New academic guide introduces open book exams for students

10:49 AM May 30, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

Bengaluru: The Department of School Education and Literacy has announced the introduction of open book examinations for students in classes 8 to 10 starting in the next academic year (2024-25). This initiative, detailed in the department’s latest academic guide, aims to foster a deeper understanding and engagement with educational materials among students.


A similar proposal is under discussion for conducting practical open book examinations for students in classes 9 to 12 in CBSE (Central Curriculum) schools starting this year. This would mark a significant shift in the assessment approach within these institutions.

In the educational guide, high school teachers have been instructed to prepare a 25-mark question paper for each subject. During the exam, students will be permitted to refer to their textbooks, notebooks, and relevant reference materials.

Krishnaji S. Karichannavara, Director of the Secondary Education Department, emphasized the importance of students developing a thorough understanding of their resources, stating, “Students should have a clear understanding of where content is and how to use it in the text, notebooks, and relevant reference books. Therefore, we have introduced the open book examination system to increase the reading attitude among children.”

While the open book examination is being introduced, it will not yet be part of the main examination structure such as the ESL exam, summative assessment, or formative assessment. Instead, it will serve as an academic activity for the time being.


Academicians caution that despite the apparent ease of open book exams, students must still possess a strong familiarity with their materials.
“Students should have a clear knowledge of where the answer to the question is in the book they have, and the knowledge to apply it. Without it, time will be wasted and it will be difficult to write the answer within the stipulated time,” noted one educator.

Success in these exams may lead the Education Department to consider incorporating the marks into intermediate evaluations in future academic years.

In addition to open book exams, teachers have also been directed to conduct surprise tests to ensure that students consistently engage with daily lessons. The academic guide advises that teaching periods be focused on the questions and students be encouraged to record their answers in their notebooks.

What is an Open Book Exam?
Unlike traditional exams where students must memorize answers, open book exams allow students to refer to their textbooks, notebooks, and other reference materials during the test. This format requires prior reading and understanding of the materials to efficiently locate and apply information within the exam’s time constraints.

Read Books for Success

“Our hope is that through open book examinations, students will thoroughly read the textbooks, notebooks, and other resources they have,” said Krishnaji S. Karichannavara, Director of the Department of Secondary Education.

With this initiative, the Department of School Education and Literacy aims to enhance the educational experience by promoting comprehensive reading and effective resource utilization among students.


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