- An open book exam has standard exam questions where students are allowed to use resources e.g. books, articles, lecture notes, research notes from all sources. Sometimes a limit can be put on resources e.g. two sides of A4 notes, a folder etc.
- A time limit will be set.
- Best marks are gained through applying the resources critically to the question.
- Show your breadth and depth of knowledge through expanded reading/research.
- This type of exam better reflects the workplace because through structured revision and relevant resources you will have gained a base knowledge and within the exam you can add depth from your resources. For example, using more in-text citations, presenting alternative arguments and applying criticality. Therefore, it is an excellent way to demonstrate your academic and problem solving skills.
- Think about it being a bit like work, in that you go to work with some base knowledge and you supplement this by gathering new information to collate into a response required by your team/manager.
- Review and map/summarise from your lecture notes, seminars, workshops etc. the key points and arguments for each topic.
- Start to explore the extended reading list and make notes.
- Look beyond extended reading list.
- Look at past exam questions.
- Plan a structure for your resources dependent on guidance given by your school. For example, in a folder have tabs with keywords on.
- When compiling your resource consider what works best for you. Is it coloured paper, colour coding, images, tables, graphs, mnemonics, sketch, flow diagram etc.?
- Spend time revisiting your resources to allow you to develop a memory for where you have placed specific content.
- Do practice questions under timed conditions from either past papers or made up or coursework questions.
- Refresh your knowledge of the learning outcomes from the module. Does your revision meet those outcomes?
- Understand the number and type of questions to be answered in the exam.
- Create a time plan for the exam to include reading the question thoroughly, planning your answer, writing your answer and proofread your answer.
- Read the question thoroughly and highlight instructional words and keywords.
- Create a structured plan which includes content, key authors, a clear argument and timings
- Start writing.
- Allow time to edit and proof-read.
- Organisation and navigation.
- Let others know you are taking an exam!