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It might seem silly to write an article titled “dressing for exams” but I am a thorough believer in the power your outfit can have on your state of mind. If you’re not happy with what you’re wearing on a night out, you’ll be aware of it the whole evening and either end up not having a good time or getting far too drunk in an attempt to forget about it. Your appearance is important in almost every situation, and taking exams is no different. The thing to remember though is that in the exam room you’re dressing for yourself, not to impress anyone else.
First things first, comfort is key. With some exams lasting for three hours, that’s a long time to be stuck sitting, hunched over writing. Jeans might feel a bit stiff, so opt for leggings or chinos as an alternative. Don’t stray into pyjama or sweatpants territory though as you might risk falling asleep mid-exam!
Often forgotten is the art of layering. The temperature of an exam room is hard to predict, and with so many bodies packed into one room you may find yourself sweating and the pen slipping out of your clammy hands halfway through an essay. A light t-shirt is an easy solution, and once you’ve made it through the exam, allows you to transition seamlessly to the spring sunshine that awaits. It’s just as hard to write if you can’t stop shivering, so make sure you bring a cardigan or jumper just in case.
There’s always one person in an exam that likes to make themselves feel at home and decides to remove their shoes during an exam. If this is you, please just remember to wear socks and make sure you aren’t wearing your five year old converse that have been soaked through more times than you can count!
If you’re really panicking the morning of exams due to nerves, I’d suggest dressing up a little and reciting the mantra “dress smart, think smart.” Many people don’t do as well as they could, due to nervousness and this can easily be prevented with the right frame of mind. Wearing a dress or button down shirt, and remembering to inhale deeply through your nose and out through your mouth, can help get your nerves under control. It’s always worked for me in the past!
Ultimately, the most important thing is what’s in your head, not what you’re wearing on your body. So make sure you revise hard but take the night before to pick out your outfit, compile your pens and library card, and get an early night. Good luck!