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Gaming Could Make Teens Perform Better in School: Study

If there was ever a reason to let your teen play more video games, this may be it.

Teen gamers outperformed their peers in math, reading and science, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Communication.

"When you play online games you're solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading and science that you've been taught during the day," Alberto Posso, a professor from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology wrote in the report.

Read More: Video Gamers' Aggression Born From Frustration, Not Violence: Study

Posso examined the habits and test scores of 12,000 Australian 15-year-olds, using their performance on the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (known as Pisa) as the benchmark.

Image: US-IT-LIFESTYLE-GAMES-E3
Gaming fans play 'Final Fantasy XIV' at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 16, 2016 in Los Angeles, California on the third day of the 2016 Electronic Entertainment Expo, or E3, the annual video game conference and show. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP - Getty Images file

Overall, teens who reported being regular gamers performed 17 points above average on science and 15 points higher on math and reading, according to the study.

By comparison, teens who were highly active on social media scored 4 percent below average.

The study stops short of finding a definitive link between the activities and a student's performance.

"It is possible that children who are already gifted in the areas of math, science, and reading are also more likely to play online games and children with lower academic abilities spend more time socializing," Posso said.

Jessica Bayliss, a professor and associate director at the Rochester Institute of Technology's School of Interactive Games and Media, who was not affiliated with the study, said it is important to note the results focus on averages.

"I am sure there are people who are really high and low in both sets," she told NBC News.

However, Bayliss said there are aspects of games that can carry over into the classroom or workplace.

"There are a lot of strategic and tactical parts of them, even board games," she said. "There is a lot of thought that goes into things like that so it certainly carries over. Games aren't just fun, people think about them."