OPEN BOOK EXAMINATION
An “open book examination” is that in which students are allowed to refer to class notes and summaries or a “memory aid”, textbooks, or other approved material while answering questions.. Open-Book exams allow students to take notes, texts or resource materials into an exam situation. They test their ability to find and apply information and knowledge, so are often used in subjects requiring direct reference to written materials, like law statutes, statistics or acts of parliament.
Two Types of Book Exam: Traditional sit-down/limited-time exams, with varying degrees of access to resources and references. Take home open-book exams you do at home. Questions are handed out, answers are attempted without help from others, and the exam is returned within a specified period of time. In an ideal Open Book Exam, teachers can devise questions that require students to answer in more analytical and critical ways thus encouraging high-order thinking skills in students as compared to closed book or traditional exams. Open Book Examinations work only when answers cannot be readily extracted from the material. An Open Book Examination may test more than just rote learning. It tests students’ ability to quickly find relevant information and then to understand, analyze and apply knowledge, while thinking critically. Answering the question will require more than just copying information from texts. Having access to a textbook may stop them from giving a wrong answer if they cannot remember a fact or formula, but just getting the fact correct will not fetch them good marks. How they locate, apply, and use information is more important. The Open book Examination is not easy. On the contrary, it would need extra efforts from students to solve questions as it would mainly be of higher order thinking. Most students think the level of the exam would be easy and they would be able to find all the answers in the textbook. Students should not be lulled into a false sense of security.
Students believe they don’t need to study for open book exams. Reality is situation-based, and case study-based questions are asked. The students will only be able to write if his/her concepts are clear.
Advantages of Open Book Examination-
1. Less Difficult on Recall: In an Open book exam, students can check the books. So, they don’t have to stuff a lot of facts.
2. Provides The Second Chance: Students get a chance to obtain knowledge. Also, they can gather suitable learning material rather than recalling it.
3. Enhances Retrieval Skills: It helps in remembering things for a longer duration. Also, students find resourceful ways to collect necessary information from different sources.
Disadvantages of Open Book Examination-
1. Not sure of Equality: It is difficult to judge whether all students have equally prepared for an exam or not. Also, some books are very costly and the library also has a limited number of books.
2. Need More Desk Space: The books and notes take a lot of space. Also, the desk needs to be bigger to keep the books.
3. Time-consuming: Sometimes students take a lot of time finding some topics. Also, they look for books rather than answering with their own knowledge and skills.
Open book examinations can restore the true meaning of the word education for both teachers and students. It is true that it will take some time and effort on the part of students and teachers to adapt themselves to the demands of open book examinations. But the changes will be inevitable.