Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Bringing water into exams may improve grades

Before I start, please see the poll on the right and choose yes or no!

Researchers from East London University and University of Westminster teamed up to deliver a study which suggests students who bring water into the exam achieve higher grades on average.
Clearly, most do not bring water

Dr Chris Pawson, a senior lecturer in the School of Psychology at the University of East London said: " The results imply that the simple act of bringing water into an exam was linked to an improvement in students' grades".

The reason why wasn't broken down in the study, but Dr Pawson speculates that it could be psychological and physiological.

The psychological argument was that having access to water allowed them to think water calmed students down and reduced anxiety, a notorious killer in an exam.

The physiological side offered a direct relationship between hydration and thinking ability.

While both sides are credible, more research must be done.

The study

447 undergraduates were randomly chosen and monitored whether they brought drinks into examinations. They also noted what type of drink.

The study found that first year undergraduates were less likely to take drinks into the exam than their higher year peers.

On results day, the students who took water tended to do better than their classmates who did not bring water.

The study will be continued and additional observations will be taken.

Perhaps water does give you an advantage, or maybe it's the fact sign of preparation that gives you the edge.

But either way, Dr Pawson recommended students bring water, as it will not have a negative effect, if any.


  1. "Perhaps water does give you an advantage, or maybe it's the fact sign of preparation that gives you the edge."

    Had that thought reading the earlier part. That's an important point.

    Where are you getting this information?

  2. Almost perfect example of "Correlation does not mean causation". It is almost certainly not the water in and of itself that leads to increased exam marks.
    I would wager that those students who are conscientious enough to consider the effects of hydration are also more likely to be pro-active in other domains of their lives, such as studying to achieve good results on an exam. An investigation could/should be done to investigate hours spent studying, socio-economic status and a multitude of other factors across the two groups (water-bringing and null) to ascertain the real relationship which ties the two events together.
    It would also be interesting to see the proportion of students in the group that achieved marks higher than the mean of those who brought water and subsequently observe the ratio of water-bringing to non-water bringing.
    This having been said, I haven't read the article to see their research methods, and would be curious to see in what manner they've arrived at their conclusion if it's the same as that stated in this article's title.

    1. College Student7 May 2012 at 00:37

      My thoughts exactly; Correlation does not mean causation. Studies should be done to test the study habits of the students that bring water compared to those who do not.

  3. it depend on whether u studied before you go and write test wheather i bring water or not bring water without studying thats a fact u are going to fail util your heart becomes vey painful