Get Well

Bigger isn’t always better

by Erica Murphy, blogger

It’s that time of year again. Books and laptops are strewn across desks; the library is packed with frazzled students inhaling Insomnia Cookies; and professors are piling on those last projects simply adding to the stress of these last couple weeks.

But how do you plan to study for that final psychology test? What types of methods will you use to memorize those key business terms? If you’re that person that bolds all the important facts and increases the font size of the information you MUST remember, than you need some new memorization methods.

According to a study published in the journal Cognition and reported by The New York Times, font size has no effect on memorization. All this does is boost you’re confidence in thinking you know the information, but in reality it doesn’t effect how you learn those extra large words.

What will make you memorize information is changing the font type to something unusual. In the study, participants were split into two groups and given items to memorize. One group had facts in 16-point Arial font, and the other half studied facts in 12-point Comic Sans MS or Bodoni MT. The latter two are much harder for the brain to process and therefore take more time to comprehend.

After a short study period, the participants took an exam and the people who had the more difficult fonts scored higher, 85.5 percent to 72.8 percent, than the ones who studied the larger Arial font.

In order to make sure their results were legitimate, the researchers conducted a larger experiment in a classroom setting. They performed a similar study with 222 students at a public school in Chesterland, Ohio, and it resulted in the same discovery.

Daniel M. Oppenheimer, a co-author of the study said that their results make sense. He explained in the New York Times article that you can’t skim material in a hard-to-read font, so putting text in a hard-to-read font will force you to read more carefully.

Don’t worry, you still have time. Hit up a free font website and download a few intriguing fonts. Put all your finals material in something like Chalkduster and you will definitely get those coveted A’s.