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Exam Ink


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#21 jcable

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 00:29

I took a bar exam 5 years ago with a Pelikan 200, Parker Quink black worked well

#22 Sasha Royale

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 00:47

Paper in the bluebooks of 1970 was not the same as paper in the bluebooks
of 2012. Today, there is a lot of recycled paper waste in the bluebooks.
It is not fountain pen friendly. Bleed-through can limit you to one side
per sheet. A big smear could prejudice the grading instructor. (They're human.)
A fountain pen falling nib-down onto the floor can be distracting to you.

Were I taking the exam today, I would be armed with two gel-rollerballs. I
could varify ink levels visually before the exam. Maybe the ones with a
rubber grip.

Heresy ? Perhaps. I don't even own any of the described pens.
FIRST: Pass the exams.
THEN: Graduate.
THEN: Get a good job, so you can collect fine fountain pens.

Best of luck in your studies. :thumbup:

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Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 


#23 JefferyS

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 00:59

Blue books. Mine were $.10 each or 3 for $.25 in the late 60's.

I'm fortunate enough to teach at a college with a fabulous deal with Xerox. We are exclusively Xerox, and they print things for us for basically the cost of paper. I can print a 7-page exam with lots of blank space between questions, on ultra smooth FP-friendly copy paper for 70 students, and the cost to the department is about $3.25.
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#24 muskokabrian

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:11

Paper in the bluebooks of 1970 was not the same as paper in the bluebooks
of 2012. Today, there is a lot of recycled paper waste in the bluebooks.
It is not fountain pen friendly. Bleed-through can limit you to one side
per sheet. A big smear could prejudice the grading instructor. (They're human.)
A fountain pen falling nib-down onto the floor can be distracting to you.

Were I taking the exam today, I would be armed with two gel-rollerballs. I
could varify ink levels visually before the exam. Maybe the ones with a
rubber grip.

Heresy ? Perhaps. I don't even own any of the described pens.
FIRST: Pass the exams.
THEN: Graduate.
THEN: Get a good job, so you can collect fine fountain pens.

Best of luck in your studies. :thumbup:


Sasha,

Great advice, however i am taking classes because I enjoy them and because I want my children to see that learning is life long. It's great because I have a sucessful career so I take classes that I'm interested in, typically history or humanities. I wrote my last exam with a Lamy Safari using Lamy blue cartridge. It worked out ok. I even got a good mark :) However, I was hoping that there might be an ink that performed better on the paper in the exam books.

I can say one thing. My hand really aches when i write a long time with a ballpoint. I've always been a heavey presser! Its like night and day using a FP! I notice this alot with note taking during lectures. This round I'm going to to use a Pelikan, which i find even easier on the hand than the Safari!

#25 muskokabrian

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:19

I see most folks have recomended Iron Gall but as the pen is a clear demonstrator, I'm afraid of staining, which iron gall seems to be prone to that. I'm going to try Pilot as was also suggested. I am ordering some Iroshizuku inks and hoping I might have a little luck there but if not i'll go with basic pilot blue:) For the history exam I have flirted with the idea of using Noodler's Rome is Burning! However, it might be a little hard on the profs eyes to decifer my scribble in that shade :)

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions and replies!

#26 JefferyS

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:33

One should never worry that the ink chamber of his/her pen is stained the same color as the ink in that same chamber. I don't mean to be dismissive, but that should never cloud your decision on which ink to use. Most of my pens are C/C, and I have never had to throw away a converter due to staining.
Jeffery
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#27 Koyote

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:14

I've taken lots of tests...Longest were PhD qualifiers, 5 hours each (x2, plus two field exams of same length). I alway used #2 pencils and brought an eraser -- didn't want to scribble out parts and rewrite, as that would demonstrate my uncertainty.

Now I have been a professor for many years, and I try to be objective but am always a bit put off when I see that a student has crossed out a section and re-written it. That need not happen if you use pencil.

#28 josiah

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 03:30

I will offer an alternative to those who suggest not using a FP for an exam, but instead to use Gel Rollers: use something like a Platinum Preppy. They're cheap (to assuage the fears of a FP landing on the floor nib-first): with a cartridge converter, they're under $15, while if you set them up as an eyedropper pen, they're about $6 (about $5 for the pen, another few dozen cents for a rubber o-ring). I'd go so far as to advocate having two of them with you (why not?) filled with your favorite ink that has whatever permanence properties you like. The Preppys work well with difficult inks such as KTC or MNWS, and probably work quite well with iron gall inks, too.

