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How Should I Write In Exams?

handwriting cursive print exams fast

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29 replies to this topic

#1 Wrigley

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 15:28

Hello FPN,

I am a student and is wondering whether to write in cursive or print in my exams. My worry is that my cursive may be less legible than my print, which may subconsciously affect the markers opinion on my work. I have attached a picture of my handwriting, both in cursive and print, I would love some opinions on the best type I should use in exams.

Thanks  :)

 

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#2 Chrissy

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 15:34

I would write in cursive unless it says in the instructions that you must print your work. I wouldn't expect it to though.



#3 LizB

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 15:40

I find your print easier to read. If I was marking your paper, I think I would prefer the print one. 



#4 Manalto

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 15:54

Ask your instructor what he or she prefers. I'm a teacher in a college. If a student came up to me and asked whether I preferred printing or cursive, I'd be so charmed by the student's consideration (as I am by yours) that I'd be instantly biased in that person's favor. (What we call in the US "brownie points" - but they're honest, legitimate ones.)


Edited by Manalto, 31 December 2016 - 16:19.

James


#5 theoddcopy

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 15:56

Most professors just ask for legible writing, both of your writing styles are legible enough so I wouldn't complain. 


Sometimes I'll pull out a notebook and write down total nonsense just because I love to feel a pen move across a page. 


#6 theoddcopy

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 15:57

I should add, that you should be consistent with your choice, if cursive takes longer and you're halfway through an essay with little time left, don't switch it up to print. So go with what is legible, and feasible for the amount of time typically given in exams. 


Sometimes I'll pull out a notebook and write down total nonsense just because I love to feel a pen move across a page. 


#7 Pickwick

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 16:15

I would write in cursive unless it says in the instructions that you must print your work. I wouldn't expect it to though.

 

OP needs to practice writing a which looks distinctly like a u.


They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
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Sincerely yours,

Pickwick


#8 LizEF

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 16:33

Agree about asking the teacher.  Also agree about that "a" in "lazy".  You might try using French-ruled paper for practicing - it's helping me (I think).

 

In general, I think both are perfectly readable, but the quick fox thing is so ingrained in all our memories, that I'm not sure we're reading it - which may be why 5 people didn't mention the "a" / "u" problem - I didn't notice it at first. :)



#9 Wrigley

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 16:37

I do agree about the 'a' problem, I don't think this is normal for me though, I wrote it quick to represent how I would write in my exam (at the worst)



#10 Sasha Royale

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 17:19

I vote for the printing


Auf freiem Grund mit freiem Volke stehn. 
Zum Augenblicke dürft ich sagen: 
Verweile doch, du bist so schön ! 


#11 View from the Loft

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 17:35

Assuming that you are meaning GCSEs or A levels, asking your teacher isn't going to be much help because it is highly unlikely that they will be marking any of your scripts.

I suggest that your write a couple of essays, one in cursive and one in print under time constraints. Then look at the last paragraph of each, and then decide which is more legible. As I understand it, the examiners no longer mark your physical scripts, but scanned copies.

Whichever you decide on, use only that from now until the end of your exams.

May I suggest that if you go with cursive, you should consider enlarging your writing slightly?

#12 Ghost Plane

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 17:42

Ask your instructor what he or she prefers. I'm a teacher in a college. If a student came up to me and asked whether I preferred printing or cursive, I'd be so charmed by the student's consideration (as I am by yours) that I'd be instantly biased in that person's favor. (What we call in the US "brownie points" - but they're honest, legitimate ones.)


This. And for pity's sake, make sure you test your pen/ink combo on test book paper before the day, take a spare pen and spare cartridges with you. I always carried a rollerball for emergencies.

#13 Sandy1

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 18:46

Hi,

 

I can read both examples of your handwriting.

 

I can also read my own handwriting. (Examples can be seen in my Ink Reviews.)

 

So I suggest that you decide, using new criteria of speed and comfort. One needs to give a complete answer in the allotted time and not suffer from doing so.

 

No matter the time of day for the exam, have a hearty breakfast. Builders tea, eggs and oatmeal worked for me. Do not be nervous.

