Thursday, 26 May 2011

Exam dilemma

I have realised that the hardest part of my exam is going to be finding the right pen to take!   Thankfully being a letter writer I am more used than most to handwriting, but not for 3 hours solid...  So I am trying out pens. I borrowed some from work which are gel pens. Great I thought, these will flow nicely and not need much pressure, but they are rubbish.

The one that looks posher is horrible and scratchy and leaves gaps in letters.  The other one is better.  But the problem with gel pens is the smudging.  Now I know that I am going to want to leave a gap while I jot down something for the next paragraph while I think of it, and then go back to fill in the gap.  I did it while doing a practice answer and ended up with a black hand and an unreadable paragraph.

I could take my favourite ink pen which I use for letter writing, but again the same problem. I could use a bit of paper to cover up the paragraph while I lean on it, but we're not allowed to take paper extra paper into the exam and our answers are written in a booklet.

I could use my posh ballpoint pen that the office bought me when I'd been there 25 years, but I have to press too hard so I'll have cramp within 10 minutes.

I have 2 1/2 weeks to sort this out!  So now I'll try out some of the other ballpoints I have, but not too much otherwise they'll run out of ink after the first paragraph....

Other than that, it's the simple (?) task of learning the essay contents.

Just now I'm working on Attention and Perception, which is interesting. It has also gone some way to explaining how I managed to walk past a pile of wood on the drive and not notice it, something that Mr H has always taken great pleasure in reminding me!


  1. Something with a nylon tip, maybe? Sharpie makes a writing pen (that they call, oddly enough, Pen) that isn't bad... and this is coming from a Leftie, so I definitely know smudging. I'm not sure I'd use a nylon tip all the time, but it wouldn't be fatiguing for an exam, I'd think.

  2. LOL I know the Attention and Perception issue well!

    I walk over shoes I kicked off three days ago and completely miss the 'sigh' by he-who-has-a-different-perception/attention.


    I LIKE 'em where I can see 'em...

    That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

    Oh.......and definitely go pen shopping!
    I rather like the little Shafer pen with the liquid ink. It's a quick dry and a good nib.
    But I print uppercase and have forever!


    *scratching head*
    Darned if I know? LOL

  3. Deeol, a friend suggested a Sharpie but I've only ever seen the 'marker pen' versions, I'll check out the Pen thanks.

    Mel, it would take me forever to write everything in capitals! Oh and I'm the same with shoes sometimes but even more so with paperwork on the table ;-)

  4. Is that to do with 'looking at the stars not the mud'? Or only noticing the newly opened flowers, not the weeds?

    There was an article in a newspaper about students using computers in exams which the media caused a drama about but it actually was only about typing answers not handwriting them. Students just don't write stuff any more and why should they have to in exams.

    ('It' won't let me comment easily on your blogs any more. Lots of signing in and repeating signing in. Is it me?)

  5. Lit, well ours is all hand written! The only way you could use a computer would be to have one that guaranteed no access to any outside information, which maybe possible for brick universities but not so easy for the OU!

    My work laptop always asks me to login again for blogger, I don't know why. Anyway it's not my blog's fault, I don't even have word verification ;-)


  6. ps. yes I guess conscious attention tunnelling is only seeing what you want to see.. but it happens unconsciously as well. Another example is when I was walking to work and my mind would be fully focussed on something internal, I wouldn't notice things going on around me, or friends waving from cars etc.!

  7. Will they allow you to take multiple pens? That's what I would do.


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