I barely passed my Java programming exam today. I had to answer some general questions about threading which I did well and to write a little threaded program which was worse. I had to connect my laptop to the projector screen and write the program right away. My first attempt was to use anonymous classes but I forgot the exact syntax. Maybe because of some excitement or maybe because last two weeks I was coding mostly in php. Then I asked is it allowed to use the API documentation. The answer was "NO". So I decided to go another way around and I implemented Runnable. The program was doing what was requested at the end. Of course the examiners noticed my first fail and that affected my score greatly. I was amazed that it was not allowed to use the API documentation.
So, my question is: Is it really important to be able to code flawlessly without API documentation? Should I develop this skill? Is it really important in the real world and in the work environment? While on programming courses I focused on learning patterns, developing skills to write good design applications, skills to use API and find the necessary information fast. I was not trying to learn how to program without API documentation. Is it must-have during job interviews (coding without API documentation)?