Very good, Hussein. I agree with you completely. The (normal) past perfect is needed in that sentence. If, instead of a quantity of pages, a length of time were given, the past-perfect progressive would work:

  • I was exhausted at the end of the exam. I had been writing for over an hour.

The past-perfect progressive in Egyptian2017's example would suggest that speaker had NOT written 12 pages. The sentence may be compared to this: "I was exhausted. I had been running a marathon, but only made it halfway."

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