Is Open Book Exam Better?

open book examination

Before justification whether the Open Book Exam is better or not, we have to understand first what is open book examination? Then we will discuss all aspects like advantages and disadvantages of open book examination over memory-based assessment then only we can conclude which is better among open book and closed book examinations?

What is an open-book examination?

Open Book Exam (OBE) or Open book test is similar to normal exams but here one more feature is added you are freely allowed to use your class notes, prescribed textbooks, and any other approved material during the answering questions in the examination hall. So you are not dependent only on memory and can get exact answers if you learned the notes or books previously.

What is the idea behind open-book exams?

The idea behind the open-book exams is to develop skills and creative thinking to eliminate rote learning. Memory-based exams encouraged rote learning and awarded only those students who are best at memorizing the concepts. So to encourage them to be analytical & creative and develop their analytical skills open-book exams are a boon. Then the students will focus on understanding the concepts instead of memorizing them.

What is the truth behind the Open Book Examination (OBE)?

The truth behind the Open Book Examination (OBE) is that it is not as easy as it looks because questions are asked on the basis of analytical skills and students' concepts and understanding capabilities. So in the open-book exam, you can't just copy and paste the answers from the textbook. You have to understand the question first it asking and only if you study the book properly and understand the concepts you will be able to give answers.

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What is the need for an open-book examination?

The need for an open-book examination is that we can't judge a student's qualification on the basis of a memory-based examination. If students are unable to memorize lots of concepts for the exam, it does not mean he/she is not skilled or not a knowledge of the subject of the examination. Not every student has a similar capability so we can't judge their talent by the rote capability.

What are the advantages of an open-book examination system?

The open-book exam has several advantages over memory-based exams. Some of them are listed below.

  • Students focus on learning and understanding the concepts than memorizing them.
  • Less headache to remember the data, formulas, principles, and complex figures.
  • Analytical skills and thinking power capability will develop in the students instead of memorizing the concepts.
  • Students have no tension or fear of forgetting answers
  • If students forget any concept then they can easily see it from their textbook or notes.

What are the disadvantages of open-book exams?

There are several advantages of open-book exams but lots of disadvantages also, some of them listed below.

  • Open Book exam is not also the perfect measure of checking student skills.
  • Students will be lazy and will not study they will think that they can copy the answers from books to get pass the examination.
  • It is more difficult to prepare exam papers to judge students' analytical and understanding skills than memory-based question papers.
  • Students will carry lots of books with them or gadgets to solve the examination paper that is difficult to handle.
  • Students will depend only on books rather than answering the questions with their own knowledge and skills.
  • Students will not focus on their studies, become overconfident, and take the exam lightly.
  • Students will not listen or pay attention during class and also do not attend class regularly.

What is the difference between an open-book and a closed-book assessment?

The major difference between an open-book and a closed-book assessment is that an open-book exam focuses on the development of the analytical and understanding skills of the students whereas a closed-book exam focuses on the students memorizing power and grasping the power of the concepts.

Which is better among open-book and closed-book examinations?

No one is better among open-book and closed-book examinations because both are unable to identify and justify the real talent of the student. Any exam can identify only some specific talent or skill of the student but can't be identifying the overall skill of the student.

Open or closed book examinations can't restore the true meaning of education alone, there are requirements for some real changes in the education, learning, and examination techniques to better the development of students.

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Conclusion: Is an open-book examination better than a closed-book examination system?

No, the open-book examination is not better than a closed-book examination system because to date maximum exams in the world are conducted under a closed-book examination method. If open-book examination is better then why it is not used everywhere. So practically we can say an open book examination is not better than a closed book examination system.


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