Blue Book Essay Test

For Adam Wasserman, blue books symbolize nothing but dread. On the third day of the grueling exam, the daisy wheel jammed.“I totally freaked,” Wasserman said.

Wasserman is dyslexic and has long struggled with reading and writing. He took to computers at 18 and made it through Hofstra University and Hastings Law School by persuading his professors to let him take exams on a computer. He got partial credit for half of the essay he managed to yank out of the machine.

They’re being replaced, of course, by the floppy disk.

Students at more than 100 universities--mostly those in law school--can now use their laptop computers to take midterm and final exams.

And, as Lucey notes, “They still have blue covers on 99% of them.”Blue books have inspired angst, jitters and even campus lore, which isn’t surprising given what it takes to fill them: a semester’s worth of knowledge that will probably determine a final grade.

There’s the story of the tough classics professor at Brown who had a soft spot for intercollegiate hockey.

Varsity squad members were advised to draw a pair of crossed hockey sticks on the cover of their blue books if they wanted a sure-fire A.

And there’s the urban legend about the clever cheat who shows up for the final with two blue books.

You spent hours hunched over them, furiously scribbling answers to essay questions.

As the clock wound down, you bore down so hard the pen left a dent in your finger. Well, those exam booklets, after torturing college students with writer’s cramp for almost 150 years, may finally be on the way out.


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