Copyright

Why Even Smart Students Still Need to Study for an Open-Book Exam

An open-book exam might seem like an invitation to blow off studying, but like any test, those that allow you to use your book require preparation. These points will help you understand why an open-book exam isn't necessarily a one-way ticket to an A.

View popular schools

exam study tips

Familiarity With Relevant Subject Matter

It's never a good idea to walk into any test without knowing the information from back to front. Even if you get to use your book while you're answering questions, you still have to be aware of what's going on in the test. Ideally, during open-book tests, your book should be a reference tool that you use in addition to existing knowledge and understanding, not in place of it. An open-book exam may require you to apply the material to new situations, rather than simply recalling memorized data.

Understanding Questions

If you rely on your book without preparing beforehand, some finer points in questions - or, in worse-case scenarios, entire questions - might confuse or derail you. Studying before an open-book test or quiz will help you be better prepared to quickly comprehend questions.

Knowing Where to Look

Precious time can be wasted if you don't know exactly where the information you're looking for is located. Reading over the chapters or sections that are covered on an open-book test, organizing your notes to match the information in the text, and making notes on passages that seem particularly relevant (if that's allowed, of course) will help you get correct answers more quickly. Obviously, you don't want to waste test time doing this, so a study session before the open-book test would be necessary.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agriculture
  • Architecture
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences
  • Business
  • Communications and Journalism
  • Computer Sciences
  • Culinary Arts and Personal Services
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • Legal
  • Liberal Arts and Humanities
  • Mechanic and Repair Technologies
  • Medical and Health Professions
  • Physical Sciences
  • Psychology
  • Transportation and Distribution
  • Visual and Performing Arts

Saving Time by Using Your Brain

Even if your open-book test isn't being timed, there's likely some sort of deadline for when you need to finish, even if it's a matter of days. You don't want to spend all your time working on this test. Saving time is important, and you can do that by saving yourself the hassle of leafing through your book every time you go to answer a question. Understanding the test material before you take the test might allow you to answer questions without bothering too much with the book, if at all.

Understanding the Big Picture

In some cases, your teacher or professor might intentionally put questions on an open-book test that can't be completely answered by simply looking in the book. They might ask for details mentioned in supplemental assignments or lectures. They might ask for your opinion or interpretation of a fact or issue. Studying all of your course materials, from the book to class notes and graded assignments, means being prepared to answer any kind of question that comes your way on an open-book test.

You can use your study style to prepare for any kind of test!

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MA in Communication
    • Master of Liberal Arts
    • MA in Science Writing
    • MS in Applied Economics
    • MS in Geographic Information Systems
    • MS in Bioinformatics

    What is your highest level of education?

    • BA: Criminal Justice
    • BA: Criminal Justice - Criminalistics
    • BA: Liberal Studies
    • BA: Psychology
    • BA: Psychology - General
    • BS: Computer Science
    • AA: Criminal Justice
    • AA: Liberal Arts
    • AA: Business Administration
    • AA: Information Technology
    • AA: Cybersecurity

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path, Executive Leader Specialization
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice
    • Master of Science in Nursing - Doctor of Nursing Practice Path
    • MS in Psychology - Forensic Psychology
    • Master of Science in Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology
    • MBA
    • Master of Public Health
    • MBA - Human Resources
    • BS in Liberal Studies
    • BS in Business Administration
    • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Investment Career Focus Area
    • BS in Liberal Studies Leadership
    • BS in Nutrition Science
    • BSFIN in Accelerated MS Finance
    • AAS in Business Administration - Business
    • AAS in Legal Support and Services
    • AAS in Business Administration
    • AAS in Business Administration - Food & Hotel Management
    • AAS in Business Admin-Office Management
    • AAS in Criminal Justice
    • Medical Office Administration Certificate
    • Human Services Certificates in Child and Family Services
    • Graduate Certificate in Addictions
    • Graduate Certificate in Industrial/Organizational Psychology
    • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Certificate
    • Pathway to Paralegal Postbaccalaureate Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MSHS Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • MSHS in Immunohematology and Biotechnology
    • MSHS in Molecular Diagnostic Sciences
    • MSHS in Translational Microbiology
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Secondary Special Education and Transition Services
    • MA in Education and Human Development in Special Education for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners
    • BSHS in Clinical Operations and Healthcare Management
    • BSHS in Medical Laboratory Sciences
    • BSHS in Biomedical Informatics

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Master of Science in Finance
    • Masters of Professional Studies in Technology Management
    • Master of Professional Studies in Real Estate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Business Administration - Management
    • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Health Care Administration
    • EdD in Organizational Leadership - Special Education
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Cognition and Instruction
    • Ph.D. in General Psychology - Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    • M.S. Psychology with an Emphasis in Gerontology
    • M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Human Factors
    • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
    • MS in Criminal Justice: Legal Studies
    • MS in Psychology: General Psychology
    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Business for Secondary Education
    • BS in Psychology
    • B.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sports Psychology
    • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
    • BS in Early Childhood
    • BS in Elementary Education / Special Education (Dual Major)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • Doctor of Education - Character Education
    • Doctor of Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Doctor of Education - Higher Education
    • Ph.D. in Communication
    • Ph.D. in Education - Character Education
    • Ph.D. in Education - Curriculum & Instruction
    • Master of Arts in Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Communication - Strategic Communication
    • Master of Arts in Government - Political Communication
    • Master of Arts in Journalism
    • Master of Arts in Law - Business
    • Bachelor of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Journalism
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Rhetoric and Public Culture
    • Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies - Strategic Communication
    • Bachelor of Arts in English - Communication
    • M.Ed. - Individualized Degree Program - Autism Certificate
    • M.Ed. in K-12 Special Education - Autism Certificate

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?