Tackling Test Stress Tip 2: Chewing Gum

DEN Guru Nancy Sharoff shared with us yesterday that chewing gum during testing has been shown in studies to decrease anxiety and stress. I was going to post this as a later tip, but did some reading and realized time is of the essence! A study presented at the American Society for Nutrition annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2009 in New Orleans revealed that students who chewed gum for 14 weeks in class and while doing homework  showed increased performance in grades and on standardized tests. So, don’t wait until the day of testing! Pass out the chewing gum now… sugar-free of course.

photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedaisychick/ / CC BY-SA 2.0


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  1. Darcie said:

    What would be an alternative to this tip? I know even with the data showing the benefits there are still schools that won’t allow gum chewing.

  2. Porter Palmer said:

    Hi Darcie, share the research with the administration. A Google search for “chewing gum test scores” brings up a plethora of articles. If the school administration won’t budge, a mint or other hard candy might help with the stress. Good luck!

  3. Heather Hurley said:

    At our school students are given mints. The principal presents each class with a bundle of new pencils and a large container of mints.

  4. Fiona Clark said:

    For their recent science fair project, a couple of my students researched and tested the effect of chewing/eating mints on test scores. Overwhelmingly, the random group of students who had mints achieved higher than those students who did not have mints.
    Just today one of my students blogged about this article (http://www.scienceofsocceronline.com/2009/10/menthol-fresh-breath-and-better.html) about the positive effect that menthol has on soccer players. Maybe we should be paying attention to all of this research!!

  5. melisha said:

    i love arc skool apart from teacher are fucking gay

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