Drink up: Hydrated students score better

The effects of dehydration may be felt more strongly by women. (Courtesy of Tulane University)

WASHINGTON – A new study shows teachers may be hurting students chances at higher test scores by banning water bottles in the classroom.

The British study found that students did better on their tests and were less anxious when they drank water throughout an exam. In fact, they performed better the more water they drank.

Researchers from the University of East London took 447 students’ grades into account in formulating the results. It was not simply the sharper students who brought their water bottles.

Drinking water during an exam may also lessen a student’s anxiety. Children are more prone to dehydration than adults, according to the study, which further bolsters the theory that extra water can improve a kid’s attention and memory.

“Future research is needed to tease apart these explanations,” says Dr. Chris Pawson, who ran the study. “But whatever the explanation, it is clear that students should endeavor to stay hydrated with water during exams.”

If these findings are confirmed in future studies, it could change school policy world-wide about allowing drinks during testing periods and in the classroom.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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