ABE qualifications are assessed by assignments, timed open-book exams (timed OBEs) and, in the case of Level 4, traditional timed exam. They provide the most up-to-date and relevant assessments available. These assessments develop skills that help our learners become an invaluable asset in the workplace with a contemporary mindset able to apply knowledge to offer business solutions and critical analysis. Our assessments also develop sought-after abilities such as evaluating information, report writing and time management.
New Level 4 learners coming straight from school will have some exams in a familiar exam format, making the qualification more accessible to those who have never previously done assignments or open-book exams (OBEs). In addition, these different assessment methods at the start of the ABE journey will produce rounded candidates as each method has its own merits and develops a different skill set. The timed exams will help to ensure students memorise the fundamental principles underpinning their learning, whilst the OBEs and assignments develop the ability to apply these principles to real-world scenarios.
At higher levels, the assessments provide superb preparation for academic progression as they are closely aligned to the type of assessments used by leading universities.
Timed OBEs require you to prepare throughout your learning, keeping detailed notes from lectures, studies guides and wider reading. Once the question papers are published you will have three weeks to complete your answers. ABE will provide you with a breakdown of how many words are expected per question. Unlike traditional timed exams, you will have access to your notes throughout the answering process as Timed OBEs are not testing memory, instead, the examiner wants to see that you understand how to apply what you have learned to a real-world business scenario.
ABE members can read our OBE Guide in the library section of the portal.
About ABE assignments
Assignments also test your ability to apply knowledge to real-world scenarios. Compared to Timed OBEs you have a much higher word count and you can complete them over several weeks (they are usually published eight weeks before the submission date). This means they require greater research and learners have more control over the format of the work and more narrative is required.
ABE members read our Assignment Guide in the library section of the portal.
About traditional timed exams
Traditional timed exams form part of the assessments for our Level 4 Diplomas. They are taken under controlled conditions usually in an exam hall and candidates will not have previously seen the papers.
This mixed assessment model further enhances the learning experience provided to ABE students. New Level 4 learners coming straight from school will have some exams in a more familiar format, making the qualification more accessible to those who have never previously done assignments or open-book exams (OBEs).
Here's a picture summary showing the difference between OBEs and assignments: