Chess is not a game that sounds appealing to everybody, however it may be worth trying to help enhance your academic ability. Professor Fernand Gobet (UoL) and doctoral student Giovanni Sala have found evidence supporting the utility of chess for ‘brain-training’.
They conducted a meta-analysis on the available empirical evidence that investigated how the skills acquired when learning chess affects cognitive performance in school children. The findings showed that there was a moderate overall effect size and a tendency for a stronger effect on mathematical than reading skill. They also found a significant, positive effect of duration of treatment.
Therefore, the skills learned from chess can enhance your academic performance, especially in topics with a strong mathematical basis and the more time spent playing, the better for your performance.
However, these findings apply to school children so they do not guarantee that they will work for University students. Though, chess can be a fun game to play, especially as it has the element of competition so it is probably worth practicing. If you have never learnt to play chess you can look it up online as there are many tutorials, alternatively, you can join the Chess Society at University.
To read the full article by Gobet and Sala click here.
Sala, G., & Gobet, F. (2016). Do the benefits of chess instruction transfer to academic and cognitive skills? A meta-analysis. Educational Research Review, 18, 46-57.