Cambridge University may end handwritten exams after 800 years. Students may soon type their answers on a computer rather than use a pen. Exam markers are complaining that exams are becoming more difficult to read because of poor handwriting. Today's students mainly use laptops in lectures. They are losing the ability to write by hand because writing causes students physical difficulties. Their hand muscles are not used to writing for three hours at a time.
A Cambridge lecturer said handwriting is a "lost art". She said: "Twenty years ago, students routinely [wrote] by hand several hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand, except exams." She said handwriting has been on "a downward trend" for years. The lecturer said some students' handwriting is so illegible that students had to return to the university to read out their answers to examiners who could not read the writing.