Questions around which pen to use in writing UPSC exam

How to write fast in the exam? How to improve the speed of your hand-writing? Which is the best pen to write in the UPSC exam?

Have you been bugged with this seemingly silly but complicated question and frustrated with so little information with information available even on the internet?

Understandably so, I have too spent considerable time thinking about these petty-looking yet not so trivial issues. Because you see writing in the each paper about 4000+ words, that too finishing it in 3 hours. Repeat it twice a day- for 5 days on the trot. Phew! No mean task.

And, not just that, think of the numerous mock tests that you have to take before attending the final exam. Given the cut-throat competition to get into the coveted civil services, you wouldn’t want to do anything wrong, be it the trivial issue of choosing the right pen or getting your handwriting to look better.  Even if you could improvise and save, say as little as 5 mins, that is as good as answering one or two questions more or answering them better and can make a great deal of difference in the final rank list.

After getting drubbed in one attempt in the mains, falling short by 20 odd marks due to slow writing in one paper, and illegible answers while trying to write fast in another paper, I have learnt some lessons and have made some improvements, over a year. Now, not only my handwriting has become beautiful and I am able to write faster as well.

I just changed my Pen

The quickest way to write a bit faster is to change to a better, ergonomic, faster pen. Yes, pen matters in determining the speed of writing, irrespective what conventional wisdom says, your choice of PEN MATTERS, sometimes that is what differentiates you and other. Of course, it is not the sole thing, but it is definitely one of the factors.

I have used Reynolds ball pens, Jetter pens, Gel pens, soft-flow and falana dhimkana. Finally after measuring the time required to write 200 words for precisely 9 pens. The shortest one was taken by Pilot Hi-tecpoint V5, and writing looked better, appropriately sized. Irrespective of what type you are, switch to this pen and see change for yourself.

A Ball-point pen is the easiest to write and the cheapest, but drains your energy a lot, writing for 6 hours a day, it is not an ideal one, it requires you to put a lot of downward pressure, and the friction between pen and paper is more with a ball point pen. Gel pens are bit unpredictable, they are sometimes smooth, sometimes scratchy, and moreover the ink drains fast, leaving you to change pen or refill mid-way in the exam.

So Pilot V5 is the easiest and fastest to write in comparison to all.

 Five reasons why this is the best.

  1. The grip is perfect.

Thin pens force your fingers to squeeze around the thin barrel, creating unnecessary strain on your fingers and wrist. On the other hand, this pen with a thicker barrel (which isn’t very thick either), allows your fingers to grip the pen properly, reducing the amount of pressure you apply to write. This pen has the right amount of thickness and isn’t slippery either unless you have sweating palms.

  1. Writes smaller

The smaller a letter is, the less your pen has to travel to finish it. By decreasing the size of your letters, you can increase your writing speed. However, learning this is quite time-consuming and can actually have a negative effect if you write too small. The 0.5mm tip of this pen is very clean, and coupled with barrel size, it brings out smaller letters when you compare it with your handwriting with another ball pen.

  1. Engages Your Arm

Relying solely on your wrist to write strains you because you’d be writing for longer periods, because of the looser grip, it allows you to easily engage your forearm in guiding your hand across the paper. If it doesn’t, consciously engage your arm to write without pressurising the wrist. This allows you to write more comfortably and for longer periods of time.

  1. Pleasing Color

The blue colour of the ink is very pleasing and aesthetic. And the black gives a matte look, which comes off very well on the unruled white paper.

  1. Neither Costly and nor cheap.

This one has an MRP ₨60 in the market which is appropriately priced for the quality of this pen. It writes longer than at least 4 Gel pens. Of course, costlier if you compare with a ball-pen but I wouldn’t mind the cost for the experience it gives is worth it. Well, you can even save Rs10 on this price, I found a seller on Amazon which sells this at Rs50 each; no retailer is ready to sell at this price.

Here are the links.

This is how my writing changed for good.Though I do need some brush-up on a few letters. But largely legible and fast it is now.

Practice is the key. These videos may help you in the process. Have a look.

Here is a playlist of the videos.


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