With finals coming up within the next week, everyone is stressed about studying and cramming for their exams. However, second to knowing the information and actually showing up, it’s important to understand how you study best.
There are two study styles at Case Western Reserve University that have persisted: the theory of “dress well, test well,” and the comfort and ease of sweats. Which is your study style?
“Dress well, test well,” is a theory of putting energy into deciding your test day apparel in order to stimulate productive thinking, just like if you were going to an interview. A suit is in no way required like it is on an interview, but dressing well could simply consist of a well put-together outfit. This plays on the same notion of giving a good impression and getting focused.
Sophomore Alex Beisner believes in this testing mentality and puts it to use throughout the semester, progressing this idea for finals: “During finals, I do dress better or more formal than usual to put on a more serious and professional air.”
Junior Alan Burke has an intense process of preparing for an exam. It includes varying study techniques based on what kind of class it is and is planned down to the music he listens to right before entering the test. He is also a believer in the “dress well, test well,” as it stems out of a habit.
“I dress well during exams because it’s how I dress normally, and I like to recreate the same vibe during a test as I have when I study or go to class,” said Burke. “I generally dress well partly because it does make me more confident and motivated, but admittedly I’m also a little bit pretentious and vain. It happens. But dressing in sweats or athletic clothing makes me feel too relaxed, a little bum-like.”
While “dress well, test well,” is a study style that can promote confidence in the test taker, others find it constricting or distracting to be focused on their clothes instead of the material at hand. The alternative to this study style is vying for clothes more associated with relaxation such as leggings, yoga pants, or sweats. This more simplistic and less intensive look allows some people to focus by having no other distractions.
Junior Karen Zoeller reinforces the idea that people who choose sweatpants while taking an exam can focus more on the test material. “I think my confidence comes from my knowledge of the material, not my clothes,” said Zoeller.
Zoeller describes that the preparation is stressful enough, and putting focus into her clothing only increases her stress, unlike Beisner and Burke.
These two polar views on how to approach exams divide our campus. From a random survey of 61 students, 49 percent responded that they follow the “dress, well, test well” mentality, while the remaining 51 percent said that they prefer the comfort of sweats or other less constricting clothing to go into exams. These surprisingly even statistics show that there is a disagreement among people at CWRU when it comes to finals clothing choice.
Whatever makes you feel prepared for finals, stick to it. Whether it is the confidence and focus that comes from dressing up or the focus by not being distracted by anything else in more comfortable clothes, be true to your test strategy.