An OMR reader depends on the dark marks on the sheet to record a person's answers. Hence, the dark marks made on the bubbles or boxes are very important. This takes us to the topic of how to make these marks on the OMR sheet. While these days, pen is the preferred tool for darkening the bubbles, pencil is something that has been used since the introduction of the OMR sheets. However, there are certain rules that need to be adhered to while using pencils for marking the OMR sheet. Let us know about them.
As darkness is an important factor, it is important to use a dark pencil for filling OMR sheets. Therefore, it would be best to use HB pencils (HB, 2HB, 4HB, 6HB). Moreover, you must avoid the use of light pencils like 2H to 6H.
The light pencils do not provide sufficient darkness to the bubbles, thus making it difficult for the software to register or record the answer. Nowadays, it is possible to set the software so that it records light pencil marks. However, this is a risk that you better not take as it can affect your scores. The advantage of using pencil on the OMR sheet is that it can be erased with the help of an eraser if you think you have marked the wrong bubble.
While dark marks are important, if the marks become too dark, they will become soft causing the graphite dirt of the pencil to smudge on the paper, thus spoiling it.
Erasing the mark on a bubble may still leave some residual marks on it, which may be read by the software.
There is a chance that the candidate may accuse the examination for manipulating his/her paper for erasing the mark on the right answer and marking the wrong one, even if he/she may have done it himself/herself. Also, there is no way of proving it otherwise.
2H synthetic pencils are sometimes sold in the label of HB pencils. If such a pencil is used for the examination, the person is likely to lose marks.
While the use of HB pencil has decreased in the recent years, if you have to use it for any examination, make sure that you buy the right one and use it appropriately.