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# Fight the Noteboards

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SVP
Joined: 24 Aug 2006
Posts: 2130

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11 Nov 2006, 15:14
I have been practiving using a fine tip marker. I just recently got a math problem wrong b/c during the course of a calculation I minsconstrued a "Z" (mind you I wrote it myself, but we all know how sloppy our handwriting can be when rushed) to be a "2."

Markers suck

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Intern
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Posts: 22

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03 Dec 2006, 19:28
I sat on 27 October in Manila. Apparently, they are using the same pens in all centers.

I certainly had a horrid time using their noteboards and pens because I was left handed. There were some numbers where my handwriting had made all my calculations ineligible before I finished with the computations. I ended up guessing more quant questions that I would have because I had erased all my computations with my palm!

I scored horribly on the quant section of the exam (only 56th percentile). I think that these tools are a distraction rather than a help. I have already written Pearson Australia to request for pencil and paper but they did not accede to my request. I wrote them again asking if I could use permanent markers so my handwriting would last even through just one number. However, I was again denied.

I think that using the noteboards and erasable pens are a very bad added handicap to left handed people like me. I have sat for the GRE and they gave me paper and pencil. I scored in the 80th percentile during that time.

I was already scoring in the 80th percentile during my practice exams a few days before. All of a sudden I get a 56th percentile in quant. The big difference in my opinion was the noteboard. I could hardly write anything there.

Now, I'm retaking the GMAT and preparing myself on laminated boards. This should have never happened.

Pearson Vue is taking such a tough stance against test takers on the noteboards issue. However, this really handicaps the left handed population. I think that this is a real case of discrimination against left handed people.

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Intern
Joined: 22 Dec 2006
Posts: 8

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22 Dec 2006, 22:15
Hi all,

I just found this site and signed up and consequently just learned about the new noteboard rule.

I've been studying for the past 2 months using scratch paper and pencil. Should I switch to use a noteboard from now on?

Any input would be really appreciated!

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Director
Joined: 30 Nov 2006
Posts: 591

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Location: Kuwait

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23 Dec 2006, 01:03
Darwazah

I don't really think you should modify your habits of studying or switch to noteboard. If you already have one, then you'd better practice with it. Otherwise, it would be a waste of money to purchase one.

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Intern
Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 12

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29 Jan 2007, 18:49
I would recommend buying the pad. (I got mine from Testdayscratch, but the Gettingtogradschool's pad looks good too; I just wanted the closer imitation.) I took my test 5/30/06, and I felt that it dropped my score a bit too (from my 760 Kaplan diag to an actual 710). I am looking to take it again end of Feb, and I hope the \$25 investment will prove useful.

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Intern
Joined: 02 Feb 2007
Posts: 1

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02 Feb 2007, 07:33
I personally think that the notepads have absolutely nothing to do with fairness for all test participants. This is so that the test administrator can maximise profits by recycling the boards - apparently, there are over 250,000 test takers every year - a significant amount of cash can be saved by recycling the pads.

As to whether the are prejudicial to certain test takers, then the answer is absolutely yes. They totally discriminate against left handers whose hands come into contact with the ink when they write. Especially when during a test like the GMAT, the pressure can make your palms sweat slightly, which means the ink rubs off even easier than when you practice. Any right handers who have taken the tests and have had no problems, this is due to the way in which you write. You should think about what a nightmare it is for us lefties.

In my view forcing applicants to use this paper is totally unfair - i can't wait for Gmat to end this absurd practice.

I also think I should point out that this is not pearson vue's fault. They act as agents of GMAT and the terms of their license to administrate the test, means that they have to do anything that GMAT says. The inflexibility that some of you might have experienced is to do with GMAT, who decides on exceptions to the rules.

If you want to get this practice changed, write to the business schools. Gmat will not listen to what most test takers say if any change in procedure will hurt their bottom line, but they will pick up the phone to the Dean of a high profile business school. If you want to get this practice changed, I recommend that you complain to your business school.

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Intern
Joined: 26 Sep 2006
Posts: 41

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20 Feb 2007, 13:18
sorry, but can somebody explain to me these noteboards???

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Intern
Joined: 21 Feb 2007
Posts: 1

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21 Feb 2007, 18:45
Tablet PC is perfect prep. I like.

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Intern
Joined: 18 Feb 2007
Posts: 1

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paper and pencil way different [#permalink]

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27 Feb 2007, 11:45
I just finished writing my exam. I had ink stains on my palm.
Could not differentiate between x and n on the writing board due to the smudge. And guess what, you cannot erase what youve written.
Uve got to rewrite which wastes a lot of time.

darwazah wrote:
Hi all,

I just found this site and signed up and consequently just learned about the new noteboard rule.

I've been studying for the past 2 months using scratch paper and pencil. Should I switch to use a noteboard from now on?

Any input would be really appreciated!

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Manager
Joined: 14 Mar 2007
Posts: 233

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29 Mar 2007, 10:53
I just bought testdayscratch for 25 bucks and I believe it is not worthy the price, because the material and pen are too cheap that you can build your own scratch pad!!!

l

Last edited by andrehaui on 30 Apr 2007, 13:55, edited 1 time in total.

