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Has anyone gotten away with doing an exam in pencil?

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I'm curious about this because I absolutely hate writing in pen. I heard part of the reason we use pen is so that our writing will show up when the exams are scanned to examiners, but my handwriting tends to be pretty dark with a pencil and shouldn't have a problem showing up on a scanner. This rule is about as arbitrary as the cursive statement on the SAT. In fact, I got away without writing that dumb statement in cursive.

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Okay if you want to write your exams in pencil, DON'T. Seriously. The IBO does not send the papers you write to the examiners but scan them and email them or something like that. During the exam you are in such a hurry and your writing is always worse than usual. You are running the risk of having a lot of the things you write not being dark enough and therefore not being scanned. Of course the examiner won't bother asking the IBO to scan again the paper. If it's not there, you are not getting any marks. Plus while writing there are teachers moderating you so if one sees you writing in pencil he/she might tell you to rewrite everything in pen which means you lose a lot of your time. I don't mean to sound harsh but for you own good, don't be a baby and write in pen.

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I never really understood why iit must be done in pen. I just cringe doing math and physics in pen. There are scanners that can scan pencils just fine (SAT essay). Then again, I wouldn't take the chance. I think it's probably because the scanners aren't that great (possible local school scanners).

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I guarantee if you work in pen from now until exams, you'll be used to working in pen and it won't be an issue. Do all your practice exams/assignments/etc. in pen. I don't mind using pen in math now, because I've done math in pen for almost 2 months.

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While you don't want to waste time in an exam erasing an error that can simply be struck out, erasable pens work splendidly and can allow you to make a small correction rapidly and neatly. If you use one of these, be sure that it is of a type that doesn't smear if papers are shuffled together before the cement has fully hardened.

From what I've heard, you can't use erasable pens? The pen rule is to make sure that someone doesn't attempt to edit your test paper.

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I haven't seen an IBO document that explicitly mentions erasable pens, but if you have any doubts it would be best to avoid them. The notice to candidates concerning the conduct of the examinations is available in the Files section. It states:

Candidates may take to their desk/table only the following items:

• general stationery (for example, pens, pencils, eraser, ruler) but correcting fluid/tape, highlighter and gel pens are not permitted

• a translating dictionary for non-language examinations (the dictionary must not contain notes of any kind and is only permitted if the response language of the examination is not the best language of the candidate;

an electronic dictionary is not permitted)

• other materials specified by the IB as required for a particular examination (for example, an approved electronic calculator).

If required by the coordinator/invigilator, any item brought into an examination must be available for inspection. This includes electronic calculators.

(If all erasable pens use a gel technology, they would be excluded by this ruling)

For well-heeled students, the IBO offer their own "recycled and sustainable" writing implements! -

http://store.ibo.org...roducts_id=1253

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