How to prepare for open book exams or take home exam? Know Some Sets of Rules for Open book exams or Take Home Exams

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Open book exams or Take Home Exams

Here in this article we will explain you what is open book exam or take home exam conducted in university, how is it differ from traditional or other exams? What are the benefits of open book exam or take home exam and why this is popular among abroad universities? Every student wants to know once they face open book exam first time. They want to know about rules of this exam and they prefer to get information online with reading articles. We have collected all the information for those students and provide a complete guide for students for open book exam or take home exam.

What are open book or take home exams?

An "open book exam" is one in which students are permitted to use class notes and summaries as well as textbooks, or other authorized sources while responding to questions. It's comparable to giving students a question paper to complete as a "take-home" test before they take the real exam. Take home exam is written outside of a supervised room while this is not so in case of open book exam. During take home exam in contrast to open book exam students are not bounded to complete it within 3 hours rather they have a time period of about few days to week to complete it. Open book or take home exams are generally of two types: the restricted one and free type. In this each student will get a random set of questions which are not same. So, the chances of cheating are greatly reduced but he disadvantage is that students simply stop studying and just copy out all the material from the book. These types of exam are generally practice in law stream. In this exam a benefit is that students do not need to recall the facts. They can also check them instantly from the books. Open-book exams will bring about a significant shift in this mindset. However, it does not eliminate the requirement for students to study for tests. It suggests that students should know concepts and apply them to problem-solving.

Also read:- Tips for getting good or Better Grades in College

What kinds of material can be used in open book exams or take home exams?

There are two things involved in this. During open book exam only the permitted book is allowed to be taken along with the student while entry into the exam. It may be one or two or even more and varies according to the examination theme scheduled. During take home exams one has multiple options to use while writing examinations. One can use class notes, textbooks, online sources which include literature evidence too as well as short summaries or one's own notes designed by them. Along with all this a person uses his/her mind too. One can also do cheating during take home exams which means he/she can enroll any 3rd person to complete his/her work.

Why are some books which considered for open book exams or take home exams?

When a person pursues his/her higher studies, along with his/her knowledge intellectual abilities and skills are also tested. Because cramming a part and gaining scores is not enough in your life. In order to succeed one must do smart work. These types of examinations are so designed to make one active in all spheres all life. Preparation cannot work everywhere. Sometimes you are stuck at a part where you need to give instant solutions from sources available. This is the best method to practice you in this expertise.

What kind of questions will an open book exam have?

The questions asked in open book exams are totally based on real-life scenarios. They just test your skills to present the task, how you can support your arguments. These tests also examine if a person has great structuring skills because generally they are essay based. It also senses one's skills of gathering ideas and thoughts at an instant basis.

What are some Misconceptions about open book exams?

Many students think an open-book test is simple to pass, but the truth is that all exam questions are based on real-world situations. This is challenging to respond to if students' understanding is unclear. Many students believe that all they need to do is quickly copy the information from the study guide. Plagiarism is not permitted in these tests. Even the permitted study materials should be authorized by the examiner. If the examiner discovered plagiarism in the students' ideas, the information will not receive any markings. The idea that studying is unnecessary for open-book examinations is perhaps the most common one. Just as with any other test, you should prepare for these tests too.

How to prepare for open book exams or take home exam?

Keep all of the reference materials for the related topic in front of you when you take your examinations. Anything might be asked in open-book exams, so students should be ready for all they have learned in class. As you get ready for your open book test, make a list of the important concepts and terminology that will probably be covered. Utilizing your notes, make a mental list of the subjects that the teacher is likely to include on the test so that you can quickly access them when the time comes. You should be able to verbally summarize significant lectures or chapters from your textbook even without your notes. Know all of the basic information, ideas, and terminology. When you are requested to write an essay outlining the circumstances that led to the issue, you won't have to waste time trying to recall what it was. Consider the issue you're struggling with at the start of your essay using an outline-and- highlighting strategy. This enables you to quickly access those tough topics throughout the exam. Consider important questions while you prepare, then apply it to yourself by practicing the test and responding to them before the examination. Make a note of any concepts or topics for which you were unable to provide adequate information or a thorough response in your mind and then review those topics once again. When preparing for an open book test, one of the biggest mistakes students make is putting too much attention on the reference resources. Extensive notes, textbooks, and other reference resources can easily turn into a burden rather than a benefit during an open book test, particularly a timed exam. You won't have time to go over your notes, study your textbook again, or learn anything new during an open book test. Never submit material or an answer on an open-book test that you know to have been copied straight from the book. Instead of whether students can find information in a book, teachers are more interested in what their students have learnt. It is OK to utilize passages from the book or lecture notes to strengthen your arguments or analyses, but try not to depend on them excessively.

