If you’re about to sit an exam, have a water bottle on stand-by

the benefit of having a water bottle during an examYou’re stuffed full of facts ready to take that exam, now all that is left to do is show up and write it.

So what items should you include in your exam writing kit.

A pen, make that two, just in case the one you’re writing with chooses this exam to die, Murphies law ! A ruler, correcting fluid, a pencil …..

This week’s Neurotechnology Tip suggests you add a bottle of water, to your exam writing kit – it may just help you add a point or two to your final grade.

Water bottle on stand-by

A team of researchers from East London tracked the exam behaviours and outcomes of 447 undergraduate students.

The researchers began, by keeping tabs on whether the exam takers included a beverage of some kind, in their exam taking kit.

Next, they collected the exam results of each participant and did a little fancy statistical number crunching, to correlate how each participant faired in the exam. The calculations took into account course work performance, alongside the final exam result.

Water drinkers were tops

The results of the study found that overall, students who had a bottle of water on stand-by during the exam, seemed to perform best.

NOTE : The team could not really conclude drinking water was what made the exam takers perform better, because taking a bottle of water into the exam, does not necessarily mean that the water was consumed. It does seem highly likely, but it is not a given.

Water bottles help you think

Since it is highly unlikely that the water bottle is able to whisper the answer to that taxing question to you, how could this work ?

The research team speculate water bottles could help in a number of ways :

  • The water hydrates your thirsty brain
  • The water bottle acts as a pacifier

Hydrated brains

The idea behind the water serves to hydrate the body and mind of the exam taker, makes sense intuitively and may apply some of the time.

I know, sometimes you are forced to write the exam in a room that is not at a “normal” temperature – I’ve done both, written exams in a fridge, as well as in something a kin to a hell fire. Both experiences are hard going physiologically speaking. If the room is hot as Hades, swigging down water, becomes a physiological necessity.

However, the odds that you genuinely dehydrate while writing a three hour exam, in a room which is at a “normal” temperature, seems a bit far fetched.

So the brain pacifier idea may be closer to the truth.

Brain pacifiers

So what is the deal here ?

You’re writing, writing, writing and suddenly…………. there is a gap. The gap may be a natural ebb and flow or it might be more a kin to A BLANK.

In the gap moment, you raise your head up and spy your bottle of water. You reach for the bottle, turn the lid, lift the bottle to your lips and take a swig.

In that moment, you cut your brain a little slack. Swigging back some water is easy. It grounds you. It de-stresses you, a tiny little bit.

Enough to lift the brain freeze, which may be stiffling your thinking, in that moment.

You lift the pen, the juices are now flowing…….

The end result – a slightly better grade.

PS. Other liquids would also provide the same anti-anxiety effects, but since these can create some serious metabolic stress, once they’ve slid down the hatch, the overall benefit is probably lost.

Grab a water bottle on the way into an exam

So give your brain the benefit, ensure you have a water bottle on stand-by for the next exam you sit.

Can water boost your exam grades ?  – press release from  British Psychological Society (BPS)

To wire up your brain a little each week ………………..

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Further reading

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Suppress your appetite by drinking what the lions drink Choosing water to quench your thirst  is a no brainer when counting calories  Keep your eye fixed on the letter A

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

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Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

Hire Dr Sandy from a Spoonful of Science to be the keynote speaker at your next event.

Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below

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