Are you a gum addict? Do you have multiple packets of gum strewn about your house, car, apartment, or in the pockets of various pairs of pants just in case you ever run out? Do your friends chastise you for constantly chewing? Well, my LSAT prep friends, don’t let their chides bother you. You’re actually doing yourself a favor by chewing gum! And them as well: you’re the one who always has fresh breath! A recent study at Cardiff University found that you finish your tasks quicker and more accurately when you chew gum.
Yes! At last! I am a fellow gum chewer. I’ve always needed gum to concentrate. And now there’s finally evidence that I’m not just some weird perseverating gum chewer, it actually does help! Good news, too, since gum isn’t explicitly prohibited under your LSAT candidate agreement!
Part of the study addressed whether chewing gum would improve concentration. Researchers asked participants to chew gum while listening to a random list of single-digit numbers. The scores showed these participants’ recalled these numbers more accurately and quickly than the control group, suggesting that gum-chewing improves one’s recall.
Lead researcher Kate Morgan said, “Interestingly, participants who didn’t chew gum performed slightly better at the beginning of the task, but were overtaken by the end. This suggests that chewing gum helps us focus on tasks that require continuous monitoring over a longer amount of time.” Bingo! The LSAT is two and a half grueling hours of logic. You work rapidly through 100 questions, trying to apply strategy and skills you practiced for the past few months. The study shows that chewing gum could possibly help you not only in your concentration throughout the exam, but with actual recall of the formulas and methods!
This is great news for all of us gum chewers! For those of you with TMJ, my apologies, but things are not all lost. The study alluded to the fact that what was important was keeping your mouth busy, rather than chewing gum specifically. So, why not buy some hard candies and get your sugar fix while you study? You have an array of candy to choose from: lollipops, jolly ranchers, Werther’s caramels! Have at it!
Anyhoo, thought I’d give you guys the great news! Hope your studying has been going well and you haven’t gotten yourself too bogged down by your LSAT prep!