What is AISEE Open Book Exams?
AISEE Open book exams allow you to take notes, texts or resource materials into an exam situation. They test your ability to find and apply information and knowledge, so are often used in subjects requiring direct reference to written materials, like law statutes, statistics or acts of parliament.
What Kinds Of Material Can Be Used?
The materials you can take into an Open Book exam can vary. AISEE restrict formula sheets and tables.
Materials might be:
- your notes
- readings, reference materials or textbooks
- equipment like calculators, drafting tools etc.
Before the exam
- Use tables of contents and index pages to locate relevant sections in the books you plan to use.
- Bookmark useful chapters or pages. Post-it notes can be helpful here.
- Prepare brief summaries, e.g. in margins of texts to provide a quick reference.
- Prepare a list of key information (formulae, key definitions etc.) likely to be used.
- Use index cards to list key topics and relevant page numbers of texts. Use one card per book. This can help you find information quickly.
Make some useful notes for yourself
- Review the subject to get a good overview.
- Work out the main themes and topics.
- Identify key concepts or information.
- Make brief and legible notes.
- Summarise important information.
- Use clear headings.
- Organise notes by topic.
- Identify how topics are connected.
What Should I Expect?
The instructor knows that you have your notes and text right in front of you
- Instead, open book exams tend to ask students to apply, analyze, synthesize, compare/contrast or evaluate1 They test whether you understand the “big picture” of the course and how course concepts work together.
- For example, you might be given a problem or a scenario and asked to apply concepts from several parts of the course to it to develop an answer.
What Should I Keep In Mind While Writing These Exams?
- Time is likely to be scarce. First answer the questions that you know without extensive referral to materials.
- Know the basic answers and, if necessary, look up an exact formula, a numerical value, or supporting evidence for your answers.
- There may be sufficient time to quickly refer to materials, but not to learn something new – such as how a formula works, or the relationships between various course concepts – from your materials during the exam.
- Copying long passages or quotes is a waste of time; instead, paraphrase and condense any information you find in your materials.
- Aim for concise, well-supported answers.
- If you have time for review at the end, you may check your materials more extensively to verify accuracy or to find additional points.
Open Book Exam Checklist
- Find out the exam requirements
- Find out practical details (time, place etc.)
- Study your course materials
- Work out the materials and resources you will use
- If you’re doing a Take Home exam, prepare your study area
- Prepare useful notes
- Organise your materials
- Get a good night’s sleep
On the day
- Don’t panic
- Only take in what you really need
- Eat something
- Arrive in good time
- Avoid ‘panic talk’
- Read all the exam questions carefully
- Start with the easy ones
- Use quotations sparingly
- Don’t over-answer
- Be aware of the time