Colleges should implement open-note exams


Rayna Patel, Staff

Professors should implement open-note exams whether the class is virtual or in-person. Even though many individuals see open-note exams as easier or a way not to study for the class, I see it as a learning opportunity. While taking in-person exams where notes were not allowed I found myself memorizing and studying material simply to regurgitate the information on an exam. However, while taking virtual exams where my notes were available for me to use, I found myself trying to learn to apply the material rather than memorize it. Plus, I ended up retaining more of the material from my virtual exams compared to material from tests where I had to memorize the content. 

I think allowing students to take tests with their notes is more beneficial for them in the real world. Allowing notes encourages students to learn to apply material, and being able to use information is a skill we need in the professional world. When students go on to get real jobs all the information is available to them, so they don’t have to memorize anything, however, they do need to figure out how to use that information to complete their tasks. Memorization, to a certain extent, is simply not needed in the real world. Application is far better than recalling facts. Additionally, open-note exams encourage students to take better notes since they have the opportunity to refer back to them. This situation encourages individuals to be more organized, develop neater handwriting and form a note taking system that works specifically for them. Personally, they made me learn better and refer to my notes far more often than I would have. Although I understand that open-note exams are not very common, I strongly believe that they should be the norm.

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