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As Exams Loom, Students Find Hope in a 'Stick'

Cornell University Class Tests Benefits of Chewing Gum During Exam

CHICAGO, Nov. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Midterm and final exams can be particularly stressful on college students as they struggle to balance their homework load with a flurry of tests.


"It's common practice for students to try to catch up on neglected reading and pull all-nighters in preparation for exams," says Adrinda Kelly, senior editor of The Princeton Review, a leading provider of test preparation, educational support, and college admissions services. "However, uncovering ways to study and take tests more effectively can help students finish the semester on a positive note."

Finding a test-taking edge may be as easy as reaching for a stick of gum, according to students in an introductory marketing class at Cornell University who were given Wrigley's 5(TM) gum by their professor. A non-scientific survey of the class after taking the exam showed that students who chewed 5 gum prior to, and during, test-taking had better scores on the exam than those who didn't chew gum at all. Students who reported chewing gum during the exam received a mean score of 90; students who chewed the whole pack of 5 gum before the exam received a mean score of 86; while those who chewed no gum at all received a mean score of 60.

"When we announced the findings of the informal survey, you could literally hear a gasp from the class," said Professor Edward McLaughlin, who conducted the test among 591 students in the university's Department of Applied Economics and Management (AEM), home to Cornell's undergraduate business program. "While what we found is anecdotal rather than scientific, I have no doubt that some of these students are going to start chewing gum during every exam."

"It's great to see real-life experiences like this as they mirror what consumers have been telling us for years -- that chewing gum has benefits beyond fresh breath and great taste," said Surinder Kumar, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Wrigley. "That's one reason we established the Wrigley Science Institute, to learn more about how chewing gum can help relieve everyday stress and potentially help increase focus, alertness and concentration, among other functional benefits. While we conduct more basic research, it's exciting to see our consumer insights play out in the classroom."

Students and Chewing Gum

Giving students chewing gum while taking tests is not unheard of. In fact, more and more teachers have reversed traditional policies against chewing gum and are now encouraging students to chew gum during tests to help heighten focus and concentration.

Research suggests gum chewing can positively affect focus and concentration: a 2002 study published in Appetite showed chewing gum appeared to improve people's ability to learn, retain and retrieve information.(1) Further, a 2006 study conducted on behalf of the Wrigley Science Institute showed gum chewers were more calm and relaxed in dealing with life's everyday stress when they chewed gum.(2)

Tips for Test-Taking Success

There are a number of ways students can more effectively study and take tests, including these simple suggestions provided by The Princeton Review:

Pick a Spot, Any Spot. Designate a specific area for homework and studying, making sure the area is well lit with few distractions. Oftentimes, a bedroom doesn't offer adequate space to spread out materials.

Chew. The gum experts at Wrigley recommend chewing gum during studying and test-taking to help improve focus and concentration and help relieve stress.

Make it Personal. Create personalized study aids to focus the study session, such as a notebook listing homework assignments, a timeline of important dates and flashcards for studying.

Retreat. After exams are over, disappear for the weekend to relax and regroup. And remember, winter break is on the horizon!

For more information about the benefits of chewing gum, visit

The Wrigley Science Institute

Wrigley is committed to advancing and sharing scientific research that explores the benefits of chewing gum. Through the Chicago-based Wrigley Science Institute, which works with independent researchers at leading institutions to learn more about the potential health and wellness benefits of chewing gum, Wrigley is pursuing four key scientific areas: how gum can help reduce situational stress; help manage weight; help increase focus, alertness and concentration; and improve oral health.

About the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company (WWY)

The Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company is a recognized leader in confections with a wide range of product offerings including gum, mints, hard and chewy candies, lollipops, and chocolate. The Company has global sales of nearly $4.7 billion and distributes its world-famous brands in more than 180 countries. Three of these brands -- Wrigley's Spearmint(R), Juicy Fruit(R), and Altoids(R) -- have heritages stretching back more than a century. Other well-loved brands include Doublemint(R), Life Savers(R), Big Red(R), Boomer(R), Pim Pom(R), Winterfresh(R), Extra(R), Freedent(R), Hubba Bubba(R), Orbit(R), Excel(R), Creme Savers(R), Eclipse(R), Airwaves(R), Solano(R), Sugus(R), P.K.(R), Cool Air(R) and 5(TM).

1. Wilkinson L., Scholey A., Wesness K. "Chewing gum selectively improves

memory in healthy volunteers." Appetite. 2002 June; 38 (3): 235-236.

2. FRC Research Corporation. "The Impact of Chewing Gum on Consumers'

Stress Levels." Survey conducted in June, 2006 among 280 male and

female respondents aged 18-49.

Denise Young Lauren Pankhurst

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company Edelman on behalf of Wrigley

(312) 645-4194 (312) 233-1290

SOURCE Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
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