Why the felt pen?

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Jul 31st, 2007
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Ok, can someone from Cisco tell us why the PearsonVUE test center won't allow us to use paper and pen for our exams? That felt tip pen is a nightmare because you have to write so large and it takes up half the page to figure out a few subnet problems. Further, they won't give you a rag to wipe/erase so your hands are nasty. It REALLY slowed me down today to have to deal with that pen and board.

Why can't they give us blank paper and ink pens? Can someone answer this?

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compsolv Tue, 07/31/2007 - 13:43
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I have always assumed it was because they are too lazy to count the number of sheets that go in versus the number of sheets that go out. By just giving you that silly marker and dry erase sheet, you cannot be jamming notes about the exam into your pocket.

Anthony J. Sequeira

Unmatched CCIE Written Cert Prep


scottmac Tue, 07/31/2007 - 17:25
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For ~ a dollar or two, you can get a fine point erasable marker. You can also take in some paper towel or toilet paper in to erase.

I know that people shouldn't have to, but given that most testing centers "maximize their profits" by cheaping out on POS slow PCs, pitiful low-res cheap a$$ monitors, chairs that would cripple the heathiest of people, cheap mice that track like they're playing hopscotch and all the rest of the crap ... you got to make your own advantage when you can.

A fine-point marker is a trivial expense in the grand scheme of things, but it does permit you to properly organize your info so that it's readable, and you can fit more than three letters on the page!!

I've seen some pretty nice testing centers, but I've seen some of the worst too, and many more bad ones than good ones. I'm sure there's a "minimum standard" but it seems that some are competing to see who can be the most minimal ....

Good Luck


greekgeek Wed, 08/01/2007 - 04:37
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I'm nearly certain you can't bring your own pens....I'm checking though. Thank you.

greekgeek Wed, 08/01/2007 - 04:47
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I called Cisco and they said they don't allow the testing centers to give paper due to "environmental issues." I don't know what that means. I then called my local PearsonVUE center and they said I COULD bring my own fine point dry erase pen.

That being the case, I will certainly plan to do that next time.

cat5weaver Wed, 08/22/2007 - 01:22
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For my CCNA, I convinced my testing centre to give me paper and pencil although they did say that I should have pre-warned them of my "special requirements".

Subnet calculations with a paintbrush is not fun !!! I may wear disposable paper coveralls in future tests.

You could try claiming that you are allergic to ink.

scottmac Wed, 08/01/2007 - 08:05
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As long as it's a "Dry Erase" type, there hasn't been an issue (for me anyway) since they started giving the laminated dinner placemat instead of paper.

If you used a "Sharpie" (permanent marker), they'd probably be real mad at you for costing them the US$ 0.50 cents for a new placemat.

Good Luck


response3 Wed, 08/08/2007 - 16:11
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If you think that's pretty annoying, try being left handed and smearing it everytime you write. Really sucks. Sigh...oh well.

jkemejuk Tue, 08/21/2007 - 14:11
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Scott, you ought to do stand-up : ) Perfect description & I'm still laughing...


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