Is Gum a Grade Booster?


| 10 Comments
My freshman year at Penn State, I came across an article that said something along the lines of chewing gum five minutes before you take an exam will improve your exam grade. Although I thought it had to be too good to be true, I decided it couldn't hurt to try out as I usually chew gum on a regular basis anyways. I can't actually remember if it improved my test score, so I decided to re-visit the question. Dr. Serge Onyper, a psychologist from Saint Lawrence University, tested the theory by conducting a study that showed that students who chewed gum for five minutes before taking a test did better on the test than non-gum-chewing students.
The sudden intelligence boost is called "mastication-induced arousal," and lasts about 20 minutes. Researchers believe that it's basically a form of exercise. So pretty much any type of physical activity you do before an exam will give you a performance boost.
The article emphasizes the fact that the gum-chewing has to start five minutes before the exam, not during, because the benefits persist for only the first 15-20 minutes of the exam.
So whether you think this theory actually works, considering how cheap gum is and often we already chew it, you might as well give it a try and see if it works for you!

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10 Comments

My seventh grade math teacher used to give us life saver mints before every test. Not only does the chewing motion boost brain activity but also the flavor of Peppermint Pep Up Mint flavoring can also help you do well on tests! I bet mint gum would give double the effect.

I think this is really interesting, because it could really help a bunch of people if it does work! Do you think it could be a mindset type of thing? Like if you believe that you're going to better, then you do? I definitely want to try this though!

I am definitely going to try this out! It is amazing if it actually works. I found this article that stated similar facts that you found. Perhaps the chewing acts as a way to relieve stress? Or maybe clenching your jaw would have similar effects?

I've actually tried this and when I did, I think it worked for me because mint actually just woke me up. I always walk around really sleep and only actually feel awake at around 4pm when I wake up at 8am! Terrible, I know. So at one point I had a caffeine addiction and then was told about this but I did see myself doing better in school too, but I defiantly thought it was the strong mint in the gum that woke me up! and so I was just more awake during classes and tests? Which could have been the case too? I was then showed this list by a friend, which I found pretty cool. The number one food to wake you up is actually an apple! And it's healthy too!
http://www.oddee.com/item_98510.aspx

I've heard this too and have been doing it since junior year of high school! I haven't tried to test and see if it really would work or not by not chewing it one test and then doing it another. I've just always done it because hey why not! If I had to guess it helps with fidgeting, instead of getting distracted by something else it keeps at least something of you occupied at all times during the test so that you can focus on what is really important. Here's a similar study about gum chewing and test taking, http://www.livescience.com/17520-chewing-gum-test-performance.html

This is a very interesting topic. I have heard this before, but I've never tried it because I don't chew gum unless someone offers it to me. It may sound weird but I just never was the kid that chewed gum all the time. After reading this article, I am encouraged to try this experiment out and see if it works. Maybe I can use it to perform better on the next science test lol. Here's a list of some of the best "Brain Food for Test Takers":

http://testprep.about.com/od/tipsfortesting/a/Brain_Food.htm

I remember when I was in grade school my teachers would give us chocolate to improve our brain function during standardized tests for kids who didn't like gum. I'm not sure if the difference in tests scores was significant, but there's science to support that it helps too!

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/health&id=9198800

I don't like gum, so I probably won't be chewing before tests even if I'll have improved brain function.

This article was really informative! I would have never thought that chewing gum could indeed help you perform better academically. I read this article that actually talks about how chewing gum could be beneficial outside of the classroom too! There are a few health benefits to chewing gum such as reducing stress and improving digestions. Check out the article, you'd find it interesting!

http://www.chewinggumfacts.com/chewing-gum-benefits/health-benefits-of-gum-chewing/

I definitely think the study was right. I have noticed significant differences during exams, or even just paying attention to someone speaking - chewing gum really makes all the difference. Haha, but even if it didn't work I wouldn't give up gum chewing. DailyMailposted an article similarly checking the benefits of gum chewing.

I find this interesting and a little hard to believe! I always drink coffee before an exam to get me going but I never would have thought that gum would have any effect on my performance. You would think that you would be tired after exercising, not energized... at least that's what happens to me after a workout, others might be different! This article suggests that chewing gum may improve your concentration: http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=gum-chewing-may-improve-concentrati-13-03-26

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