DU examinations

Freshers Guide to Online Examinations: OBE 2.0

With the upcoming OBE to be conducted Online this winter in Delhi University, students remain confused and unaware about how to prepare. Read on to know more about what to expect from the OBE.

In the light of the pandemic, things changed all around. People across the globe had to make drastic changes to their lifestyles and acquire new mediums to go through with their daily activities. One industry that took a big hit was education. With things toppling over and online modes becoming the new normal, virtual classes transitioned into the lives of students (what most would say) pretty seamlessly.

Earlier in August this year, Delhi University (DU) conducted the terminal examinations for final year students virtually. Though the first and second-year students were able to escape the added pressure of examinations amidst the pandemic then, the situation seems to be going otherwise this semester. Despite the many glitches in the conduction of these open-book examinations (OBE) online, DU has announced that the same model would be used for the upcoming odd semester examinations.

As rumours spelt out, the graduating class had varied experiences from the OBE’s conducted. In conversation with many of them, here’s a list of things to look out for while preparing yourself for the exam season.

Stop worrying about the question paper

The first thought that comes to one’s mind when thinking about an open book exam is definitely about the complexity of the questions posed. Having a book open literally means that they seemingly won’t be straightforward.

“Professors will say that the paper would only have twisted, analytical and deep-thinking based questions but that’s unlike the reality. Most questions that we witnessed were a mix of DU’s past year papers, along with a few general ones.”

A graduate from Jesus and Mary College

Though there is no guarantee on how direct the questions would be, being conceptually clear is the only guarantee to acing the paper.

Notes are everything

What all seniors emphasized upon is the importance of making your own notes. Though OBE’s are presumed to be something like a comprehension test, it is practically impossible to interpret the questions, go through hundreds of pages, and then write the correct answers without running out of time.

“Don’t leave things for the last moment because even though it is an open book exam, you can’t be rushing to look for the answers during the exam. You lose out on time when you take a risk like that.”

Student, DU

While notes for the important topics are essential, going through the prescribed texts and highlighting along the way is also something that is widely recommended. For complex topics, spider diagrams are important to keep all points in mind. Just because it’s an open book exam doesn’t mean it does not require the same preparation.

The clock doesn’t stop – manage your time well

The exam season saw that most OBE papers were longer than the usual offline exams. To save time, ensure to mark the first sheet of your answer script with necessary details in advance. This page contains your name, roll no., college name amongst others of importance.

Even though you’re given 1 extra hour for uploading/downloading don’t take that time for granted because in most theory papers the answers tend to be very lengthy and you’ll end up writing in that one extra hour in all probability.

A recent graduate from Gargi College

Ensure that all material required to partake the exams is around you. Once the clock starts, it is a literal struggle to race against it. Make sure to leave 30 minutes to scan and upload your answer sheets. Since there are thousands of applicants logged in, the site tends to crash and takes extremely long to upload files.

Submit without panicking

As stressful as these OBE exams come across to be, in case of any technical glitch, do not panic. Taking network and site issues in mind, every college provides a separate email id to students on which they can mail the answer sheets in case they are unable to upload it on the main site. Since no changes can be made to the answer scripts once uploaded, ensure to recheck the completion of your paper.

“After multiple attempts of failing to upload my answer sheet, I realized that I had run out of time. I was panicking because I thought my paper would not be accepted. My TIC guided me throughout the process and I subsequently mailed the paper to college for further evaluation. Teachers are very helpful so try not to panic.”

A student from Lady Sriram College

In case of any problem with regard to uploading and mailing, make sure to keep your teacher in charge in the loop. She/he/they would be able to guide you through the process.

Prepare for the test day

The process is fairly simple but extremely intimidating.

  • Log into the exam portal about 30 minutes prior to the exam
  • Read the instructions displayed clearly to avoid any confusion
  • Contact your college in case of any technical issues
  • Each answer is to be written on a separate sheet
  • On uploading the answer sheets, a declaration is to be signed
  • Subsequent to logging out, a confirmation would be received on your number and email id.

Since there is no clarity regarding the medium or the rules of the upcoming examinations, these guidelines are solely based on assumptions and past experiences of the batch of 2020. One can only hope that DU learns from the problems it faced during OBE 1.0 and fixes the technicalities.

More updates to come once DU releases its rules and regulations.

Find DU’s notification regarding the OBE’s here: https://dubeat.com/2020/11/du-releases-notification-guidelines-for-obe-mode-for-odd-semester-students/

Feature image credits: India TV

Sara Bhasin

[email protected]


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