Examination: an interaction exists between handwriting quality and scores

Legibility & ExaminationEach of 45 teachers and 36 student teachers rated descriptive paragraphs varying in quality of content and quality of handwriting style. Multiple Classification Analysis indicated that neither the teacher characteristics of age, experience, level taught, and degrees held, nor the student teacher characteristic of level taught had a significant influence on the score given a paper. Analysis of variance indicated that the variation in scores explained by handwriting was significant. Examination Papers with better handwriting consistently received higher scores than did those with poor handwriting regardless of the quality of content. - American Educational Research Journal, Fall 1976, Vol:13

A search of the literature reveals numerous studies dating from the early twenties to recent years which have investigated the relationship between the quality of handwriting and scores given to essays. These studies have consistently found that essays get higher grades when written in good handwriting (according to researchers James, Sheppard, Chase, Marchall, Powers, Briggs, Markham, Bull and Stevens).

A study by researcher investigated the joint effect of marker expectation and handwriting quality on essay grades. Fabricated essay responses to questions on test theory were copied out in both very poor handwriting and very good handwriting. These responses we were given to graduate students for scoring. It has been found that good handwriting ensured better scoring.

his clearly establishes the fact that an interaction exists between writer's handwriting quality and score achievement.

- Courtesy Journal of Educational measurement


Handwriting quality and quantity is an important factor in student achievement in examination

  • Handwriting style is a factor in student achievement, regardless of ability.
  • Fixed-time examinations are used in schools and colleges. Students with slow writing speed will not be able to complete the exams even if they know all the answers.
  • Students achieving higher marks tend to write better handwriting style than those who underachieved.
  • The evidence from various studies (like the one mentioned above) suggested that handwriting quality and quantity are strongly associated with examination achievement.

Hence make sure that develop your handwriting skills before your high school and other examinations to ensure you get better marks. A few marks more in each subject due to good handwriting can you catapult your success rate in life.

If you missed improving your handwriting skills all these years (no matter what you age is or what your sex is) do it now. It surely pays to sharpen your handwriting skills in the long run.

In today's environment of high-stakes testing, handwriting is a skill that is often overlooked in order to focus on other areas of the curriculum. However, research indicates that handwriting is tied to academic achievement.

- Susan M. Cahill, Intervention in School and Clinic


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