Do Number 2 Pencils Matter?

by Matt Powers and Sonny Joe Greiff, staff writers

April 2016 (Volume 66, Issue 3)

On Wednesday of last week a shocking development was found: filling in bubbles on standardized tests with number two pencils is actually nothing special. One sophomore student, who prefered to remain anonymous due to fear of reprisal from the College Board, sneakily took out a number one pencil right before testing started and filled out the entire MCAS with this pencil. This student then did not receive a zero as a grade for using the wrong pencil. The student reported his findings to his proctor, who reported the finding to the state. The sophomore student said, “I feel a little betrayed that we didn’t know this before. There have been some situations where I have been stressing out to find number two pencils before testing day.” The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education declined to comment for the story, though Governor Charlie Baker did weigh in during a press conference on Friday of that week, saying, “We think at this time there may be some sort of kickbacks going to Ticonderoga [the pencil company], but more important than the money, for me, is the simple fact that for decades number one and three pencils have been marginalized in our schools and colleges. It’s just a shame.” Said junior Allison Monroe, who had recently purchased a gross of number two pencils for ACT and SAT season: “Figures.”

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