Test of Times New Roman: Effects of font type on mathematical performance

Yun-Chen CHAN, Lilly Beth D. LINNELL, Cindy TRAC, Kathryn C. DRZEWIECKI, Erin OTTMAR

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Mathematics is presented in a variety of font types across materials (e.g., textbooks, online problems); however, little is known about the effects of font type on students’ mathematical performance. Undergraduate students (N = 121) completed three mathematical tasks in a one-hour online session in one of three font conditions: Times New Roman (n = 45), Kalam (n = 41), or handwriting (n = 35). We examined whether font type impacted students’ performance, as measured by accuracy and response time, on the Perceptual Math Equivalence Task, error identification task, and equation-solving task. Compared to students in the Kalam and handwriting conditions, students in the Times New Roman condition were less accurate on the Perceptual Math Equivalence Task in which they judged whether two expressions were equivalent or not equivalent. We did not find differences between conditions in performance on error identification and equation-solving tasks. The findings have implications for research and practice. Specifically, researchers and educators may choose font types in which they present mathematics information with consideration, as font types may impact students’ mathematical processing and performance. Copyright © 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Research for Policy and Practice
Early online dateFeb 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2023


Chan, J. Y.-C., Linnell, L.-B. D., Trac, C., Drzewiecki, K. C., & Ottmar, E. (2023). Test of Times New Roman: Effects of font type on mathematical performance. Educational Research for Policy and Practice. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10671-023-09333-8


  • Font type
  • Times New Roman
  • Handwriting
  • Perceptual features
  • Mathematical performance


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