In an open book exam the emphasis is on understanding key concepts, rather than recall or memorization.  It is important not to be blasé about preparing for such an exam as the key is locating information in a quick and timely manner.  


  1. Prepare as if for a closed book
    Time is limited in exams; therefore, you don’t want to be looking up concepts unnecessarily and spending time reading.  You should still enter the exam understanding the key ideas and themes from that course.
  2. Use Post-It notes
    In order to assist in finding information quickly, prepare texts by using post it notes to mark key chapters, highlighting key words and phrases, and annotating key areas within texts.
  3. Concept Map
    Concept mapping can be a useful strategy to use in summarising whole chapters.  Rather than scanning through text, a concept map can provide you with a visual ‘snapshot’ of what a chapter includes.