Test Scoring Pencil Roundup

Test Scoring Pencil Roundup

Test Scoring. Mark Sheet. Exam Grade. They all mean the same thing, but what do they mean? In the 1930s, IBM developed a scanning machine for standardized tests, however, the marks could only be read using a special graphite that was highly conductive. So IBM had pencils made, and the General Pencil Co. was the one who made them. The IBM pencils are no longer made, but the Test Scoring pencil lives on.

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IBM Electrographic vs Dixon Sense-a-Mark

IBM Electrographic vs Dixon Sense-a-Mark

Choosing a pencil to go up against the original IBM Electrographic was hard. There were a few factors at play; I'm not really a vintage pencil collector, so I didn't have much of the MANY options there were in this time period. It seems nearly every company had their version of a Test Scoring pencil.

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Musgrave Test Scoring 100 vs General's Test Scoring 580

Musgrave Test Scoring 100 vs General's Test Scoring 580

When I posed the question of which one is better to the Erasable Facebook Group, the results were surprising. These are two pencils that I have more of a history with than any of the others in the lineup. I used to be staunchly in the Musgrave camp, and felt that very few people supported that claim. However, when the comments rolled in, there were a lot of people who sprang to its defense. It was a fun and polarizing question.

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Tombow Mono Mark Sheet vs Mitsubishi Mark Sheet

Tombow Mono Mark Sheet vs Mitsubishi Mark Sheet

I'm assuming these are both made in Japan, however, Tombow is making some of their pencils in Vietnam now, so depending on the age of my review unit, it could be either way. From all accounts I've read, the quality of the Vietnam-made Tombow pencils have not suffered, so I'm thinking it matters not.

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Stabilo Exam Grade vs Pelikan Exam Standard

Stabilo Exam Grade vs Pelikan Exam Standard

I could find no definitive answer if these were produced in Germany or not. My suspicion is not. But these are German brands, so we're calling it for Germany. Something like the Staedtler Rally also says "perfect for tests" on their packaging, but these are "Exam Grade" pencils. In fact, the Stabilo has a whole line under their Exam Grade name, a sharpener, eraser, and ballpoint pen. If I were being super fair here, I'd review the Stabilo Exam Grade 2B against the Pelikan Exam Standard 2B instead of the HB, but it's what I had.

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