Open Book Exams: Why Would Somebody Say No To It


The concept of open book exams will slowly emerge in India; recently CBSE proposed to have open book exams for Class X & Class XII students. The idea is imported from West, but will see rejections in India by higher education authorities who will still love or prefer the rote learning concept. The practice of mugging up starts from Day Zero of your school and never sees an end, no matter whether you go for professional studies like Engineering & MBA. Universities are still insisting to learn and memorize formulae, the job of the students shouldn’t be about recollecting the formula for a particular problem instead he or she should be tested to see the application.

Western Countries long ago have realized and done away with the rote learning method, application and practical knowledge is what needs to be earned during the college life. For instance foreign Universities give a cheat sheet to students appearing for the examination of a particular subject, the cheat sheet will have formulae from all chapters, the student appearing for the test can refer the cheat sheet and solve problem. The test here is to see whether student knows which formula has to be implemented for a particular problem. The open book examination tests students ability to apply knowledge, forget about formulae which are already derived by few great people they are anyone derived really there isn’t a point of proving the theorem. Use the book as much as you want and solve the paper, the one who sets the question paper will obviously think of including creative problems which are not already in the book you are asked to carry to the exam. Apply and think and see what model comes close to the problem, you will find hints and suggestions in the book through example problems and solve the creative one. The learning starts here, where in our education system a prescribed syllabus is given and anything beyond the syllabus is considered grace marks or out of the syllabus. This way the learning will not happen, you learn what is there in the book and deliver what you remember or what you understand.

Talk to students and you put a question to test their academic ability either they answer it or they say it is not covered in our syllabus. From long schools and colleges have been limiting the students potential by forcing them to prepare for the examination instead of shaping them to their full potential. Instances are there at school when a teacher marks a ZERO to a question citing this is not what is written in your text book. This is one of the main reasons for hike in unemployment rate, students are too bookish and companies hire them as trainees and teach everything that has not been taught in academics.

When I have seen in news about the concept of open books, I was too excited.. ooh atlast they are improving! But I don’t know if they really adopt the open book exam concept!

Share your views, do you think India should adopt the idea of open book exams!

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  2. Yes, the open book systeim in India should be applied because it is important to sharpen your thinking ability and to correctly understand the thing rather than just mugging it up.

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