View Full Version : Tips for people taking a paper exam for the first time
05-04-2009, 05:36 PM
Do you guys have any tips for someone taking a paper exam for the first time? I didn't know if there were any quircks or any little things that are helpful compared to the CBT.
05-04-2009, 06:21 PM
Bring everything you do and might need. Extra pencils, an extra calculator, extra lead, extra erasers.
Oh, and do NOT bring too much water. They only let one person pee at a time, and it's really a waste of time to use the bathroom anyway.
Um, practice not looking at the person's paper next to you. Even if you're only looking to see how far they've gotten, not looking at their answers, it still looks bad.
Other than that, it's probably easier than CBT because you don't have to look up at the screen, down at the paper, up at the screen, etc.
That's all I can think of.
05-04-2009, 06:25 PM
Ear plugs! Study with these before hand so it doesn't feel weird the day of the test.
05-04-2009, 08:01 PM
Are you allowed to write all over the test? Or, do you have to use scratch paper for all work? I didn't realize you are supposed to bring your own pencils. O joy - I am so glad to be using my own instead of the stupid pencils the test center provided.
05-04-2009, 08:57 PM
Are you allowed to write all over the test? Or, do you have to use scratch paper for all work?
I think you're not supposed to get scratch paper at all unless you're left handed, you're generally expected to do your work on the exam. When I took C I totally ran out of space and the proctor gave me some paper even though I'm a righty, I doubt that anyone would actually say no if you asked for some.
05-05-2009, 01:16 PM
It's disconcerting to hear that the scratch paper provided in the exam book may not be enough.
The official rules for pencil and paper exams are here:
"3. Personal Belongings – Candidates must provide their own pens or pencils. For multiple-choice exams a #2 pencil or HB lead is recommended. Hats, caps, and earphones may not be worn during the exam (except for religious observance). Simple foam earplugs are allowed and must be checked in with the Supervisor upon entrance to the exam. The ability to hear all verbal instructions, including exam start and stop times is the responsibility of the candidates, regardless of the use of earplugs. The only materials you are allowed to have at your desk during the exam are writing instruments and approved calculators. Any other personal items must be set-aside (out of candidates’ view) prior to the exam start."
"10. Scratch Paper – Candidates are not allowed to bring scratch paper into the exam room. Blank paper is provided for scratch work in the exam book. For multiple-choice exams, left-handed candidates may request additional paper, if needed, from the supervisor."
05-05-2009, 01:38 PM
There's plenty of room. Each question is posted on a separate sheet of paper. You'll have all of the remainder of that sheet to do the problem. You can spill onto the back if you want to as well. On MLC, there were a couple of problems that I completed, realized a mistake or two, and needed to start over again from scratch. I had more than enough space to write out my work for both attempts at the problem. If you're doing a problem more than twice, it's wise to just skip it anyway because you're likely just wasting time.
05-05-2009, 02:28 PM
They will give you extra scratch paper if you need it too.
05-05-2009, 02:53 PM
I personally find it helpful to bring pens with me during the exam. I use pens at work & prefer them over pencils. I saw a guy last sitting who brought black, red, and green pens, I'm definitely stealing that idea. Just work the problem in the testbook in pen, then transfer your answers to the scantron sheet in pencil.
The only other big difference I can think of is keeping track of time. The CBT exam has a nice little timer visible on the screen at all times. There may be only one clock in your testing center that is "visible" but not very convenient. I have a digital watch that I bring to the exam so I can set a 2 hour timer. That way every time I look at it, it shows exactly how much time is left.
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