Exercise book

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A common exercise book

An exercise book is a notebook that is used in schools to copy down schoolwork and notes. A student will usually have a different exercise book for each separate lesson or subject.

The exercise book format is different for some subjects: for the majority of subjects, the exercise book will contain lined paper with a margin, but for other subjects such as mathematics, the exercise book will contain squared or blank paper to aid in the drawing of graphs, tables or other diagrams.

Exercise books may act as a primary record of students' learning efforts. For younger pupils, books are often collected at the end of each lesson for review, scoring or grading. Loose worksheets may be pasted into the book so that they are bound with other work.

In some schools, exercise books may be colour-coded depending on the subject. For example, Biology might be green and Maths blue.

The exercise book also called version book historically, khata in India, scribbler in Canada, and copy book in Ireland.[citation needed] The US equivalent is the composition book, which traditionally has a distinctive cover pattern.


In Australia, the traditional size of a school exercise book is 7 by 9 inches (180 mm × 230 mm), which may be approximated by B5 (176 × 250 mm). Larger A4 (previously foolscap) notebooks are also used. In Britain, A5 is the common small size, with A4 the larger size. Composition books in the USA are typically 7 12 by 9 34 inches (190 mm × 250 mm), with some variation.

Czech Republic and Slovakia[edit]

Exercise books manufactured in the Czech Republic and Slovakia are labeled by three digit codes that encode their size, number of pages and ruling.

The first numeral stands for the size:

The second numeral stands for the number of pages:

  • 1 for 10 pages
  • 2 for 20 pages
  • 4 for 40 pages
  • 6 for 60 pages
  • 8 for 80 pages

The third numeral stands for the ruling:

  • 0 for blank exercise book
  • 1 for lined paper -- lines at 20 mm
  • 2 for lined paper -- lines at 16 mm
  • 3 for lined paper -- lines at 12 mm
  • 4 for lined paper -- lines at 8 mm
  • 5 for squared paper -- squares are 5 x 5 mm
  • 10 for squared paper -- squares are 10 x 10 mm

See also[edit]