When the professor announces that the final test will be a take home exam, loud, raucous cheers often sweep through the classroom. Most students love the idea of taking their final exam in the comfort of their dorm or in the library.
But is a take home exam really a blessing? Or is it a curse in disguise.
Today we’ll take a look at the pros of taking your exam at home; check back tomorrow to see the cons.
Unless the test is online, there isn’t a rigid exam period in which you must complete your take home exam. Instead, you have anywhere from 24 hours to an entire week to get the work done. That gives you plenty of time to complete the necessary research, edit your answers, and stress over your word choice; a lot more time than you would have sitting in the classroom on exam day.
You don’t need to memorize everything for a take home exam. You don’t need to spend hours studying in advance. Instead you can complete all of your research as you take the test. The internet and your textbooks are right there with you.
Since there isn’t a short 60-minute time period and you don’t have to rely on your memorization skills to succeed, there is naturally a lot less stress involved in a take home exam. Especially if you aren’t good at taking timed exams or you get distracted in an exam room crowded with other students. You know you have plenty of time to look up each answer.
It’s often difficult to decide which materials to focus on when you’re studying for an exam. Sure, you can ask your professor to narrow the focus, but you still won’t know exactly what will be on the exam, and, especially if it’s cumulative, that can make study a very difficult challenge. That’s why a take home is better. You won’t ever waste 8 hours examining the wrong slides when you get to complete the quiz from home.
If your allowed to take your test home you may also be able to work with other students on the exam (check with your professor first though). More brainpower is always better. You might be able to divide the work and cut down on work time or you may be able to find help with a question that you don’t understand.
It can be awkward to ask a question during an exam; your professor doesn’t want to distract the other students, and you don’t want to sound dumb in front of your classmates. But with a take home exam you have plenty of time to drop in during your professor’s office hours or send her an email with any specific questions that you have.
-Room for Variability-
Depending on the type of final (essay, multiple choice, project, etc.) there may be room for some creative thinking. Maybe you can create a collage instead of writing an essay, or maybe you can interview experts for a fresh perspective. Not only does room creativity make your final more fun to complete, it also helps you to broaden your horizons and learn even more.
-Better Schedule Fit
There is nothing more enjoyable than an 8AM final. You get to stay up all night studying! Okay, enough sarcasm. Taking your test at home allows you to do it at the time that’s best for you. So if you’re a night owl you can do the work at 4AM, and if you’ve got a lot of other finals to study for you can work on it in bits and pieces throughout the day.