Is there something in the composition of the lead in number 2 pencils that make them better for standardized tests?



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    The number of a pencil denotes how hard the pencil is. If the number is lower, then the pencil is softer. This is what goes into determining why the No. 2 pencil is used for standardized tests. In the early scantron machines, pencils lower than number two were too soft, but pencils higher than number two produced “erroneous results.”

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