Dress well, test well


Bella Szarzynski

Senior Colin Sheeley dresses his best to feel great on the day of tests.

Libby Grygar and Margaux Brink

While finals week mainly consists of sleepless nights and endless cups of coffee, the way you dress during these crucial tests may have a larger effect than your ability to stay awake.

When you make the small effort to slip into jeans rather than a baggy pair of sweatpants, the body becomes less relaxed, and therefore more alert for testing. Not only does this slight change stimulate attentiveness, but it also encourage poise and confidence.

A recent study at Northwestern University conducted by Professor Adam D. Galinski proved a theory called “enclothed cognition,” which states that students dressed more professionally perform better than those who did not. In the experiment, students came to the study wearing normal street clothes and half of them were given lab coats that were said to be doctors’ coats. The students who wore the lab coats performed their tests significantly better than those wearing their normal street clothes due to the heightened levels of productivity and attentiveness.

Although no BSM students will be found wearing lab coats during finals week, many of them, including senior Sofie Scott, agree that the better you dress, the better you will perform. “When I dress well, I feel more productive, attentive, put together, and most importantly motivated. It helps me to stay motivated and focused on my finals,” Scott  said. “When you feel good and have confidence in how you look, that can translate to your confidence in your test you will test well.”

Senior Jon Cadle took this mindset into consideration when completing his Calculus final. “When I dress up I’m more confident and confidence is the key to success in all things.” Cadle said.

Some students, however, disagree with this theory. Junior Brooke Stanley finds that she tends to perform her best when she is dressed comfortably. “Being comfortable and throwing on a simple outfit makes it easy to focus solely on my finals and get more sleep, as a result of spending less time getting ready.” Stanley said.

Senior Stephen Bliss echoed Stanley’s comments by his strategy to remain focused on his tests rather than his outfits.“While you’re taking a test, you don’t want to be thinking about what’s on you, you want to be completely engulfed in your test.” Many students agree with his theory to override stylish attire with comfort.

Test takers have their own strategy for success, but it is, without doubt, beneficial to sport an outfit that is comfortable and boosts confidence. And, no matter what style route you decide to take, good luck on your tests as you dress for success.