Chew gum and beat exams
- By: Debbie Cohen
Chewing gum, a pet hate of lecturers, could improve your chances of exam success, according to a study at Northumbria University. Dr Andrew Scholey and Lucy Wilkinson have found that chewing gum while performing memory tests increases long and short term memory by up to 35%.
Computerised memory tests measured participants' attention span, response rates, and both long and short term memory while they were either chewing gum, miming the action, or doing nothing.
Those who chewed gum outperformed the non-chewers and mimers, most notably during tests to recall word lists. Immediately after hearing the list gum chewers remembered eight or nine words, on average; the other participants remembered only six or seven.
Long term memory was also better in gum chewers, who could recall an average of seven words after 25 minutes compared to the non-chewers' five.
Scholey said, “We found a very clear pattern of improved memory when