Are Mechanical Pencils OK to use on MCATs?

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JDAD

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    I you have used the pencil on a normal scantron, it should work. I have used mechanical pencils for years and I have never had a problem with any scantron.

    Of course, this is the AAMC that we are talking about, they could use a totally different system with the intention of screwing anyone who doesn't comply with the "#2 pencils" instead of the "#2 lead" instructions.

    Has anyone ever had a proctor who wouldn't allow mechanical pencils?
     

    dan0909

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      Here's something to consider. The bubble sheets for the MCAT aren't the little rectangles that you get at your school bookstore. Rather, they're those semi-big bubbles that you have to color in. So, if you do use a mechanical pencil, it will take at least 3-4 seconds longer to carefully fill in your bubble. With about 60 questions, that equates to between 3 and 4 minutes, which can easily be the difference between a 10 and 11. So, just bring a lot of pencils so you can keep your options open.
       

      MeowMix

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      1. Attending Physician
        Originally posted by dan0909
        Here's something to consider. The bubble sheets for the MCAT aren't the little rectangles that you get at your school bookstore. Rather, they're those semi-big bubbles that you have to color in. So, if you do use a mechanical pencil, it will take at least 3-4 seconds longer to carefully fill in your bubble. With about 60 questions, that equates to between 3 and 4 minutes, which can easily be the difference between a 10 and 11. So, just bring a lot of pencils so you can keep your options open.

        :laugh: 3 to 4 minutes?
         

        group_theory

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          I gave up on regular pencils all the way back in middle school

          have been using mechanical pencils ever since - for scan trons, SATs, SAT IIs, APs, med school exams, and yes, even on my MCAT

          If you have been using them for a long time, you should know how much pressure to put on when writing (or filling in bubble) so it shouldn't break that many times

          Besides, if you've been filling bubbles your entire life w/ a mechanical pencil, the larger bubbles on MCAT won't be a problem - it's actually nice, prevent stray marks from going to the next bubble :)

          and they don't make much noise either - besides, you should be concentrating on your test, not on some faint noise from a mechanical pencil. The only noise from the pencil will be at the beginning when you try to get the lead to come out

          just bring extra lead, an extra "regular" pencil, and erasers just in case :)

          P.S. I use 0.5mm lead ;)
           
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