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Long Exam - What Nib Size For Carene?



OliwierEB

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Hi. In two weeks time I will be sitting seven exams where I will need to write some 5000 words in 2 1/2 hours. I want to buy the Waterman Carene, would you recommend the Fine or Medium? Currently, I've been using the Hemisphere (Fine) for the past four years but I found it scratchy and quite slow, my handwriting can get quite large when writing quickly which makes it a little tiring Thank you :)

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General rules for smoothness.

  • Pen
    • The wider the nib the smoother it will write.
    • Note that there is NO STANDARD for nib widths. An old US Parker M = current Lamy F. Pilot M = Lamy F.
    • Weight. For me, I prefer a LIGHT pen for long writing sessions. The light pen is less tiring on my hand than a heavy pen. Light as in less than 20 grams, preferably around 15 grams.
  • Pen and Paper
    • The narrower the nib, the more sensitive it will be to the surface texture of the paper.
    • I have paper that I will NOT use a F nib on, as it feels too scratchy with the narrow F nibs.
    • For F or XF nibs, you should use SMOOTH HARD paper.
    • Note that some people prefer to use a XF or F nib on JUNK paper, to reduce the amount of ink put on the paper. But you have to accept the scratchy feel of the XF/F nib on the less than smooth paper.
  • Ink flow.
    • You need enough ink flow to lubricate the tip on the paper.
    • The dryer the pen, the more friction, more friction between the nib and paper = scratchy feel.
  • You.
    • The harder you press the pen into the paper, the more friction between the nib and paper = scratchy feel.
    • Lighten up on your grip of the pen. This will reduce the muscle stress in your hand and arms, allowing you to write longer.

PS, what kind of exam?

 

When I sat for my professional exam, I printed with a pencil.

  • Printing for ease of reading/grading. I did not want to give the grader any reason to not give me the max points.
  • Pencil so that I could erase easily, vs scratching out with a pen.
Edited by ac12

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

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Having just sat a fairly short (2hr 30mins) written exam, I would say the first concern should definitely be nib width. An exam booklet will be pretty cheap, absorbent paper, a euro F would be the absolute thickest nib to go for. I found an Asian F more practical.

Latest pen related post @ flounders-mindthots.blogspot.com : vintage Pilot Elite Pocket Pen review

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I am a Careneaholic...there I have said it, but I would not suggest you change pens for such an important event and at such short notice.

 

My suggestion would be a Hemi fine or medium roller ball. The grip will be identical to what you have been used to and they are smooth writers.

 

Some excellent comments by ac12.

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Erik Dalton

I am a Careneaholic...there I have said it, but I would not suggest you change pens for such an important event and at such short notice.

My suggestion would be a Hemi fine or medium roller ball. The grip will be identical to what you have been used to and they are smooth writers.

Some excellent comments by ac12.

Force and ac12 have given sound advice. I'd buy the Carene as a gift to yourself after the exam. Stick with your tried and true Hemi. This isn't the time to be adjusting to a new pen. After the exam you can start getting use to the Carene.

For what it's worth. When I sat for my 3rd mates license exams which lasted every day for a week.

I borrowed my father's new hand held calculator to use on my celestial navigation sections. I wasn't use to it, and combined with normal exem jitters, I passed every section except Celestial Navigation. When I took it over I left the calculator behind and did just fine.

Not a good idea to make too many changes before important exams.

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Using a new pen for an important exam is like starting a dangerous mountain hike on new shoes.

Don't!

 

Take a trusted pen and enough refills and a backup you can trust.

 

 

D.ick

~

KEEP SAFE, WEAR A MASK, KEEP A DISTANCE.

Freedom exists by virtue of self limitation.

~

 

 

 

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Sasha Royale

Generally, a medium nib will write more smoothly than a fine nib. Ink flow should be better, too. However, the medium uses ink faster. Carrying a couple of extra cartridges, in a mint candy tin, would be safe. Cartridges are a fast reload. A water-soaked, paper nappie, in zipper plastic bag, should be available for a refreshing, facial wipe, as well as quick restart, should the nib go dry.

 

Consider a second pen, of different size and shape, to alternate. the change and variety forestalls fatigue.

 

A small bottle of hand lotion is my additional suggestion. During a pause, massage lotion into your hand vigorously. The lotion soothes the skin, and the massage stimulates circulation and relaxes hand muscles. I once offered to massage lotion into a classmate's hand, during a 15-minute break. He accepted, with reluctance, then reciprocated. Two young men, massaging hands were conspicuous and a bit embarrassed, but the activity was soothing and the being "self-conscious" takes one's mind off the stressful tasks.

 

"Never pass an opportunity to close your eyes or empty your bladder." (Lt James Zimillon, US Navy flight instructor)

 

Fast, strong, and resourceful wins over fast and strong. Good luck !

Edited by Sasha Royale

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

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PS, what kind of exam?

 

 

Thank you all for the comments, I didn't expect anybody would reply in such a short period of time. I'm doing my final A-Level examinations: 2 Geography (2.5 hr and 1.5 hr), 2 History (2.5 hr each), 2 English Literature (2.5 hr each) and a 3 hour Polish exam. All of them are essay based, and will require around 5000 for each exam as a whole (may be more for history).

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Thank you everybody for the responses and good wishes.

 

I don't really like using roller balls, inter alia the Uni-Ball Signo 307 which I've tried but it the thin hold makes my hand really tense. I've used desodorant on my hands as they sweat ( :unsure: ) from all the stress...

 

I think you're right in that I should wait until buying it after the exam period as a present for myself. Back to revision (12 days until my first Geography exam!)

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I don't really like using roller balls, inter alia the Uni-Ball Signo 307 which I've tried but it the thin hold makes my hand really tense. I've used desodorant on my hands as they sweat ( :unsure: ) from all the stress...

 

In college my hand was sweaty and oily, and would slip down the section of my pen.

I took a file and sand paper to roughen the section so that my fingers would not slip down the pen :o

The pen was a student grade Parker 45, so no expensive/hard to find pen was damaged by my "modification."

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

www.SFPenShow.com

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I really need to ask...Does size matter?

San Francisco International Pen Show - The next great pen show is on schedule for August 27-28-29, 2021. If we all do what we need to do...you can Book your travel and tables and make SF 2021 the Return. 
 

 My PM box is usually full. Just email me: my last name at the google mail address.

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