February 5, 2011

Exams! Exams! Exams! Color>Students: Erik Andrade Tongol

          There are less than two months left for this school year. Requirements and exams are piling up again. Each of us has different rituals when taking exams. Some students ask for guidance to all kinds of gods while some just bring or wear all sorts of lucky charms. But what if you are already predestined to perform badly in the exam? Any kind of preparation beforehand will be ineffective.
            A study by Akers, Hodge & Tal (2008) showed that the paper color of your exam has an effect on your performance. They examined if there is an effect of paper color and question order on exam performance. In the first experiment, 594 introductory psychology students took a 40-question exam. The exams were printed in black ink on either white paper or four primary colors of paper: rojo red, lemon yellow, emerald green, and marine blue. In each color, questions are either in sequential or random order. In the second experiment, 681 students took the same exam but the exams were either printed on white paper or four pastel colored papers: pink, light yellow, light green, and light blue. Results showed that differently ordered exams do not affect performance but the color of the paper affected exam performance. Specifically, printing exams on primary colored papers affected exam performance. Students performed better on white paper and pastel colored papers than on vividly colored papers. Students performed worse on blue and red colored exams.

            Some professors have sets for their exams and these different sets are printed on different colored papers. So next time you have an exam, be sure to avoid the vividly colored papers because this may spell the difference between pass or fail. This information is very helpful for me because I take my studies seriously. With this piece of information, it can do well in my exams and ultimately graduate and be a doctor. 
Tal, I., Akers, K., & Hodge, G. (2008). Effect of paper color and question order on exam performance.. Teaching of Psychology35(1), 26-28.

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