Chewing gum improves test scores
This sounds like a pitch you’d make to a professor before taking an exam. But a recent study in the journal Appetite by Dr. Serge Onyper at St. Lawrence University in New York supports the findings.
Dr. Onyper worked with participants who showed improvement in memory after chewing gum for five minutes before completing a battery of cognitive tests. The chewers were compared with non-chewers. Those who chewed improved their working memory, their episodic memory and their speed of processing.
What this boils down to is that a window of benefit is created that lasts 15 to 20 minutes. This is because chewing increases heart rate, blood pressure and cerebral blood flow. However, participants who continued to chew throughout testing, negated the benefits. So, timing is key to getting positive results from chewing gum before taking a test or exam. This obviously excludes exams that last an hour or longer.
A similar study in the 1990’s indicated that students who listened to music by Mozart experienced a temporary increase in performance. The “Mozart Effect” may be explained by the same arousal felt by gum chewers.
As beneficial as gum chewing may be, this study may not be enough to get you out of Saturday detention if caught violating the school’s rule against it. But it may be worth a try. Good luck!