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Original post by DanG

I was told the other day that you can only use black pen in exams because they scan the papers in to be marked and only black come out properly, but in my C1 maths exam i did the whole paper in pencil. Does it matter? im kinda worried that it wont get marked.

It doesn't matter and you'll exam script will still be marked. However, next time write in pen as it is much more convenient for the exam board.

Original post by DanG

thanks thats put my mind at ease

Good to hear, but still use pencil for graphs otherwise it could end in disaster

You have to write in black pen, although I think you can draw diagrams in pencil in maths and science exams.

Original post by DanG

I was told the other day that you can only use black pen in exams because they scan the papers in to be marked and only black come out properly, but in my C1 maths exam i did the whole paper in pencil. Does it matter? im kinda worried that it wont get marked.

It would be very harsh for them to chuck your script in the bin just because it was in pencil. They'll mark it. I would recommend to always use black pen, though. Do rough work in pencil or on scrap paper.

Original post by Timikji

It depends. I do all of my exams in black pen other than Edexcel maths. I do all of my maths papers in pencil.

I can understand you failing to follow the examination instructions by mistake but deliberately?!

Original post by Mr M

I can understand you failing to follow the examination instructions by mistake but deliberately?!

I can understand you failing to follow the examination instructions by mistake but deliberately?!

As far as I'm concerned I have followed the instructions.

Taken from the front of an Edexcel C1 exam paper:

Instructions to Candidates

In the boxes above, write your centre number, candidate number, your surname, initials and signature.

Check that you have the correct question paper.

Answer ALL the questions.

You must write your answer for each question in the space following the question.

Information for Candidates

A booklet ‘Mathematical Formulae and Statistical Tables’ is provided.

Full marks may be obtained for answers to ALL questions.

The marks for individual questions and the parts of questions are shown in round brackets: e.g. (2).

There are 10 questions in this question paper. The total mark for this paper is 75.

There are 28 pages in this question paper. Any blank pages are indicated.

Advice to Candidates

You must ensure that your answers to parts of questions are clearly labelled.

You should show sufficient working to make your methods clear to the Examiner.

Answers without working may not gain full credit.

In the boxes above, write your centre number, candidate number, your surname, initials and signature.

Check that you have the correct question paper.

Answer ALL the questions.

You must write your answer for each question in the space following the question.

Information for Candidates

A booklet ‘Mathematical Formulae and Statistical Tables’ is provided.

Full marks may be obtained for answers to ALL questions.

The marks for individual questions and the parts of questions are shown in round brackets: e.g. (2).

There are 10 questions in this question paper. The total mark for this paper is 75.

There are 28 pages in this question paper. Any blank pages are indicated.

Advice to Candidates

You must ensure that your answers to parts of questions are clearly labelled.

You should show sufficient working to make your methods clear to the Examiner.

Answers without working may not gain full credit.

I write with black ink on my AQA Biology papers however:

Instructions

Use black ink or black ball-point pen.

Fill in the boxes at the top of this page.

Answer all questions.

You must answer the questions in the spaces provided.

Do not write outside the box around each page in margins or on blank

pages.

You may ask for extra paper. Extra paper must be secured to this booklet.

Do all rough work in this book. Cross through any work you do not

want to be marked.

Use black ink or black ball-point pen.

Fill in the boxes at the top of this page.

Answer all questions.

You must answer the questions in the spaces provided.

Do not write outside the box around each page in margins or on blank

pages.

You may ask for extra paper. Extra paper must be secured to this booklet.

Do all rough work in this book. Cross through any work you do not

want to be marked.

Original post by Timikji

As far as I'm concerned I have followed the instructions.

Taken from the front of an Edexcel C1 exam paper:

Taken from the front of an Edexcel C1 exam paper:

Fair enough but other Awarding Bodies are not so forgiving. The instructions for OCR C1, for example, say "Use black ink, HB pencil may be used for graphs and diagrams only".

Original post by Mr M

Fair enough but other Awarding Bodies are not so forgiving. The instructions for OCR C1, for example, say "Use black ink, HB pencil may be used for graphs and diagrams only".

Would you still advise against doing the paper in pencil, even if the instructions don't specify? I've done all Edexcel maths papers up to now in black pen, but it would be a lot easier if I could just erase errors and failed attempts.

Original post by Mr M

Fair enough but other Awarding Bodies are not so forgiving. The instructions for OCR C1, for example, say "Use black ink, HB pencil may be used for graphs and diagrams only".

Edexcel are very lenient in that sense I think. I even used highlighters in mechanics, decision and stats exams. I do exams with OCR and AQA too but they require black ink so the key is to always read the instructions thoroughly. I like writing in pencil for my maths exams because it saves me time I think. If I make a mistake then I can just rub that part out and replace it whereas if I write with pen then I might have to cross the whole thing out and rewrite it all which eats up time and if there is limited space then that's not good. Lots of scribbles and crossed out things look messy and I wouldn't want the examiner to miss my actual answer or method. My college actively encourages us to use pencil.

Original post by justinawe

Would you still advise against doing the paper in pencil, even if the instructions don't specify? I've done all Edexcel maths papers up to now in black pen, but it would be a lot easier if I could just erase errors and failed attempts.

I don't really think it matters too much. Pencil scans equally well in my experience. I do find pencil a bit babyish but whatever works for you I guess.

Original post by Timikji

I even used highlighters in mechanics, decision and stats exams.

This really is a bad idea. It won't scan. Scoris works in high contrast black and white.

Original post by aoxa

It doesn't matter if you do it in pencil, in maths exams they tell you to write in pencils for graphs anyway.

They tell you to do it in black pen, because when they mark/moderate the exams, sometimes they photocopy them, so writing in black photocopies more easily.

They tell you to do it in black pen, because when they mark/moderate the exams, sometimes they photocopy them, so writing in black photocopies more easily.

All scripts are scanned and marked, there is no photocopying.

Original post by Mr M

This really is a bad idea. It won't scan. Scoris works in high contrast black and white.

I know, that's the point. I can highlight things such as important information in a question but the examiner can't see it. It's more useful for decision when you're marking points that you've already used or routes.

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