Open Book Exam, All you need to know about this OBE!!

An open book exam is one in which students can give answers using their textbooks and notes. In the open book exam, memory and organizational skills are quite significant. This is because students must memorize each page of the textbook to determine which page of the textbook contains the solution to which question. While students have the freedom to access all of their books throughout the exam, the teacher has the power to question absolutely anything students have learned in class.

Open book examinations do not depend on learning or knowledge. Instead, students will have the facts in front of them, but the questions they’ll be asked will usually be lengthy. Open exams are intended to educate students on how to assimilate data and integrate it thoughtfully and thoroughly. In an open book test, the emphasis is on application rather than remembering knowledge. This implies that they will not be just summarizing information from a book, they’ll be evaluating it in the context of particular scenarios and questions.

Objectives

Exams with open books emphasize “advanced level learning.”  It implies that students aren’t concerned with memorization. The goal of an open book exam is to see how well the students grasp a subject. Rather than just recalling information, they’ll be expected to formulate, compare, analyze, evaluate, or combine it. As a result, even with several reference books for their availability, open-book exams are generally more difficult than other forms of assessments. Students must fully prepare for open book tests because they can be more difficult than other types of assessments. Students should prepare for an open book exam the same way they would for any other examination.

Pros

  • Structural learning, which is strongly embedded in the Indian education system, can be eliminated with open book exams. Students’ critical thinking and analytical skills will increase as a result of open-book exams.
  • Open book examinations can modify the style of teaching and improve the learning and understanding of students. It can help reduce examination dishonesty and copying because students have enough study material to evaluate their responses.
  • These exams frequently reward students with superior memories and are a source of concern for students who grasp the topics but are unable to retain them. Students with various academic skills may benefit from open-book exams. 

Cons

  • Students no longer study for exams as they are no more worried about failing in exams this may lower the students’ memory retaining power. 
  • Another drawback of these examinations is that Open book exams have more difficult evaluation standards than memory-based tests. Weak students may perform poorly or averagely on the exam as a result of this. Because open-book examinations will be difficult to grade, students may feel even more pressure.
  • People believe that students write answers from textbooks and therefore, these exams are very easy. But since, questions are framed in real-life scenarios, questions are worded in such a way that students’ conceptions must be clear before they answer the questions.

How to prepare for the Open book exam?

Before you sit for an open book exam, make sure you have considered the following things:

  • When you sit for your exams, keep all of the books from that topic in front of you. In open-book examinations, anything might be questioned, therefore students must be prepared for all that has been taught in class.
  • Identify key topics and terms that will most likely appear on your open book test as you prepare for it. Make a list of what the teacher is expected to put on the exam using your notes and after doing this, locate them mentally so that you have quick access to these topics in exams.
  • Without your notes, you should be able to verbally paraphrase key lectures or chapters in your textbook. Know your fundamental facts, concepts, and definitions like the back of your hand. That way, you won’t have to waste time remembering what the problem was when you’re asked to write an essay detailing the conditions that led to it.
  • Use a technique for outlining and highlighting important notes, and place the topic you’re having trouble with, in the beginning. This gives you fast access to those difficult topics during the examination.
  • Prepare for possible questions and afterwards test yourself by answering those questions. Make a mental list of any ideas/topics for which you could not give a comprehensive solution or appropriate details – go through those topics again.

Advantages

While many people claim that open book exams should not be conducted because they hinder students’ learning ability, the following are some of the reasons why they are beneficial:

  • These tests aid in the development of analytical abilities and real-world learning. This is especially vital in a quickly developing economy, where some types of jobs may go and new types of jobs may emerge, necessitating skilling and re-skilling as part of one’s career.
  • For those who have trouble recalling passages, an open book exam is extremely beneficial as it is designed for people who have a good memory.
  • Open book exams allow students to apply what they’ve learned in class to real-life situations, whereas closed book exams force students to memorize all they’ve studied without fully comprehending it.

Which all universities in India allow Open Book Exam?

During the covid phase, a lot of universities allowed open-book examinations and some of these universities are:

  • Delhi University, Delhi: This university is India’s leading university, with a long history and worldwide reputation for excellent educational performance, a wide range of academic activities, brilliant staff, renowned alumni, a wide range of co-curricular activities, and modern facilities. The University has maintained the highest worldwide benchmarks in higher education over its many years of operation.
  • Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune: Savitribai Phule Pune University, is one of India’s top universities, and is commonly referred to as the ‘Oxford of the East.’ It comprises 307 accredited research institutes and 612 linked colleges that offer graduate and undergraduate programs
  • Kalinga University, Raipur: This university waswas founded in 2013, now has approximately 7000 students enrolled. Kalinga University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in fields such as computer science, engineering, arts, technology, management, and commerce.
  • Chandigarh University, Punjab: Many national rating systems give Chandigarh University, Punjab, good marks for educational quality, scientific research, convenience, and sports excellence and is also ranked 16th in the list of best universities in India.