The Critical Reading section on the SAT feels arduous (putting it generously).
I’ve tried to figure out why it’s so challenging, and there are many factors, from the sentence structure to the vocabulary to the arcane details. One variable that probably isn’t considered often is the font, which is small and hard to read.
According to an article published in Psychological Science, font does play a role in how we process information. The researchers tested college students by providing them with exercise directions in various fonts.
The students who received the exercise instructions written in the easy to read, Arial font, believed that the workout regimen would take less time and feel easier compared to the students who received the directions in the harder to read font. More importantly, when the instructions were written in an easy to read font, the students were more willing to make exercise a part of their daily routine.
Overall, these results show that people equate the ease of reading and processing directions with how complex the task itself will be.
Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis