For my beginning students I had a 6 page exam. Seems daunting, but it wasn't and it used the whole 2.5 hours (which is what our exam time was) and I was able to assess what they learned.
The first page was vocabulary, and questions with written answers (set up to make sure they understood the concepts taught). They were NOT allowed to talk during this "page". When they were done with page 1, they ripped it off and put it upside down next to them and I took them.....then
Pages two through 6 were drawing assignments set up to make sure they understood the concepts, and they WERE allowed to "ask anyone anything but not the teacher". So of course they would say "Mrs. H, does that mean I can cheat"? At which point I would coyly say "are you asking me?"... The "talking' encourages peer teaching, and we all know that in real life you could look up the answers if you had to. Each student did their own drawing, and I already know how they could draw at this point.
Page 2- set up 5 things from the room in a still life and draw them from observation. You will be graded on your use of value, proportion, composition, perspective.
Page 3- draw a face in proper proportion. The teacher will measure the proportions. You must have everything a face has, as well as ears, neck and hair.
Page 4- draw a figure in proper proportion dressed as a character from your favorite book or movie. The teacher will measure the proportions, and you will be graded on your creativity.
Page 5-Take one shape and draw it from 6 different point of views. You will be graded on your knowledge of perspective and use of vanishing point.
Page 6-Draw and label the color wheel (believe it or not, I had to reteach the color wheel every year).
By allowing them to talk, the atmosphere was more conducive to them actually wanting to do their best on the exam. I never had a quiet art room, and always encouraged talking about art and their work during the year, so why would I change that?