Why we Must Use 2B Pencil to Fill The Computer Answer Sheet?

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I got an inspiration to write this article because in next few months there will be a National Final Test (Indonesian : Ujian Akhir Nasional / UAN) in my country, Indonesia. All Elementary students – High School Students must pass this test to graduate and continue their studies to the higher education level.  It’s including ME! I wish all Indonesian students will have passed this final test ^_^


Well,just to the point. What you usually do in preparing yourself for final test?

  • Study Hard (done)

  • Take some intensive courses (done)

  • Praying,of course (done) LOL 

That’s all? How about your test equipments? You shouldn’t forget to prepare these things:

1.    Some 2B Pencils and Erasers

2.    Your examinees card

3.    Ruler and another stationaries (if needed)

I bet, you don’t wanna be failed in final test only because of forgetting to bring those little things. We can imagine if we forgot to bring any erasers while test was in progress, and the teachers don’t allow you to borrow anything from your friends. You may get bad result or under criteria point. I don’t want this happen to us, exactly.

Using computerized answer sheet is the Final Exam standard rule in Indonesia. (to answer multiple-choice questions) If I weren’t wrong, I’ve heard too that some another countries also set this standard for the final test.


Therefore,we must use special pencil which is properly fits for computer answer sheet. The standardized pencil is 2B pencil or No.2 Pencil. You won’t be able to answer that with ballpoint pen or markers.

I found that some students ask these similar questions. So do I.

–  Why we must use 2B pencil to fill in the computer answer sheet? Not another type (HB,9B,3B)?

–  Can’t we use another stationaries,such as ballpoint or markers for computer answer sheet?


Here are the facts!

Pencils are made ​​from a mixture of graphite, clay, and water. Composition of the mixture determines the level of hardness and darkness of this material. In the picture below,you can see the comparison between some type of pencils. 9B is too black. But, 2B pencil is moderate, not too soft and not too dark. For computers, 2B pencil is nice because it does not damage the paper, and dark enough so that it can be read by a scan tool as well. 

Markers are not good because it’s difficult to completely fill the circle. Ballpoint is  too sharp and can damage the paper. So, that’s the reason why only a 2B pencil that is considered appropriate to used in marking answer sheet that can be read by scanner. 


That’s why 2B pencil is called as Standard-Exam Pencil


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