Testing Center Encouragers stand outside the Testing Center every Friday at 2:15 p.m. to encourage students who are about to take their tests.
Brittany Gwin, a freshman studying art, said Service Activities decided that giving students a means to de-stress before a test would be a good way to help the students.
Gwin said they hand mints out to students.
“Research shows that peppermint stimulates the brain by improving memory and increasing alertness while helping it relax,” according to an article called “Does Peppermint Candy Stimulate the Brain?” by Kristen Mortensen at Livestrong.
A study conducted at McCarthy Junior High School in Southwest Ranch, Florida, showed that students who ate a mint before a test did 10 percent better than those who did not, according to the Florida Sun Sentinel.
A study done in Ohio showed that the smell of peppermint increases accuracy by 28 percent.
Gwin said the encouragers also pass out happy quotes with scriptures and messages from the prophets to help put a smile on the students’ face.
Gwin said one example of a quote is “When you think about quitting, think about why you started.”
“It is to make the experience of taking a test a little lighter, a little better,” Gwin said.
Wil Sanders, a junior studying mechanical engineering, said the goal of the encouragers is to help people to be more relaxed.
“The idea of a testing center can bring fear and anxiety to some people because you are worried about how you’re going to do, whether you have studied enough,” Gwin said. “But our purpose is to ease that a little bit.”
Gwin said the encouragers were originally called Testing Center Cheerleaders but thought it would be better to be called the Testing Center Encouragers because they felt that “cheerleaders” was strange and that students would not want to participate.
“It usually makes people really happy,” Gwin said. “They smile and go in.”
Sanders said students forget about the test for a second.
Gwin said she wished she could have Testing Center Encouragers before she takes a tests because it is relieving to see and meet people who care and are there for support.
“It’s a pleasant surprise,” Gwin said.