With the May exam session behind us by nearly six weeks, and most exams marked by the examiners, it is time to address an important issue with regard to IB exams: your handwriting.

In much of life, your ability to hand write work clearly may not seem that important, especially if many of your teachers are already moving to having you submit electronical copies of work. However, the IB exams are still hand written.  Most of you are able to produce legible, if not beautiful work, you will be fine.  Work does not have to be pretty to be of a suitable quality.

But some of you produce work that is close to illegible. If you are reading this blog you are most likely in between Year I and Year II of IB, so you still have nearly a year to address the issue and there are two routes available to you.  The first, and what is necessary for most of you, is to work on your handwriting.  In many instances you need to slow things down.  Look at some of your own work – you will probably notice that the first few lines are fine, but as you gain momentum, the ability to read the work begins to slip until those last final sentences bear little resemblance to known language.  So – slow down and be  more intentional with your writing.  If you still have problems, write every other line so that what you have written can indeed be read.

The second option is only available to a few of you – get an accommodation so that you can use a word processor rather than writing the exams. This is available to those who have conditions that make legibility difficult if not impossible and this is only really an option with those of you who have dysgraphia or something similar.  If you don’t know what dysgraphia is, you probably don’t have it.

So back to the first option – working on your handwriting. You may think that this is not an important skill and that, once your IB exams are done, you won’t need to hand write anything ever again but you are mistaken.  Every time that you think that you are done with writing things out, you will find that penmanship is once again required.  So, look at it not just as something to do for your IB exams, consider it a skill for life.