Studying for an Open-Book Exam

By Emma Rowley

Currently, I am working out how to manage doing Open-Book Exam Revision for uni. The deal is I get a few days to complete a paper, and it’s completely open-book. I’m currently figuring out how to study for it…


1. Practice your essay writing skills

Write structured paragraphs and introductions, and read a lot of exemplars to make sure you know how write an essay properly. Having an open book won’t particularly help with this skill.


2. Make a LOT of mind maps

It’ll be easier to do the exam if you can quickly pull up references to things from lectures or textbooks and look them up. It’d be really annoying to spend hours leafing through books when you could be writing.


3. Look at the mark schemes

Pretty self-explanatory, really. Just look at how you should be doing something and then practise it. It will make you feel a lot more prepared.


4. Go over any possible worksheets you have

It is so important to train your ‘brain muscles’, especially for science subjects or Maths- practising things repeatedly will build ‘muscles’ in your brain, meaning once you approach a problem, open book or not, you can understand it fairly quickly. I would recommend then sending them to a tutor or supervisor to see how well you’ve done and where you could improve in papers that are more subjective.

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