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Are Mechanical Pencils OK to use on MCATs?

Discussion in 'MCAT Discussions' started by UCLAstudent, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    Of course. Why wouldn't they? Just make sure that they are #2.
     
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  3. UCLAstudent

    UCLAstudent I'm a luck dragon!
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    Just to clarify, I am not answering my own question. I was trying to respond to the question, but there was no post! Only a topic. Weird.
     
  4. DemonDeacon

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    I know, that was weird. How'd the post get deleted?

    How can you be sure that the mechanical pencil is #2?
     
  5. MrTee

    MrTee Senior Member
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    Get a super soft compound to be sure...you might go to a stationary store and ask for it. I used pentel super HB from costco. I didn't get 0's across the board, so it worked fine. Or you can just use a regular wooden pencil.
     
  6. ASDIC

    ASDIC The 9th Flotilla
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    i keep breaking my point with the mechanical pencil...so i am forced to use the regular wood pencil.
     
  7. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"
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    Mechanical pencils are allowed. Get a thicker lead if you break the thin ones.

    However, some proctors get fussy and won't allow mechanical pencils. You can bring a backup #2 in case this happens.
     
  8. kiahs

    kiahs Senior Member
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    if you're worried about them breaking then use the one that you have to twist for the lead to come out. I gave up on wooden pencils in highschool so i can't change now, but if it's that infernal clikcking noise you want to escape get the pencils you twist the tip on their great
     
  9. farley is god

    farley is god Empty Tank.
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    I know those ghetto Bic disposable ones are almost all #2 (and they say so on the clip).

    That's gay that a proctor can decide whether or not mechanical pencils are allowed :(
     
  10. JDAD

    JDAD 1K Member
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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?
     
  11. ASDIC

    ASDIC The 9th Flotilla
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    the proctors would not allow anything that makes noise...such as timers and mechanical pencils that make large clicking noises...i have also seen people banging thier mech pencils on the table creating a din.
     
  12. dan0909

    dan0909 Senior Member
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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.
     
  13. DemonDeacon

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    ^ that's true, but I haven't used pencils since ages. I tried using them recently, and the noise they make on paper is screechy.
     
  14. MeowMix

    MeowMix Explaining "Post-Call"
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    :laugh: 3 to 4 minutes?
     
  15. group_theory

    group_theory EX-TER-MIN-ATE!'
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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 ;)
     
  16. gdk

    gdk Senior Member
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    just use 0.7mm lead - thicker to fill the bubbles quicker. should cut that 3-4 min down to 1.753 minutes at least
     
  17. DemonDeacon

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    Thanks for all your advice, I appreciate them!
     

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