Brief report: gum chewing affects standardized math scores in adolescents

J Adolesc. 2012 Apr;35(2):455-9. doi: 10.1016/j.adolescence.2011.04.003. Epub 2011 May 26.


Gum chewing has been shown to improve cognitive performance in adults; however, gum chewing has not been evaluated in children. This study examined the effects of gum chewing on standardized test scores and class grades of eighth grade math students. Math classes were randomized to a gum chewing (GC) condition that provided students with gum during class and testing, or a control condition with no gum (NGC). Participants included 108 students. The math sections of the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) and the Woodcock Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III), and math class grades were used to assess academic performance. Students in the gum chewing condition improved standardized test scores and maintained higher grades in math class compared to those in the no-gum chewing condition. These results are encouraging as gum chewing may be a cost-effective and easily implemented method to increase student performance.

Trial registration: NCT00792116.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Chewing Gum*
  • Educational Status*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mathematics*
  • Psychological Tests


  • Chewing Gum

Associated data