xprezonfirex wrote:Actually when you fill those things out the number of the pencil isn't what matters. The number only refers to the diameter in milimeters of the lead. Its really the HB you see on the pencils that counts. HB stands for Hard and Bold as opposed to a softer lead that won't make a dark mark. So if you use a .5 lead pencil it'll still work for scantrons because those are normally always HB.
No, the "#2" that you see quoted in things like this is some mysterious American(?) system that I've only learned about via osmosis... which does refer to the hardness of the lead (with #2 == HB). The lead diameter is a separate value from this.
(Incidentally, you have it the wrong way around: it's a harder lead that won't give as dark a mark. Also, my sources (Wikipedia) say that the "B" stands for "black", not "bold".)