Red vs. green: Does the exam booklet color matter in higher education summative evaluations? Not likely Academic Article uri icon


  • We examined the so-called "red effect" in the context of higher education summative exams under the premise that unlike the conditions or situations where this effect typically has been obtained, the totality of factors, such as higher motivation, familiarity with exam material, and more reliance on domain knowledge that characterize high-stakes testing such as those in operational educational settings, are likely to mitigate any color effects. Using three naturally occurring archival data sets in which students took exams on either red or green exam booklets, the results indicated that booklet color (red vs. green) did not affect exam performance. From a scientific perspective, the results suggest that color effects may be attenuated by factors that characterize high-stakes assessments, and from an applied perspective, they suggest that the choice of red vs. green exam booklets in higher education summative evaluations is likely not a concern.

altmetric score

  • 2.1

author list (cited authors)

  • Arthur, W., Cho, I., & Muñoz, G. J.

citation count

  • 6

publication date

  • February 2016