So I know that when you hear open book exam you figure hey no studying. But I am going to be taking an Assembly Language final and I am wondering if anyone has any tips on how to prepare. I just feel like even when it's open book I'll blank out.

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My recollection is that open book exams are more of a time crunch.  There's a difference in knowing the answers, and knowing how to find the answers.  Read the table of contents and maybe the index. Knowing chapter headings and subheadings is helpful.  Make sure you know your way around the book. 

 

Sometimes they'll let you use your book, then ask questions that aren't in there.  Is your teacher a smartass?

 

JB

Nah he is definitely straight forward.

I teach CS, so this is right up my alley!  Find out what kind of questions are on the final.  For "do this" problems, work through the labs and homeworks, so you know how to do what you're doing. My wife, who said all her engineering exams in college were open-book, said the questions were always of that form for her.

Now:  ask your professor this question!  He knows his tests best.

On the test, if you have to read the text to find answers to problems, you don't know the material. You're supposed to be able to solve the problem, using the text to look up fine details (how do I use ADD?) or to look up examples similar to the problem you got.

My CS open book exams were far worse than traditional exams. To be honest I never thought very highly of them. 

I would make sure I knew how to code all the examples. I would pay particular attention to what made the code flow especially how it went from one point to another and how looping and if-then worked.  Also knowing exactly how data structures, arrays etc. function is a must (if it is included in the material the test covers). If it is a MIPS like language then you should know which bits correspond to which part of the instruction. You won't have time to look up these sorts of basics.

As you study you should become familiar with where stuff is to be found. If you have to look in the glossary during the test you are doomed. Sticky-tabs are useful for this but won't replace familiarity with the material and the book.

In the end the best way to learn a computer language in code in it. If there is time,

make up simple projects using the concepts covered by the test and write code demonstrating it.

I use the index to look stuff up. I know generally where the stuff is.

Hardest test I ever took -- aside from the Bar Exam -- was a multiple-choice "mark all that apply" test in AP High School English 4.  I got the second highest grade in the class ... 32/100.  It was brutal enough that I remember it 16-years later.

 

Hardest test I took in law school was Criminal Law 1.  It was open book.  There were seven books, though ... so good luck with that.

 

The basic test format was -- (really long convoluted fact scenario of bizarre criminal activity with multiple criminals and maybe 30 independent crimes) ... followed by a question like, "please describe and explain all crimes that were committed under Federal, State, and local law, and the model penal code.  Be specific."  Now please continue to questions 2-15.  Good grief.  Nobody finished.  By the end of the test, I was just listing crimes.  No sentences.  No paragraphs.  No explanation.  Just a list.  Got a B.  Eh.

 

JB

I'm not sure if I have yet to have a similar experience. Usually what gets me all the time is stupid little mistakes like if you asked me the same question outside after the test I would be able to do it in my sleep, but when I get the test back I missed something that was right in front of my face. Yeah I still get most of the credit, or I lose the whole question for just getting that one part wrong but only when I was taking the test. It urkes  me to no end lol.

Ever considered just knowing the material?

So much emphasis placed on test taking skills and best ways to pass a test.

Here's an idea:  know the material.  Then you won't need tricks and hints on test taking.

Only open book I had was English and it was 'open book' because the exam was writing 2 essays in a 3 hour window. and the 'open book' was so that we could look up and reference quotes.

I memorized a few quotes/pages etc. so I could save time. Ended up not needing the books. My advice is study as if it were NOT open book, and then if you breeze through great!

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