Citation: Agog. "On the Scholastic Aptitude Test: An Experience with Vinpocetine (exp49501)". Erowid.org. May 24, 2006. erowid.org/exp/49501
Recently I found my self faced with learning some alien logic. I am of course referring to studying for the SAT examination. I'm returning to school after a 10 year excursion in the work force. I had about 4 weeks to study, and purchased both the official SAT study guide and a computer study aid. In addition I purchased a bottle of 5mg caps of vinpocetine from my local health food store. I was surprised to see that vinpocetine was available over the counter as I had purchased some in the early 90s and had to acquire it from over seas. I believe vinpocetine was a great help.
I don't recall getting much of an effect from the stuff back in the 90s. However I wasn't taking it regularly at that time as I was on a regiment of piracitam. The old caps were blue and in a foil pack. The new caps are clear gell and come in a bottle. Both were filled with a white powder. I believe the powder in the blue caps had more of a crystalline nature than the plane gell caps, which seem to have allot of inert material as filler. I discovered this while attempting sublingual ingestion, unsuccessfully.
I was studying at least 5-8 hours a day, reading taking paper and computerized practice tests as well as doing research on the web. I had recently completed a course of study for a certificate program, so my skills were up to par. The SAT however is a bizarre test, not so much of your abilities in academic subjects as it is in your ability to learn the test makers logic and the quirks of its form. It is 9 timed sections most are 25min long. One must rush, something I don't usually do while thinking.
I had studied for about a week before taking the vinpocetine. I was unable to determine if it had an effect for the first 2 days. By the third I noticed increased mental stamina. I was taking 5mg vinpocetine 3 times daily. The first with coffee or tea in the morning the others 15-20min before eating. The positive effects seemed to ramp up for about one week, then even out. By the middle of the second week I was having some trouble sleeping and would take melatonin at midnight which seemed to help.
I naturally got faster at the tests by practicing, but I believe vinpocetine was of some benefit. To what degree I can not say. There was certainly an increase in my energy level. I was also more optimistic, I feel vinpocetine may effect mood. In week 3 I noticed I was getting allot more unbidden erections than normal. No mention of this on the web. I was feeling kind of jacked up, and a little manic. It must be said that I was in a high stress situation, and was intensely focused on my studies. All I determine with certainty is an increase in mental energy and focus. I feel it is likely to elevate mood and increase reaction time. I felt a little quicker on the uptake.
The effects were stable up through test week. The morning of the SAT came and I felt confident. I riped through the test easier than any of the practice tests. Insistently I ate 70+% cacao chocolate and dried bananas during the break. I stopped taking vinpocetine that day. I felt it had done it's job, and as it had a definite physical effect may not be good to take continuously. I take choline and vitamin B regularly, but my body told me to stop with the vinpocetine. I had a second test scheduled the next week and as I felt confident I'd done well thought it might be interesting to take it sans vinpocetine. I continued to study 2-3 hours a day.
After 3 days I noticed feeling a little out of sorts.Lack of the up feeling, not so much fatigue. I kept thinking I saw little children out of the corner of my eye, only to turn and find it was a shadow or a foot stool. This happened several times a day. My mood also was not so good, but I'm moody. I have had a couple of severe concussions and remember the feeling of things being not quite right which persisted for days or more after.
The second test I took I felt tired, fogy headed. I believe it was from being in a state of flux. A temporary state but certainly below baseline. I have yet to receive the results of my second test, but I can say with certainty they will be lower than those of the first. Not only did the test feel more difficult, and it must be remembered these are standardized tests, but I was unable to complete several sections of the verbal sections in time. Even on my first practice test I finished the verbal sections with time to spare. After a week to 10 days I feel I was back to baseline.
The effects i'm talking about here were not debilitating, just odd. I would take vinpocetine again.
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