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Water on the brain

Course work

It’s coming up to that time of year again (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least). The daylight creeps longer into the evening hours, leaves on tree and shrub begin to glow in clouds of verdant splendour, migrating birds return to seek climactic asylum in our precinct of the ecosystem…and the mood on college campuses (and in many high schools) becomes afflicted by a shared anxiety. Yes, we are approaching Examination Season.

Another sign of Examination Season is the emergence of news stories in the mainstream media concerning Examination Season. Many such stories relate to the latest scientific finding that is somehow relevant to students and their exams. I suppose one reason for this is that most jobbing scientists work on or near college campuses, so their awareness of Exam Season is high. But the sheer availability of a huge population with bespoke occupational stressors might make research just a little too easy sometimes.

Consider this story, widely reported in the media the other day: “Taking water into exams could boost grades“, the Daily Telegraph declared. In what way, you ask? Well, according to the Daily Mail:

…one theory is that information flows more freely between brain cells when they are well hydrated.

Yeah, that’s how it works. In fact, that’s why we have grade inflation. Because of all the water in students’ brains.

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