Open book tests.

@deserve40 (1643)
India
December 23, 2012 12:49am CST
Although it is common pracitce in few countries of the world, we find that there is no "open book tests" in many countries. It is said that if the students are allowed to have open book tests instead of conventional tests in which they have to read many long theories and memorise them, it will do lot to relax them. It is said that if the open book tests are made regular, the students will be learning their subjects with more interest as they have to understand the subject well for such tests. Once the things are understood well, then you are prepared for the test and so you will not be required to refer to many books like digests, refreshers etc to find ready-made answers. I also feel this way only. However, many things are required to be changed before such system is adopted. What are your views? Please share here.
9 responses
• United States
23 Dec 12
As a student, I always got excited when a teacher would announce an open book test...however, I soon learned that these tests were usually more difficult since they required more interaction with the theories of the subject, rather than specific knowledge. Most people think of open book tests and think that kids are getting spoiled, but there is a lot of evidence showing that content retention is much higher in students who study for open book tests than for students who prepare for traditional tests.
@deserve40 (1643)
• India
23 Dec 12
I fully agree with you. I have always felt that open book tests will prepare the students much better than traditional tests. Infact these open book tests are more difficult than the traditional ones. So first of all the misconception about this open book tests should be removed from the minds of the parents. This type of tests will enhance concept based studies and students will become more knowledgeable. I think that the open book tests would do great things for the students. As they will study the subject and understand more thoroughly, they will be able to use that knowledge in their day to day life too. Thanks for contributing to this discussion. Have a nice time friend...!
• United States
23 Dec 12
Also, it mimics the real world. When I need to make a calculation using a formula, for example, I can very easily access that formula. However, the trick is knowing which formula is appropriate to my problem and how to properly calculate the solution. The only place that I think it isn't AS helpful is for learning a foreign language. The vocabulary and grammar should become second-nature to you, just as your first language is, so it wouldn't make much sense to allow students to use dictionaries and their textbooks....but for most things, it makes perfect sense!
• St. Peters, Missouri
23 Dec 12
I teach computer use at the college level. Many of my students are beginners. Have zero experience when beginning my class. Others are more experienced and learning more in-depth about computers. ALL my tests are open book. Although there is some content that is tested by asking questions, most of my tests are skill based. The students can either do it or they can't. They have the entire class period to complete the test. If they want to refer to a book to see how something is done, well, that's what we do in real life. Why shouldn't they be able to check? I do draw the line, however, at Phone-A-Friend lol. If they don't already know how to do a significant number of the tasks, they will never complete the test in time. I always tell my students exactly which skills will be on the test. I encourage them to create notes for themselves for any skill they aren't comfortable with. Almost without fail, the students that make these are the best prepared and rarely need them. Tests should be an accurate depiction of what the students know. Tests aren't the place for surprises.
@deserve40 (1643)
• India
23 Dec 12
Well said friend...."Tests are not places for surprises." So the students must know which skill is going to be tested. If they are not comfortable with one such skill, they will work harder for that and be well prepared during the tests. One more point you have made is really worth giving attention: "Students should make their notes". If they make their own notes, then they will certainly understand what is basic in particular theory. Later on if required, they will be able to apply their knowledge. Reallly great ideas you have shared here and thanks for that. Have a nice time friend...!
@iluvusabado (2560)
• Philippines
23 Dec 12
usually open book tests are more difficult than a regular exam. most of the time, the answers are not really in the books. i guess it will really help if you really understand the lessons.
@deserve40 (1643)
• India
23 Dec 12
That is right friend...! Open book tests are bound tobe more difficult for the students. But it will serve the real purpose of the education in a much better way. I feel that the purpose of the educatrion is to make the student more knowledgeable. He or she should be able to apply his or her knowledge in the prictical life too. And this can be achieved much easily with this open book tests.
• United States
2 Jan 13
I study liberal arts so it doesn't really make a difference whether it's open book or not but it would probably make a big difference if it's one of the science or math studies. I've had only open book tests this year. It was different but not any easier. I think the teachers expect more from you if they let you use a book. I hate tests whether it's open book or closed book
@Shavkat (65887)
• Philippines
2 Jan 13
For some reason, some University allowed to have open books for examinations. But I never tried days during those days in College. The worst nightmare subject I really hated is Physics, so I still endure to memorize all the formulas just to pass it. In fact, it is only my minor subject. My school that time was so strict in taking exams in class, two chairs apart before we can have the test. Though it is fine for me, the way of doing this is in preparation for national board examinations.
@lady1993 (20400)
• Philippines
27 Dec 12
i have those sometimes, but i find that they are of little use, since i really study and prepare before any test. And we had them in Calculus and Physics, so it is not very useful since it's mostly calculations, only the examples are useful.
@maezee (33917)
• United States
24 Dec 12
I had an open-book final just a few weeks ago. It was for a class called Women Across Cultures, which was really interesting - but it was also an online class, and because there are no in-class meetings, even for finals, this is how my final was. I got a B on it, which is too bad because I thought I would have done better. But the hard part about an "open book" final is that... you don't have time to re-read all the chapters.Because the test is timed, you even have to consolidate your notes, as you won't have time to re-read through all of your notes. You need to have taken REALLY good notes but also study them so that you know them right away. They are trickier than you would imagine.
• United States
23 Dec 12
Hi, I feel like it's a great idea, but sometimes, students procrastinate and end up not studying. They would rely on getting the answers from the book. Yet, I believe an argument could be made that if they fail, they'll probably learn their lesson.I think teachers do this because they believe that this is the only way to force students to study. Society also bases education based off what you could memorize.
• Pakistan
23 Dec 12
I always felt happy when there was an open book test in my school because i didn't had to memorize long answers and theories which was the worst it can get but yes open book tests are more difficult then the one in which we have to just memorize. You have to find the answers from the whole book, understand them and then write in less time which is a challenge rather then just memorizing things and writing them.