliver well-structured and well-presented arguments and solutions.

Characteristics and Merits of Open book exam–

  1. Valid in situations where memorization is not important or portion is very vast or direct reference to written material is required. Eg. Law statues, acts of parliament, statistics, correspondence courses, etc.
  2. Valid in higher education situations to equip one with intellectual abilities and skills.
  3. Develops ability to quickly find information, filter it, understand, analyse critically and apply knowledge. Thus develops higher cognitive domain.
  4. Encourages regular study habits of planning, organising, note-taking, summarising, etc.
  5. Students are not in panic or under pressure to learn by rote.
  6. Develops habit of keeping abreast with current affairs.
  7. They do not test memory but the ability of problem-solving and delivering proper arguments and solutions.
  8. They require a student to apply knowledge rather than just remember facts.

Open book exam pros and cons

Pros of Open Book Exam Cons of Open Book Exam
It saves Paper and saving paper means saving trees. Can’t keep a Check on Students: One can’t be sure if the student has not taken help from someone else.
It is time saving as the online examination can be completely automated and hassle free. Teacher can ask open text questions but teachers have to give time to check them.
Money saving: Buying and printing paper is saved. Open Book Exam can be victim of fraud as online scams and fraud is pretty common these days.
It is secure as each student will get a different questions set. So the students can’t cheat from others and they won’t be able to share questions. The students may simply copy from the open book provided at the examination hall rather than studying.

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Some important study notes