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CEO
Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 2734

Kudos [?]: 1076 [0], given: 4

Location: New York City
Re: paper and pencil way different [#permalink]

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29 Apr 2007, 00:56
tkhan wrote:
I just finished writing my exam. I had ink stains on my palm.
Could not differentiate between x and n on the writing board due to the smudge. And guess what, you cannot erase what youve written.
Uve got to rewrite which wastes a lot of time.

darwazah wrote:
Hi all,

I just found this site and signed up and consequently just learned about the new noteboard rule.

I've been studying for the past 2 months using scratch paper and pencil. Should I switch to use a noteboard from now on?

Any input would be really appreciated!

why cant u erase? i thought it all dry erase markers markings can be wiped off with an eraser

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Manager
Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 62

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29 Apr 2007, 17:25
while the notepads may suck... i can not believe the test is 250!!!! OMMGG! i went to sign up for it and was in complete utter shock!!! the LSAT was only 120! i was planning on writing teh GMAT like 4x.. ahahaha! now i am thinking against that!

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GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 10 Apr 2007
Posts: 4318

Kudos [?]: 765 [0], given: 5

Location: Back in Chicago, IL
Schools: Kellogg Alum: Class of 2010

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29 Apr 2007, 18:15
andrealittrell wrote:
while the notepads may suck... i can not believe the test is 250!!!! OMMGG! i went to sign up for it and was in complete utter shock!!! the LSAT was only 120! i was planning on writing teh GMAT like 4x.. ahahaha! now i am thinking against that!

Some schools are starting to accept the GRE to address the high cost of the GMAT. I know a couple people who have spent 500-1,000 dollars on taking the tests and still never got the scores they are hoping for. It has to sting to spend all that money (especially for one who took the classes) and still feel like you aren't going to be very competitive.

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Manager
Joined: 18 Apr 2007
Posts: 62

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30 Apr 2007, 08:44
yess! i mean, the LSAT is 100.. so i dont understand why this test has to be that much!! it is absurd!!! i actually am good at math.. and i would prefer to do the GMAT over the GRE. also, at the school i hope to get into the GMAT is a must! i am hoping for 600... so i just need to NAIL the math.

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Manager
Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 56

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30 Apr 2007, 10:49
Are the notepads letters size (8.5x11)?

And what kind of markers are they? Someone earlier said they're not eraseable (Sharpies?)

And are we allowed to bring our own earplugs? Or are some type of headphones provided?

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CEO
Joined: 17 May 2007
Posts: 2947

Kudos [?]: 674 [0], given: 210

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01 Nov 2007, 17:22
Someone should make this thread a sticky. It is one of the most commonly asked questions by first time GMAT takers.

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CEO
Joined: 21 Jan 2007
Posts: 2734

Kudos [?]: 1076 [0], given: 4

Location: New York City

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03 Nov 2007, 18:32
andrealittrell wrote:
while the notepads may suck... i can not believe the test is 250!!!! OMMGG! i went to sign up for it and was in complete utter shock!!! the LSAT was only 120! i was planning on writing teh GMAT like 4x.. ahahaha! now i am thinking against that!

CFA is around 1000, CPA is around 2300...

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Senior Manager
Joined: 02 May 2004
Posts: 311

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 0

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05 Nov 2007, 15:50
I think it's F'in ridiculuous for them to make use those goofy pens/paper. I am not sure how they think we will smuggle paper out. We are being taped and there is a monitor there the whole time..

I have VERY bad handwriting with a regular pencil/paper. You can imagine how it is with that crap they give you there...totally uncalled for. I think I lose about 3 Q points from home tests because it takes me so long to write stuff out and understand it

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GMAT Club Legend
Joined: 07 Jul 2004
Posts: 5032

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Location: Singapore

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05 Nov 2007, 20:09
Just some personal opinions.... nothing offensive.

Is the aim of using noteboards just to save money?
-> Perhaps some of you are right... they save money by recycling the pads, but they are being environmental friendly too, isn't it? In this age where the weather is started to turn really wicked, any form of recycling seems good to me... but that's just a personal opinion

Are left-handers discriminated?
-> I'm a left-hander myself, so I think I'm in a good position to judge. I believe all of you would by now already know that you are given these so called white boards (just laminated grid paper) and markers. In fact, you should even know about this when you do your prep. As some of you pointed out, right handers have no problems. For left-handers, this is where prep comes into play. The way i did was to write from right to left on the scratch paper I'm using. By writing that way, your hand don't come into contact with the ink, and even if it does, only minimally...

I think the rule is here to stay... but instead of worrying about it, why not make it part of your prep and see how can work around a problem? I can also tell you now the work area is going to be very limited. But we don't let that get in the way isn't it? We shift the keyboard out of the way after AWA, or do some re-arrangment to make more space...etc...

Here's what I suggest:
-> If you're left hander, start all your prep today by using the scratch paper from right to left. Get used to this paper management.

-> If you're still not comfortable, laminate some grid paper and get fine tip markers for your own prep. That way you can get used to writing on laminated paper.

Finally, I assume your test center keeps the fine tip markers in good condition, but that's really beyong your control. At least on the paper management part, we want to be covered, right?

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Intern
Joined: 10 Nov 2008
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18 Nov 2008, 19:01

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Re: Fight the Noteboards   [#permalink] 18 Nov 2008, 19:01

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# Fight the Noteboards

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