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    Sven Groot

    @cheong: What Maddus is getting at is that it's much easier to lean a language than it is to learn programming in general. All programming requires problem solving skills, and those are much harder to acquire than the syntax of any particular language.

    Unfortunately, those skills are much harder to test than basic knowledge, and for that reason most exams still test only knowledge. I remember I had to construct an LALR parsing table by hand in a Compiler Construction exam, which tests maybe 10% how well you understand the process and 90% how well you were able to memorize the algorithm from the book.

    I've always been in favour of open book exams, but good questions for such an exam are much harder and more time consuming to create (and often also to grade), so most teachers don't bother.

    Of course, allowing unlimited access to the Internet is still not a good idea because you want to test understanding of the subject matter, not the student's ability to find a pre-existing solution to the problem (which is perfectly fine in many real-world scenarios, but not in an exam setting).