Jump to content

The Fountain Pen Network uses (functional) cookies. Read the FPN Privacy Policy for more info.  To remove this message, please click here to accept the use of cookies


Registration on the Fountain Pen Network

Dearest Visitor of the little Fountain Pen Nut house on the digital prairie,

Due to the enormous influx of spammers, it is no longer possible to handle valditions in the traditional way. For registrations we therefore kindly and respectfully request you to send an email with your request to our especially created email address. This email address is register at fountainpennetwork dot com. Please include your desired user name, and after validation we will send you a return email containing the validation key, normally wiithin a week.

Thank you very much in advance!
The FPN Admin Team






Photo

How Should I Write In Exams?

handwriting cursive print exams fast

  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#21 View from the Loft

View from the Loft

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,332 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 01 January 2017 - 09:50

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, your second samples don't go anyway to replicating exam conditions, hence my suggestion of two homework essays under time constraints and then compare the last paragraphs.

Exams aren't just about knowledge, they are about technique. And one of those techniques is to make life easy for the examiner. So legible writing (if you decide on cursive, use a finer nib and become comfortable writing slightly larger than you do at present), black ink for contrast (exam booklets have horrible paper, so fine nib and something like Pelikan 4001 black would be my suggestion), a spare loaded pen and a rollerball for emergencies.

Become comfortable using your exam combination - do all your homework, revision and class work using those pen and ink combinations.

This familiarity is what will allow you to focus on answering the questions.

Sponsored Content

#22 Pickwick

Pickwick

    Pickwick

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,892 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 01 January 2017 - 14:03

"View from the Loft" makes a good point suggesting a rollerball pen. However I would strongly recommend using it exclusively. Why? Because of it's reliability and the fact that you will be going through a certain amount of stress and it will relieve you of the worry with the possibility a fountain pen may fail. You need to be realistic.

 

It may be hard to believe, but I grew up before the advent of the ballpoint pen. When it became a reliable writing instrument I found it did improve my handwriting significantly and my generation enjoyed the freedom it brought. If I were you, I would focus on writing a legible script in order to see you through your examinations. In reality a fountain pen is a novelty in this technological age. I write my letters with one for nostalgia reasons.


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

Sincerely yours,

Pickwick


#23 Wrigley

Wrigley

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2017 - 15:32

Thank you. I have always been writing with either a ballpoint pen or a rollerball in print since I know, I abandoned cursive when I was very young. But when I got into fountain pens, I thought I should re-learn cursive as it seems to be faster and would enhance the FP experience. Writing in cursive (for me) does seem faster (even though I may be biased when I was timing myself), but I soon became aware of the problem of legibility, and that my print may be easier to read. I purposely named this topic "How should I write in EXAMS", because I was mainly looking at the speed and legibility, even though I wasn't sure whether I should write in cursive for my notes due to all the studies regarding how much more stimulating cursive is for your brain etc. I am now wondering whether I should just practise cursive in my free time, and use print for all my official/'school' work, or just stick with cursive and improve that considerable amount. I do want to note that my normal cursive and print is MUCH neater but I was attempting to write it as quick as possible (It seems like my cursive is smaller and therefore my 'a's and 'o's etc. suffer as they look like a blob, I may try and invest in a fine nib even though in the UK, I can't find any #6 size nibs for my Jinhao pens and my other pens have nibs that can;t really be changed, I may invest in a fine Pilot MR or get an Al-star/Safari/Vista/Studio (steel) so I can change the nibs.



#24 View from the Loft

View from the Loft

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,332 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 01 January 2017 - 16:43

Try Beaufort Inks for nibs.

It's perfectly possible to use an FP for your exams; I did, all three of our children did/do (eldest is reading Maths and uses FP exclusively for written work, youngest is doing her A levels and uses FP). But you have to be completely comfortable with your pen/ink/nib combination in order that they just are for your exams. Exams are stressful situations, just when you are trying to do your best - and it's therefore the wrong moment to change anything from what you are used to.

Don't be put off using your fountain pens, but don't feel that you have to use them. Sometimes they are not the right tool.

#25 Wrigley

Wrigley

    Dipped Only

  • Member - Silver

  • Pip
  • 5 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2017 - 17:14

It's perfectly possible to use an FP for your exams; I did, all three of our children did/do (eldest is reading Maths and uses FP exclusively for written work, youngest is doing her A levels and uses FP

Thank you. What pen are/did your children write with and did you know if they wrote in print or cursive? I want to get an insight on what other FP users did.



#26 inkandseeds

inkandseeds

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 225 posts
  • Flag:

Posted 01 January 2017 - 17:31

Your print is more legible than your cursive.  If you have the time, use it.

 

Don't write in pencil or a faint ink as they are harder to read.

 

If you have the option, use quality paper as it makes it easier to read.  Make sure ink is matched to the paper.