Is there any difference between open book exam or take home exam? Can I get online assistance or expert's help for open book exam or take home exam? Are you looking for assignment help or tutor’s advice in home take exam or open book exam? Expertsminds is best teacher’s toolkit for students who are looking for help in their exams and assignments. We prepare students for online exams, provide them good material and resources to perform best in exam and assignments. This is best application for college students who are seeking expert’s advice in college studies. 

Know some tips for Preparing for Open-Book Exams

Open-book exams require you to:

  1. Know how to find information
  2. learn for understanding rather than just remembering
  3. Students require to make good notes
  4. organise materials for fast reference
  5. Learners apply the information in your sources to the questions.

Prepare for Study

Students need to prepare or study for open-book exams or take home exams just as you would for any other standard or university exam. If you know your topic or subject knowledge, you'll have a knowledge base to draw on. You will also learn about how and why topics are linked. This style of learning enhances your learning skills well for exams and 'real life' experiences. 

Familiarise yourself with organizing the texts and notes, and your need to make sure you have located important information. The students are required to be familiar with materials so you don't need to waste valuable exam time searching through that material at exam time. 

Go for Plan ahead 

The students have to work out the materials and required resources they will hold into the exam room.

You are required to take what you need into home take exam or an open-book exam. You are required to carefully select your source, materials and organise them for quick reference into exam. This includes having pencils, spare pens, and erasers. If you are required any other tools, you need to make sure they all in working position and pack them neatly. For those students who are using non-solar calculators, they don't forget spare batteries!

If you are preparing for a take-home exam, gather readings, notes and resources together beforehand and organise them neatly in your study area at home. Set up a quiet space where you can concentrate and work without interruptions.

Find out the open book exam/ take home exam requirements that students need to care of...

For open-book exams, find out:

  • the materials or resources you can take into the exam room
  • the topic areas which exam will cover
  • Length of answers should be
  • Total time you have
  • whether you need to reference
  • the types of questions, short answers, essays, etc. 

For take-home exams, find out:

  • the time / date the exam should be handed in
  • Duration have to complete the exam
  • the topic areas the exam will cover
  • where the exam should be handed in
  • whether you need to reference
  • how long answers should be
  • The types of essays, questions, short answers, etc.

Don't anticipate questions

When you are reading or developing your notes, you don't waste time guessing possible questions or developing the 'model' answers; pre-prepared answers never work. Essay style problems tend toward a 'free' answer rather than a fixed 'single right answer' question so formula answers don't fit. Hence, you do need to have thought through conceptual frameworks and philosophical positions and have some general conclusions in clear mind. You don't need to learn everything, but you require learning how to find the relevant information and how to use of them at time of exam.


Your instructor may offer some sample questions, set of questions, resources or a dry run. You might also need to check these past exam papers in the Library to know what kind of questions could be provided in past exams.

Get a good night's sleep

On the night before the open exam, your don't stay up until complete hours studying; you'll be stressed and unable to think clearly if you don't sleep properly. Keep yourself fresh taking full rest so that your mind clears while take this kind of exams.

How to prepare notes and materials


A large amount of resources or materials might make you feel secure, but you'll probably work best relying on no more than a few pages of notes and a few well-chosen texts.

Unless sitting a take-home exam, Learners need to perform within a short time limit or a few hours. To do this well orgnised and properly, you should try to have the essential facts, formulae, etc. at your finger tips. Also, prepare or writing a flow chart to know how the relevant topics are connected, and it will very helpful at the time of exam.

How to prepare resources 

Before the exam

  • The students need to use tables of contents / index pages to locate relevant sections in the books you plan to use.
  • Prepare brief summaries for example in margins of texts to provide a quick reference.
  • The learners should bookmark useful chapters or pages. Post-it notes can be helpful here.
  • Use index cards to list key topics and you need to note the relevant page numbers of texts. Your must use one card per book. This will help you find information fast and quickly.
  • You need to prepare a list of key information ( key definitions, formulae etc.) likely to be required at that time.

How to prepare notes 

Make some useful notes for yourself

  • Take a Review the subject to get a good overview.
  • You should work out the main themes and topics.
  • Summarise important information.
  • Use clear headings.
  • Identify key concepts or information.
  • Make brief and legible notes.
  • Identify how topics are connected.
  • Organise notes by topic.
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