 

Taking an exam is a skill unto itself, so run your own trials. e.g. In 15 minutes explain gravity dimples and show the math. (Poets with imagination have earned full marks on that one.)

 

I wish you good fortune in your studies.

 

Bye,

S1


Edited by Sandy1, 31 December 2016 - 19:27.

The only time you have too much fuel is when you're on fire.


#14 Wrigley

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 19:45

Thank you for all the responses so far, it is very humbling.

I went on a random text generator to write some text in both types to show some unfamiliar text, not the pangram that we all know.

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#15 theoddcopy

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 20:41

Thank you for all the responses so far, it is very humbling.

I went on a random text generator to write some text in both types to show some unfamiliar text, not the pangram that we all know.

 

 

It seems the cursive is perhaps a bit more difficult to read. Not impossible, I wouldn't count off for it, I just had to work harder to read it, and if you're going to be reading dozens (or hundreds) of exams you don't want to have to work too hard. 

 

I don't think your handwriting is that bad in cursive, but I may suggest trying a finer nib so that some of your letters do not run together too much. 

 

I'll defer to my original comment, though, and just say to be consistent with whatever style you choose. If you've been using cursive then the professor is probably used to reading it and won't have an issue with it. 


Sometimes I'll pull out a notebook and write down total nonsense just because I love to feel a pen move across a page. 


#16 Pickwick

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 21:35

I'm afraid I found that I could neither read or make any sense of your written cursive at all. Are you translating from another language? The bottom five lines make no sense whatsoever!


They came as a boon, and a blessing to men,
The Pickwick, the Owl and the Waverley pen

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick


#17 Manalto

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 21:55

It's a random text generator so none of it is going to make sense, but I thought we were focusing on the penmanship.

 

Wrigley, Practicing loops, ovals and infinity symbols helps to improve one's cursive penmanship and can assist you in establishing a consistent angle at which you form your letters.

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, speaking with your teacher and saying something along the lines of, "I'm concerned about my penmanship and want to know what is easier for you to read... etc." will go a long way in letting your teacher know that you're not being sloppy, but sincerely want to do your best. The content is important too, of course!


Edited by Manalto, 31 December 2016 - 22:03.

James


#18 dcwaites

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 22:45

Which style of writing can you do automatically? The last thing you want in an exam is to be spending brain time thinking about your handwriting. 

For me, it is cursive, because I have spent so much time doing it, it is automatic. But the answer might be different for you. 

I also write much faster in cursive, which is a good thing in an exam. 


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And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.”

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#19 Manalto

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Posted 31 December 2016 - 23:00

...write much faster in cursive, which is a good thing in an exam. 

 

Not necessarily.


James


#20 kestrel

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Posted 01 January 2017 - 04:33

This is from a teacher with 14 years of experience grading Advanced Placement Biology essays and 10 years experience marking International Baccalaureate Biology papers.  

 

Legible.  Legible.  Legible.  Cursive or print doesn't matter to me as a grader.  Legibility does.  I don't care how wonderful your logic, reasoning, and grasp of content is if I can't read it.  If I have to struggle to decipher it you may lose points (marks) just because I don't see them or can't read them.  We don't penalize bad handwriting but we are not allowed to award points/marks for what we "think" a student wrote.  Easy to read, clear letters are important and so is the size of the writing.  IB exams are scanned and the scans sent to examiners electronically.  Microwriting can be impossible to read because it doesn't scan well.  Use a pen nib width that is good for your size letters.  Use a black, blue-black, or dark blue ink that is contrasty and easy to read.  Many exam books are made from really cheap paper that feathers and bleeds through if you just wave a pen over it.  Plan accordingly.  

 

For some reason I am not seeing the samples of your handwriting.  Probably my antique browser software.  Ask some of your teachers if your handwriting passes muster with them for legibility.  If it is good enough for them it will be fine with the folks examining your exam.

 

Off topic but the best piece of advice I can give you is to take a few seconds and plan your answer before you write it.  Organization and clarity of your answer will improve and you are less likely to miss key points in your answer.

 

Best of luck when you sit for your exams.


Dave Campbell
Science Teacher and Pen Addict
Every day is a chance to reduce my level of ignorance.

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