Mechaniacl Pencils on the SATs?

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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: March 2004 Archive: Mechaniacl Pencils on the SATs?
By Emmittsmith (Emmittsmith) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 03:23 pm: Edit


I hate regular pencils... They're such a pain (always dulling and breaking).

Can I use a mechanical #2 pencil on the tests? Has anyone ever done this (just to be safe)?

Thanks in advance,

By Shaka (Shaka) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 03:51 pm: Edit

good question, any input? lol

By Ecnerwalc (Ecnerwalc) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 04:10 pm: Edit

I love mechanical pencils also. THat's why I used one while taking my SAT 1 last year. While I always felt sure that #2 mechanical pencils are the same quality as #2 pencils, after taking the test I wasn't so sure. I had been scoring in the high 1400-low 1500 on practice tests. AFter I received my scores back, I got only a 1350. On the results, they said that I also omitted 1 math and 2-3 (I forget) verbal questions. I do not omit questions unless I have to. POE works wonders for me. AFter that incident, I decided that I will never use mechanical pencils on a standarized test.

P.S. I am not sure that the score is due to a machine error or my own mistake of rememberance.

By Jnatkins (Jnatkins) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 05:00 pm: Edit

I refuse to use anything but mechanical pencils. I use them on standardized tests all the time. I got a 1510 using mechanicals.

By Aim78 (Aim78) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 07:10 pm: Edit

If it says #2, use it. I only use mechanical pencils because they're smooth and the lead is dark and goes right on the paper almost like ink.

By Andrew123s (Andrew123s) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 07:15 pm: Edit

I like regular pencils, as the lead in mechanical pencils is thinner and it takes a little longer to fill in the whole bubble (and the time adds up). A slightly dull (but still pretty sharp) regular pencil does the trick for me.

By Crypto86 (Crypto86) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 07:53 pm: Edit

I always use mechanical. It would suck to have the tip break.

By Snowjob (Snowjob) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 09:18 pm: Edit

i use a Zebra M-402.

Just in case you're wondering.. its mechanical.. and i'm not anal I just like my pencil.

By Esotericstorm (Esotericstorm) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:46 pm: Edit

I use regular, but that's because I'm always paranoid about the machine not being able to read it. I would say if you are going to use a mechanical pencil, to use a brand new one so that your lead is what the pencil says.

By Escaria (Escaria) on Monday, March 22, 2004 - 11:52 pm: Edit

i've always used mechanical pencils for tests.
btw - andrew123s .. use the 0.7mm ones, they're thicker

By Dogsjill (Dogsjill) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 12:02 am: Edit

Or if you can find them, I had some 2.0 mm ones last year. They were almost bigger than a real pencil. Plus, the cap had a built in sharpener, so you can still have a pointy or slightly dull tip.

By Yoyomama04 (Yoyomama04) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 01:15 am: Edit

btw you can ask to have your test hand-scored, so if you're sure you didn't leave any blank, have them score it by hand. could make a difference.

By Succor101 (Succor101) on Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 11:06 pm: Edit

#2 mechanical is easier to erase than #2 regular 'cause regular makes paper grooves.
But, bubble sheets on real anser sheets are HUGE, like 40% bigger than on published practice bubbles

By Pakitexan (Pakitexan) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 06:44 pm: Edit

hahahahah i swear this is the funniest convo ever

i guess i might as well register my opinion too...

1560 - mechanical

By Justwannahelp (Justwannahelp) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 09:15 pm: Edit

wow- i'm going to dig up some 2.0mm mechanicals now

By Chamonix (Chamonix) on Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 11:32 pm: Edit

So what do you think the correlation coefficiant between SAT score and type of pencil use is?
I'd say it's pretty high, probably in the .27-.28 range, most likely.

By Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia) on Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 11:54 pm: Edit

I don't trust mechanical pencils...mostly because I'm never sure what number lead i have in it. So...regular pencil-->1580

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