Sunday, March 17, 2013

Open Book Exam

This news about board exams being open-book exams might appear like good news for students. Well! it is so not good news for students. Its actually a nightmare. There were times in grad school where a bunch of desis would be praying that the professor would announce the exam as closed-book/closed-notes. We would recoil in shock if the prof said open book. If the test had to be meaningful even if you had a book open that says something about the toughness of the test, doesn't it? Its never going to be the case that the answer is in the book and test is about how fast you are able to find the answer and copy it to the answer paper. I am just glad I am done with school. At least once a week, I get nightmares that involve me preparing for an exam that I don't know anything about.


Woriginal anony said...

Hawk Eye,
Picture these 2 scenarios.

a. Open book: 90% of the kids in a decent school get between 96-98% in the boards. The good student(scoring 96.5) thinks he's as good as the supersmart student(scoring 97.8). He gets to the real world and finds he's not upto it, so he either decides to slack off or work his butt off. The supersmart kid realises the average kids are actually breathing down his neck so he keeps up the good work after leaving school.

b. A JEE like curriculum where only the sharpest and best survive, the good spend sleepless nights wondering if they will ever make it, the average fall by the wayside. This with all the added mess like powercuts, traffic, parents working 70 hrs a week, etc.

I think I'll prefer the former situation.

Hawk Eye said...

woriginal agony,

did you read the post?

Alan Smithee said...

I agree with your assessment in part. In theory, from garden variety questions like "derive Planck Constant" students will begin getting esoteric word problems which will involve application of equations from 4 different chapters. They are screwed.

Where I disagree is that teachers setting up the question paper will be able to conjure up such questions. I don't think they are all that smart. It will still be the same E=hv, may be requiring the student to do some unit conversion of 'h'. Now the student can look it up in the book.

Hawk Eye said...


see the 2-3 people they pick across the state and country will be smart enough to set the board exam question paper at a complicated level.

The really bad thing is that the 10 rural school teachers may not be able to train students by setting such papers in quarterly exams etc. so the jump for the student will be higher when they write the board exam.

anony said...

Hawk Eye,
What part of my answer did you not get?