#29 i.like.whiskey

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 07:34

I've taken lots of tests...Longest were PhD qualifiers, 5 hours each (x2, plus two field exams of same length). I alway used #2 pencils and brought an eraser -- didn't want to scribble out parts and rewrite, as that would demonstrate my uncertainty.

Now I have been a professor for many years, and I try to be objective but am always a bit put off when I see that a student has crossed out a section and re-written it. That need not happen if you use pencil.


While I see your point, I can just imagine what some of my professors would have done if I had used a pencil during an exam. Any kind of exam, but especially generals! (The only exception being, perhaps, for math and science classes.) Regardless, I think it is admirable to hear that you allow pencil use during exams.
"Friendship. Character. Ethics." - Miller's Crossing

#30 Plume145

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 20:37

I don't know, last time I took an exam that required use of a booklet instead of my own paper was about six years ago, and I used a parker jotter (black barrel, stainless cap) with a blue erasable ink. Probably Parker Quink, the included cart, as it was a new pen I got on a whim. (I think. My other go-to pen of the time was always loaded with bleu-black ink, but I think I would have gone for the parker+blue for the erasing ability/ It's all a bit of a blur tbh, hehe). It worked fine - probably nothing too nice paper-wise, but it didn't bother me either. I also used the same kind of setup all previous times too - even when I was going through a 'check out if I like BPs and gels more these days' kick, I would always trot on back to FPs come exam time, both for the last-minute cramming and the actual exam taking. Including a 6 or 7-hour beast back in high school.

The way I see these things, the goal is to minimize distractions. If you normally use an FP for things like class or study/research notes, and informal exams, then not using one now will be a change in your habits that can be distracting, and so to be avoided if possible.

So unless exam organizers have the gall to be serving up glorified TP for people to slave over for three hours to distill an entire term's (or an entire course's) worth of work, a skinny-ish nib with some erasable blue ink should have you set muskokabrian. If TP is what they've got in there, then yeah, you might need to switch to a ballpoint or gel. What I'd do if faced with this is just pack both. That way I have the pen I'm used to in there, and if it works, rockin', if not, I still have something to write with.

Good luck on your exams!

Edited by Plume145, 08 December 2012 - 20:38.

I'm not affiliated with ANY of the brands/retailers/shops/ebay sellers/whatever I mention or recommend. If that ever changes, I will let you know :)

 

Looking for a cheap Pilot VP/Capless - willing to put up with lots of cosmetic damage. 


#31 The Phoenix 924

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 02:45

I will echo what someone said above and recommend MontBlanc Midnight Blue. I've fallen in love with the professional colour and performance of the ink, due to its quick dry time and it doesn't draw the eye unnecessarily. Since it isn't the run-of the mill blue or black either and it's iron gall, it works very well as an exam ink.

#32 JasonF

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:08

So unless exam organizers have the gall to be serving up glorified TP for people to slave over for three hours

In my experience, that's a pretty accurate description of the paper in blue books. Absolutely awful. It's like that awful garbage they use for handwriting booklets in elementary school.

Some of the quick drying suggestions might be okay if used with an EF or F nib, but I would take some G2 pens along just in case.

Edited by JasonF, 17 December 2012 - 03:10.


#33 JefferyS

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Posted 17 December 2012 - 03:28

The smoothest non-FP pens in my lifetime (so far) are the Retro gel pen and the Fisher Space Pen ballpoint. But if it were my neck on the line, I'd show up with 10 Zebras stuffed in my shirt pocket.
Jeffery
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#34 muskokabrian

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:50

So in the end I used the Pelikan brilliant black I had on hand and it wrote very well with the M400 nib on the booklet they provided. The paper in the booklet wasnt as bad as i thought. I can say, without a doubt, given the choice to use an fp was a good one. My hand would have been aching otherwise. I tend to take the, throw everything at the wall approach, and went through a few booklets.

#35 Yomillio

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Posted 23 December 2012 - 04:58

So in the end I used the Pelikan brilliant black I had on hand and it wrote very well with the M400 nib on the booklet they provided. The paper in the booklet wasnt as bad as i thought. I can say, without a doubt, given the choice to use an fp was a good one. My hand would have been aching otherwise. I tend to take the, throw everything at the wall approach, and went through a few booklets.


Glad to hear it worked out. Those booklets are usually comprised of the worst-quality paper fathomable.

Never had time to worry about ink drying on my exams.

A Jetstream Uniball was a good exam writing pen.


Uniball Jetstreams are my go-to "cheap" ballpoint for applications where a fountain pen doesn't work. I probably have at least a dozen of them laying around my house. Probably started college with about 36 of them. They really write brilliantly for what they are. Extremely smooth, even with a fine refill.
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