How Chewing Gum Can Boost Your Test Performance

Modified on by isabell

gum chewing to boost test scores

Looking for a simple but effective way to improve your performance in a pending exam? What if we told you that simply chewing gum can boost your test performance? It sounds crazy, but some research backs up a link between chewing gum and improved performance. Along with using Brainscape flashcards to study, of course.

You may wonder how this could possibly have any positive effect on the results of your test. Researchers were unable to pinpoint why exactly gum boosts memory, attention, and cognitive reasoning skills (among others) – but the results of different studies clearly showed that it does. Most likely, the minimal physical activity involved in the act of chewing has an effect similar to that of more strenuous tasks which will also boost test performances.

But beware: While chewing gum before the test can help you out for a while, this effect will not last, especially if you continue chewing during the test; it will merely become a distraction. Let’s dive in and learn more about the details after the break.

Crazy But True: Chewing Gum Can Boost Your Test Performance

Have an important final exam coming up? Maybe your test prep should include chewing some gum.

St. Lawrence University Assistant Professor of Psychology Serge Onyper conducted 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. “Mastication-induced arousal” is credited for the boost, which lasted for about the first 20 minutes or so of testing. Results of the study were published in the journal Appetite.

A “battery of cognitive tasks” was given to the study participants, who chewed gum either prior to or throughout testing. Their performance was then compared with subjects who did not chew gum.

Many studies have shown that any type of physical activity can produce a performance boost; this study points out that even mild physical activity can bring on such a boost.

Chewing gum gave the subjects multiple advantages, but only when chewed for five minutes before testing, not for the duration of the test. Benefits persisted for the first 15 to 20 minutes of testing only. Onyper notes that a possible reason the benefits didn’t continue throughout testing may be due to “a sharing of resources by cognitive and masticatory processes.”

In other words, you can’t chew gum and think productively at the same time.

Onyper was the lead researcher on a study presented earlier this year showing that students who took classes starting earlier in the morning tended to get higher grades, even though they may have gotten less sleep.

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Deane Alban 8 years ago

For added benefits, you can buy "Think Gum" online at Marbles the Brain Store. It contains caffeine, ginkgo, and other brain boosting herbs and antioxidants. What will they think of next? :)

Amanda Moritz 8 years ago

sounds delicious, actually :)

Alli Thompson 1 year ago

I actually tried it, excited because SAT's were coming up and I found it had no effect. I bought multiple packs trying to see if there was somethign that could work. I also tried it with my friends and they found no effect. I don't know if it's that way with everyone, but be careful when you buy it.

Eli345 6 years ago


Chloe 6 years ago

interesting !

maria beltsos 5 years ago

How does chewing a certain flavor of gum while studying and then chewing that same flavor before a test affect your performance on the test?

Kit 4 years ago

it helps by making it so you can remember things. The flavor kind of triggers your brain to remember what you were doing while last eating it.
Exp. You eat this gum while studying and then when you eat the same gum while testing you will remember what you were studying.



Dylan Reyes Enriquez 4 months ago


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