 

This is based on my experience of teaching college for over thirty years.



#27 View from the Loft

View from the Loft

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,332 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 01 January 2017 - 19:35

Thank you. What pen are/did your children write with and did you know if they wrote in print or cursive? I want to get an insight on what other FP users did.

My handwriting started from Tom Gourdie's Simple Modern Hand and has evolved to being more included to a cursive italic. Our eldest son prints, and.my daughter uses cursive.

My pen for exams at the end of school was a Parker 25 with a stock italic nib. In those days, three hour exams were normal and I used to have a bottle of ink on my desk and refilling the pen was not unknown. My back up pen was a rollerball, but I never had to resort to it.

Our son used a Lamy Vista with a 1.1 nib, with an Esterbrook J with an Osmiroid fine italic as a back up. Our daughter uses a Safari with a medium nib, my Parker Slimfold as a back up for exams.

They all used whatever black ink is in the house at the time, so it could have been Diamine Onyx, Aurora Black or Noodlers Black.

Please, don't worry about what other people do. It's what works for you that is what matters - and as our family shows you, the only common factor is black ink. Oh and do check, but I believe that black ink is mandatory for GCSEs and A Levels.

Presentation for your exams only matters to the extent that your work is legible. The paper is the standard 8mm ruling that you are used to: use a little more of that space. Use your chosen pen and ink combination all the time, make sure that you write consistently, even under pressure.

Good luck.

Edited by View from the Loft, 01 January 2017 - 19:38.


#28 ac12

ac12

    Museum Piece

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 9,529 posts
  • Location:San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA - SFO
  • Flag:

Posted 02 January 2017 - 05:47

As a former college grader, I am the one who would have been grading your exams.

 

#1 rule, WRITE LEGIBLY !!!!! 

 

Bottom line, if I could not read the handwriting (with a reasonable amount of time and effort), to find the answer, the student got a 0 - ZERO on that question.  I did not have time to decypher bad handwriting.

 

If the question had partial credit, if I could not read the answer enough to see that you knew what you were doing and simply made a small error, you got a 0-ZERO rather than a partial credit (ie 1-9 points on a 10 point question).  Some answers benefit from stating assumptions and intermediate calculations.  A simple math error could get you 8 points on a 10 point question, rather than a 0.

  • Fancy cursive looks nice, but can be difficult to read, and I can't read cursive FAST.
  • Some people "think" that their cursive is legible (maybe to them), where in fact it is NOT. 
  • Plain old block printing is easy and fast to read, thus IMHO the best to use. 
    I can read degraded block printing easier than I can read degraded cursive. 
  • Legibly also means large enough to be EASILY read. 
    Tiny writers need to make an effort to write larger.  Graders are not going to pull out a magnifying glass to read someones tiny writing.
  • You have no control over the quality of the paper that they may give you to write your answers on.  So you have to be ready for any kind of paper, including paper that absolutely is NOT FRIENDLY to fountain pens.  So you have to be ready to fall back to a gel/rollerball/ball pen or a pencil.
  • Use a SOFT BLACK pencil or a dark ink
    Bright ink is hard on the eyes when reading for more than a few sentences.
    I had a few students who's papers I always put at the end of the stack.  Because I always ended up with a headache after reading the papers written in pink and other bright colors.  It would be unfair to anyone that I graded after those papers.  In hind sight I should have just told them to use a darker ink, rather than put up with their ink choice.
  • If you can use a pencil for the exam, use one.  Some mistakes are easier erased than scratched out.  I also carried a block eraser, as it was easier to use than the small eraser on the back of the pencil, when I had to erase more than a few letters.  But don't waste time erasing a lot.  If you made a BIG mistake, X it out and continue on.
  • Writing legibly also means organizing your answer.  Depending on the type of exam, a bulleted answer is much easier to grade than an answer that is buried within a long paragraph.

Let me say it this way. 

  • You want to get NO deductions for the grader not being able to read your answer.
  • You want to get the maximum partial credit, if you get an answer wrong.

 

I did all my exams, including my CPA exam (same as your Chartered Accountant) in block print using a mechanical pencil.


San Francisco Pen Show - August 28-30, 2020 - Redwood City, California

www.SFPenShow.com


#29 View from the Loft

View from the Loft

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,332 posts
  • Location:London, UK

Posted 02 January 2017 - 11:20

For those responding from outside the UK, please understand that the OP has no choice of ink colour for the exams that he/she will sit in years 11 - 13 in school. Black is the only permitted colour for writing; pencil and other colours are permitted in very limited circumstances for specific papers.

#30 theoddcopy

theoddcopy

    Mint

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPip
  • 89 posts
  • Location:Oxford, MS
  • Flag:

Posted 02 January 2017 - 16:35

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.

 

 

 

Yeah, what he said.


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






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: handwriting, cursive, print, exams, fast



Sponsored Content




|