So today I went to Staples and bought 2 36 packs of Staedtler Norica #2 Pencils. I got 72 for like $20... enough to last forever!
I compared it to the Ticonderoga Black #2, and I really have to say I prefer the Staedtler Norica much more.
The Norica just writes more smoothly and I think it does a better job of keeping its point. It also has a more sturdy feel. I think that it has bit more weight to it. Balanced just right!
I did like 6 logic games with the Norica and it still was sharp when I was done.
The only downside is that I think the Ticonderoga Blacks are a bit easier to erase. So if you do use the Noricas, have a good eraser.
To sum it up, I think the Staedtler Norica feels like it glides on the paper, whereas the Ticons scratched. You can even hear the difference in how smooth the Norica writes. I think this is the main differences and lends the Norica to being the better for test taking. It felt easier to write neater with and easier to bubble in with.
Staedtler Norica 9/10