Are Online Exams Open Book?
Many people considering an online education have questions as to how the tests work. It might seem that because you're working remotely, and can't be directly monitored by your instructor, that every test is open-notes and open-book format.
That assumption has led many to believe that online degrees are easier to obtain as compared to traditional ones. Suffice it to say, there are a number of misconceptions abound. You'll be relieved to find out just how similar an online testing experience is to a live one.
Are online classes real classes?
Is Diet Coke, real coke? If you want to be a stickler or a purist then you'll see 1000 shades of gray in everything. Analogies aside, an online degree program and the classes you take to obtain one are very much real. While there are surely some differences, they shouldn't taint your perception of an online education, nor should they drastically affect how you prepare for your online exams.
The differences between live in-seat and online schools are mostly positives having to do with flexibility and mobility. Online educations work really well for those trying to work while attending school, for those raising a family, or for those living in an area that geographically prohibits them from accessing higher education institutions. You'll have many of the same lecture experiences, assigned readings, projects, essays, and, yes -- tests.
Are online classes easier than live ones?
Regardless of whether it's online or live in-seat, the difficulty of a given class depends on the subject matter and how much you work and prepare. The notion that an online class is easier than an in-seat class is one that will set you up for failure if you believe it. You'd end up studying less and relying too much on trying to use your textbook or notes on the exam. That would definitely backfire if it were your plan.
Even on the few tests that you'll take that are open-book, they'll almost always be timed-- just as they'd be in a live setting. This will limit your ability to search for the necessary information for every question.
Expect a closed-book policy, backed by an honor system
You should expect that most of your online tests are a closed-book format. You should also be prepared to abide by this even if it can't be enforced. After all, isn't the goal of school that you actually learn the subject matter? Of what value would your degree be if you fudged your way through it? Upon graduation, how would you convince anyone to hire you, let alone succeed in your field, if you've not really understood the material you've been taught?
Prudence says that you treat your online education exactly as you'd treat an in-seat learning experience.
Even on open-book tests, studying is still required (and wise)
Make sure you've studied and adequately prepared for any online test-- open-book or otherwise. A common misunderstanding is that all open-book tests will be so easy that you won't even need to study. Don't make this mistake.
If a professor is giving you the luxury of having your course materials available during an exam, they'll likely compensate for that freedom with a more difficult test. If you've not studied at all, you'll likely have a rather weak understanding of the material's context.
Without a firm understanding of the content and context of the information on which you're being tested, the book will likely do you little good. You'll end up spending more than half the available time searching for the necessary information while trying to understand the important themes.
It is truly a blessing that you live in a time when online classes are available. In times past, if you wanted to get a certain type of education, you might need to move to another state and establish all new roots. Rather than look at an online education as a different kind or a lesser kind of training, try and view it as the exact same process, yet in a different format. Take it seriously and don't try cutting any corners-- you'd only be harming yourself.
Are you interested in online education? Whether you want to learn business, health science, technology or more, ECPI University offers programs in these fields entirely online. For more information about online classes, connect with a helpful admissions representative today.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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