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5 things to keep in mind while designing an open book test
Guide to design open book test


With the learning ecosystem rapidly changing, it is more important than ever to meet the needs of a new and innovative learning environment. 

With digital technology providing thousands of ways to access knowledge from anywhere at any time, it has become increasingly important to shift our focus from teaching students to memorize information, to a new and improved approach to application-based learning. 

Open-book tests are one of the first steps in setting up an ecosystem that promotes application-based learning.

What is an Open Book Test?

Open-book tests are becoming increasingly popular in the academic world as a way of testing students’ knowledge and abilities. In an open-book test, students are allowed to use their textbooks and other resources to find the answers to questions.

This type of testing is thought to be more effective in measuring a student’s understanding of a subject, as well as their ability to find and use information effectively.

How can the Open Book Test help students in better learning?

Learning is incomplete if the learner doesn’t know where and how to apply the learnt lesson.

The ability to apply knowledge is a skill that is more or less overlooked in the current education system. Students are often told to remember lengthy texts and, in the process, the concept and application go unnoticed. To remedy this, it is a better approach to train students to apply their knowledge. 

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Open-book tests can be very beneficial for students as they allow them to draw on a wealth of knowledge that is freely available in the 22nd century. With the right skills, students can learn how to apply this knowledge in a way that will help them achieve success. Open-book tests can be a great way to engage students and encourage them to develop their skills.

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Open-book tests not only help students to apply their knowledge to solve the questions, but also help them in interpreting the text from the textbooks. Open book tests are designed in such a way that students need to interpret the text in a correct way to answer the question. Mere reading the answer does not help them to secure the marks.

Just like a computer device has one memory unit and one processing unit, for us, as well; it is important to develop ourselves in such a way that we not only store the concept, but also process (interpret) and apply the concept.

Yes, there are tons of advantages to conducting the open book tests, these tests can re-route the learning process and make your student a better learner. In order to meet the purpose of these Open Book Tests, these tests need to be carefully designed, here are 5 key factors to consider while designing an open-book test.

Remote Open Book Tests

It is possible to define and conduct open book tests for remote candidates using the technology of Remote Proctoring.

In case of remote proctoring, the system monitors remote candidate movements similar to a physical exam invigilator. Remote proctoring provides a safe and secure examination environment to conduct online exams in a secure and cheating-free manner.

Remote Open Book tests can be useful to conduct assessments for the students of certification courses, higher education courses, PhD course, or courses involving research work.

5 key considerations while designing an open-book test-

5 key considerations while designing an open-book test

1. Let students connect the dots

Create the questions in such a way that students need to read multiple portions of texts in order to answer the questions. These portions of the texts should share a common concept or should be connectable in terms of situation/ approach or application.

2. Questions with multiple correct answers

Each of us is different and thinks in a different way. It is always recommended to let students open up and be their true selves. When such a question with multiple correct answers is included in the open book test, students will submit their unique answers, which can further help you to understand their personality and interest.

Online Question Bank Management can be useful to define a large pool of questions targeting open-book tests.

3. Encourage students to interpret the text

Reading a book is still a hobby for many, it is because they read, interpret and imagine it in their own way. Each of the students may have a different approach while interpreting the same text.

An open-book test should be designed in such a way that students will need to go through the text and interpret the meaning of the text before answering. This not only develops a better concept understanding but also helps them to interpret the text in a better way.

4. Application-based questions

We can stage the learning process into multiple parts; such as reading, interpreting, imagining, and applying the concept. Thus, the ultimate outcome that we would want from the learning process is the application of the knowledge earned.

While the conventional ways of examinations focus on memorization, the Open Book Test focuses on the Application. A major part of the Open Book Test should contain application-based questions.

5. Promote decision-making and situational aptitude

As augmented reality becomes increasingly popular and finds great applications, it is fascinating to explore how we behave and react to illusional situations.

Augmented reality helps us to explore our nature and develop situation-based aptitude, while open-book tests have the potential to promote decision-making and situational aptitude. When creating questions for open-book tests, textbook concepts can be used as a basis to make students make decisions.


The open-book test is a great way to assess student knowledge that has been gained through active learning. It is a more comprehensive means of assessment than a typical multiple-choice test, which is merely a snapshot of how much a student knows.

The open-book test also gives students who may not be the strongest test-takers the opportunity to show their knowledge and skills, which is vital in a curriculum that focuses on application rather than memorization of facts. Furthermore, with the novel assessment technologies, it is easier than ever to conduct online open-book tests.

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