Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/03/24/drinking_and_exams_mix_well/

Getting drunk the night before has no effect on exam results

Tipsy students unaffected by 7-pint sessions

By Lewis Page

Posted in Science, 24th March 2010 16:56 GMT

Heartwarming news for students or others taking courses today, as scientists have now carried out research revealing that heavyish drinking the night before exams will not affect your performance.

Boston medi-profs Damaris Rohsenow and Johnathan Howland carried out the research, which they say is the first study to examine the connection between academic performance and drinking "in a controlled experiment".

The experiment was carried out by furnishing 193 students with either beer or nonalcoholic beer, testing them the next day and then the following week repeating the process but giving each student the other kind of drink.

The students, when drinking real beer, achieved average breath-alcohol levels of 0.12 - the equivalent according to this handy website of a 13-stone man having drunk roughly 7 pints over the course of four hours. Quite a good effort for American youths of 21 to 24, though perhaps not really worthy of the overnight EMT watch placed over them by the solicitous profs.

Waking up after this "binge", the students were then made to sit a bunch of tests.

According to Rohsenow and Howland:

The study found that intoxication in the evening did not affect students' next day scores on academic tests requiring long-term memory, or on tests of recently learned material.

The killjoy medi-profs, however, refused to stand by their results. They wrote:

We do not conclude… that excessive drinking is not a risk factor for academic problems. It is possible that a higher alcohol dose would have affected next-day academic test scores. Moreover, test-taking is only one factor in academic success. Study habits, motivation and class attendance also contribute to academic performance; each of these could be affected by intoxication.

Even so, it's perhaps a small setback for the ongoing crusade against booze which is becoming such an annoyance these days. Subscribers to the journal Addiction can read all about the research here.

Meanwhile here in Blighty other pioneering research is being carried out, this time into the effects of methedrone (aka "meow meow" or "killer death pills when oh when wil the gov act"), though unsportingly the boffins concerned aren't providing the stuff in this case. ®