Does Chewing Gum While Studying Help You Remember?

Do you chew gum while studying? You might think this is bizarre but chewing gum helps improve your test scores.

Researchers conducted a study where they used 224 undergraduates from St. Lawrence University to test chewing gum and grades. They next divided theses 224 subjects into three groups. “One chewed gum before and during the test, another chewed gum for five minutes before being tested and a third didn’t chew anything. The researchers then gave them a battery of tests to determine their brainpower.”

The researchers found that the student’s grades did improve, but only for a brief time. Researchers found that the gum, “helped during recall and memory tasks especially.”  Serge Onyper, who conducted the study at  St. Lawrence University, stated that even though the chewing gum group remembered more, in reality they only remembered two-to-three more words. In the long run, two-to-three words can help you remember something so the number might seem small, but it does affect the score.  

So you might be asking why does gum actually help you recall information? Well, Onyper suggests that, “chewing causes an increase in arousal – it helps wake you up. Research suggests that chewing increases heart rate, blood pressure, and cerebral blood flow.” Chewing gum, in basic terms, wakes up your brain and allows you to concentrate and focus. 

In conclusion, research suggests that you should pop a piece of gum in your mouth when you get to the end of the test or exam, since it will get your brain pumping again. You will  get a short, burst of recognition when you chew on gum. Additional research is needed in order to make any assumptions of longer exams and chewing gum. But, next time you sit down to study or take an exam, grab a piece of gum, and chew away!

 

7 thoughts on “Does Chewing Gum While Studying Help You Remember?

  1. Pingback: Does Chewing Gum Increase Test Scores? | wrightvablog

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  3. Colleen Byrne

    Coming from someone who chews gum a lot, it’s cool to know it might actually be helping me do better studying and taking exams. I wonder how/if it affects attentiveness during class, and if it would help you could focus in other aspects of life, like a job interview or during a presentation or something.

  4. Colleen Byrne

    Coming from someone who chews gum a lot, it’s cool to know it might actually be helping me do better studying and taking exams. I wonder how/if it affects attentiveness during class, and if it would help you could focus in other aspects of life, like a job interview or during a presentation or something.

  5. Caroline Gail Stacks

    I found this really interesting, since in elementary school before the PSSAs, the Principal would walk around to each classroom and hand out mints. We weren’t allowed to chew gum in school, but they said that mints had the same affect. I wonder if mints truly do have the same affect as gum would, or if it doesn’t work as well. I also thought it was frustrating that we could have mints for standardized tests, since the district wanted the scores to be high, but if we tried chewing gum or having mints in our mouths for a test that actually affected our grade, they wouldn’t let us. Hopefully for younger generations, they will see information like this, and allow children to chew gum if it will help improve their test scores!

  6. Scott L Katz

    I was always told it that chewing gum while studying helped you remember more information on a test. Ive tried this theory and it never worked for me. I feel like this a placebo effect and thats why people say it works. As you said research shows thats it does help but only for a short period of time which is not very useful if you have a test 24 hours later. However, I will start chewing gum during test because he wakes your brain up and keeps you awake.

  7. Madeline Bynres Walsack

    I’ve always wondered if there was any benefit from chewing gum during class or tests. And I am glad to hear that there is! I love to chew gum during classes because it helps me to stay focused and it helps to distract me from being hungry. But if there is research that gum can help improve test scores, should gum be recommended in classrooms? Growing up, many of my teachers banned gum from classrooms. I understand that it can get messy when students put it under desks. But do the positives outweigh the negatives in this situation?

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