Open-Book and Take-Home Exams
- Open-book exams allow you to take books or notes into the exam room and use them to assist you in answering questions (sometimes you even know the questions in advance, also called a sighted exam).
- Take-home exams are based on a short period of time in which to answer the questions, which may vary from 24 hours to a week. In the case of exams done in an online format, via computer labs or web browsers, the time limit may be a matter of hours from the moment of logging-in (see Handy Hint).
Type of learning required
- Open-book and take-home exams examine your understanding of particular topics and usually focus on your ability to synthesise, apply and evaluate a range of material in depth.
- You don't need to do any rote learning, but you do need to be familiar with source materials in order to find answers quickly.
Study strategies for open-book and take-home exams
What to do
- Prior to an open-book exam, clarify exactly what you can bring into the exam room. For example, can you take pages of notes, a laptop, textbooks, or only a summary sheet?
- Check the nature of the exam format with your lecturer - they might be multiple choice, essay or problem-based (see the other sections in this module for advice on these).
- Keep up to date with your course reading and ensure you understand the material. The first time you read about or think about a topic should not be during the actual exam!
- Keep detailed and concise notes and summaries of main issues/concepts/theories that have been covered throughout the course.