Binge Drinking Did Not Affect Test Scores

BOSTON, April 5 (UPI) — U.S. researchers said they were surprised to find binge drinking did not affect scores for students taking tests the day after drinking.

Researchers led by Johnathan Howland of Boston University School of Public Health and Damaris Rohsenow of Brown University in Providence, R.I., found drinking did not affect tests requiring either long-term or short-term memory.

However, the study, published in Addiction, found drinking did affect mood as well as attention and reaction times.

Howland noted previous studies found intoxication affected next-day job performance and suggested binge-drinking might affect higher-order cognitive skills such as essay writing or other factors such as study habits and class attendance.

“Test-taking is only one measure of academic success,” Howland said in a statement. “We do not conclude that excessive drinking is not a risk factor for academic problems.”

Howland and colleagues twice tested 193 volunteer Boston-area university students — ages 21-24 — using practice versions of the Graduate Record Exam and a quiz on an academic lecture given the afternoon before.

The study participants scored similarly on the GREs, or the quizzes, after drinking alcoholic or non-alcoholic beer.

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