How to prepare for Open Book Exams?8/7/2011Narayanan Palani,HP Accredited Integration Specialist | ISTQB Certified |IBM CertifiedRational SpecialistTarget Audience of this article: Work Integrated Learning ProgramStudents-MS Software EngineeringO B J E C T I V E SOpen Book Exam PreparationG E N E R A L R E Q U I R E M E N T SIndex sheetPrescribed Text BooksReference BooksSolved PapersReference Printouts from InternetBookmarks (to bookmark on each document)Library membershipsW R O N G A S S U M P T I O N O N O P E N B O O K E X A M SMany people are assuming that the Open Book exams are easiest examsin the world. Unfortunately it is completing wrong and Open Book examsare two times tougher than closed book exams. It is what my experiencethrough four years MS Software Engineering program of BITS PilaniThe reason is you will not find any straight answer togiven question in exam hall. You can directly find thechapter and section in which the question is taken butyou will never know the answer to the question becauseonly concept is available in the textbooks. But questionneed the implementations of those concepts which willcome by exam preparations.P R E - P R E P A R A T I O N B E F O R E C O M I N G T OO P E N B O O K E X A M S :
How to prepare for Open Book Exams?Page 2Refer Wikipedia/Google for concepts and take necessaryprintouts.Sample Techniques to search in Google:If you want to search by Algebra in google, use the followingtechniques:Type “Algebra filetype:ppt” and click on Google Search button orType “Algebra filetype:pps” and click on Google Search button orType “Algebra filetype:doc” and click on Google Search button orType “Algebra filetype:pdf” and click on Google Search buttonTry to limit the collection of documents for open book exams.Else it will waste our time in searching.H O W T O C O L L E C T R E F E R E N C E B O O K S ?If your subject is „Software Engineering‟, try to find the similar syllabusin other universities. For example, I was studying „SoftwareEngineering‟ of BITS, Pilani and I found similar syllabus in VTU. So Isearched across Avenue Road, Bangalore and collected Solved Papersof VTU Software Engineering (which is a subject for BE). It was veryhelpful for my open book examinations.In similar way, Hyderabad students can search Solved Papers,Scanners from Koti (Near Osmania Medical College); Chennai studentscan bag old books and scanners from Moor Market(Near CentralStation) or from Pycrafts Road ( Book shops will be opened between6PM to PM) at Triplicane.T A K E L I B R A R Y M E M B E R S H I P A T L I B R A R I E S :If you are studying in Bangalore or Chennai, please take yearlymembership at British Council. It is worth to be a member in BritishCouncil to refer international books, CDs and DVDs.If you are studying in Chennai, you can go for library memberships ofConnemara Library, Devaneya Pavanar District Central Library (NearSpencer Plaza).Take IEEE student membership online if required. It will help todownload IEEE papers for assignments.
How to prepare for Open Book Exams?Page 3H O W T O F I N D A N S W E R S F O R A S S I G N M E N T S :If your subject is „Software Testing‟ and the assignments are given tosolve the problems, please trust in Google.com!Search the assignments and find the relevant documents which areuploaded in different universities.For example, if your assignment is related to „Testing Techniques‟,search in google by the word:Testing Techniques filetype:pptFind the relevant ppts (which are available fromdifferent university websites) and refer it.S O M E M O D E R N T E C H N I Q U E S Collect most of the previous year question papers and find theanswers for it Collect the Solved Papers of the subjects from shops for theparticular subjects. It may help you to derive the answers usingsolved samplesEx: VTU Solved papers of Software Engineering is available inAvenue Road book shops in Bangalore Index the chapters/important topics and bookmark it cleanly usingsmall papers on top of the specific pages. So if you find similarquestion in open book exam, you should be in a position to open theparticular page using the bookmark. Else you will end up insearching the page numbers. Make sure that the book is having „Index‟ near to the last page.When the open book exam starts, refer the question and open thechapter using the Index of particular book. If you don‟t know the topicquestion, please search it in the Index ofthe book (which is available near to last few pages). Always keep Thesaurus Dictionary and Scientific Calculator (whichsupport Statistical Calculations) in Open Book exams. If you don‟tknow the meaning of certain high class questions or if you don‟t find
How to prepare for Open Book Exams?Page 4complex mathematical answers, you can use of it. Always number the different additional answer sheets as 1,2 etc. Itwill avoid the confusion in the last few minutes. Don‟t ever keep thereference documents along with the answer sheets. Else there is achance of forgetting particular additional answer sheet by keeping itinside the reference documents. If you don‟t know the answer to the particular question , try tocomplete all other questions and take this unknown question at lastand start reading the respective chapter to understand it. Don‟t thinkthat you forgot to read this chapter before exam. It is always good toread and answer to a question on spot. But you should maintaintime in open book exams very carefully.About writer:Narayanan Palani, Testing Professional holding 10 internationalcertifications, published 6 international research presentations andcompleted four years M.S(Software Engineering) of BITS, Pilani.Dated:08/07/2011