Why aren't more tests/exams open book?

  1. When you're using the book, and taking a test at the same time, I feel you are still learning. A micro teacher at my college allows her students to do this. But many professors generally don't.

    Is there a study or source that says those who don't need a book to take a test are generally more smarter?
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    Joined: Feb '08; Posts: 457; Likes: 115

    23 Comments

  3. by   8jimi8ICURN
    Because in nursing the information that you are supposed to read and know is only a BASELINE amount of information that needs to be processed, applied to the situation and critically thought about. You cannot critically think about your patient, their condition, their presentation and their treatment if you don't have the fundamental foundation of information in your head already.

    You can't be fumbling through a book trying to figure out what V-fib looks like on the monitor while your patient is dying.
  4. by   Ms. Nurse Assistant
    Quote from 8flood8
    Because in nursing the information that you are supposed to read and know is only a BASELINE amount of information that needs to be processed, applied to the situation and critically thought about. You cannot critically think about your patient, their condition, their presentation and their treatment if you don't have the fundamental foundation of information in your head already.

    You can't be fumbling through a book trying to figure out what V-fib looks like on the monitor while your patient is dying.
    If you're using a book during a test you are still learning and absorbing the information. That's why people read books to learn. Of course you won't be able to use a book while you are practicing nursing.
  5. by   *guest*
    students have their chance to learn/study before the tests. i don't believe it has anything to do with anyone being smarter. but it does have everything to do with the instructors being able to see a student's progress and whether or not they are comprehending the material.

    i wish all exams/tests were open book. that would be awesome! :lol: but then i know i would hardly ever study. so i am glad that anything that is worth something, is hard to accomplish. :d
    Last edit by *guest* on Jul 3, '09
  6. by   cardiacRN2006
    Too many people would not waste time learning the material. Instead, they would mearly look the data up in a book during the test and quickly forget what they have 'learned'.

    Open book tests are a poor way to learn, IMO.


    You have to KNOW what you are doing in nursing. Just because you learn as you read doesn't mean that you know and understand it. If you feel that you are still learning wihle reading through the book in an open book test, then you will learn far better when you have to know and understand the material for a nursing exam.


    Because, quite frankly, nursing isn't about regurgitation of facts and data. You really have to know and understand the information.
  7. by   8jimi8ICURN
    Exactly, so that is why you are supposed to learn it the first time, so that when you are done with all of your tests, you won't be trying to look it up in a book when you see it in real life

    I'm not disagreeing with your method of learning, I'm explaining, that the time for learning the basics in nursing, is in school.

    Generally most people see it as, when you finish your tests, you are ready.

    But if you are still trying to find the answers while you are taking your test, you are obviously not ready.

    Would you advocate an open book NLCEX? Do you really feel like people who can't pass NCLEX without a book should receive their licenses to represent themselves as professional Registered Nurses?

    Sorry, please do not misread any type of aggressive tone in my post
  8. by   crazyNursingStudent1
    Because if you are going to be responsible for a persons LIFE you need to know what you are doing and what you are talking about. Nursing school shouldn't be easy.......
  9. by   itssarayay
    Because we need to know the information, not just how to read it.
  10. by   Mike A. Fungin RN
    The purpose of an exam is not to teach you, you should've already done that. It's purpose is to assess what you've learned.
  11. by   keithjones
    Open book quizzes are great and a helpful learning tool, and I would say that I wish all profs told you precisely what to study for the test so there are no Gotcha moments when you spend hours studying everything that isn't on the test and score poorly, but open book tests would poorly prepare you for the NCLEX and life as a nurse in general.
  12. by   NurseLoveJoy88
    For prereqs I've had open book exams. Like for psych and lifespan. However, nursing courses should not be open book. We have to learn how to critically think something that the book can't teach us. Anyone can read the text book but to critically think is something totally different. Nursing exams help us to critically think.
  13. by   Scooter321
    Open-book tests have their place in some fields but not, IMO, in nursing school. I agree with the previous posters who talk about needing to really know, understand, and apply the information. I am a medical transcriptionist (MT) and an instructor of the same. All of our test are open book, and that is entirely appropriate. A good MT does need basic medical knowledge, but more than that she/he needs to be able to reference anything and everything that might be dictated. In a working environment, an MT will have all needed references to hand (not practical in an urgent clinical situation) and should be able to use them effectively. In other words, open-book testing for an MT actually evaluates the skills needed--referencing skills. A nurse's skill set is very different, and testing with open books is not going to cut it in terms of ensuring that the necessary knowledge and skills are in place.

    Just my (not-yet-a-nurse) worth.
  14. by   CuriousMe
    Sorry, I had two posters confused.

    Nursing school exams are supposed to test your knowledge and your critical thinking skills, not your ability to find information. Just as the NCLEX will test your knowledge and critical thinking skills.

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