How Comfortable is Too Comfortable?

Pajamas are students’ pick when tackling exams, but dressing down may not help your score

Yes, these are my pajamas. So what?

A look into any classroom during semester exams indicates that many students seem to adopt this “Who cares?” attitude toward their appearance during finals. “We are sitting in the same place for three hours,” said sophomore Kriston Price. “It allows you to be comfortable.”

Because they won’t be seeing their teachers in the usual circumstances, some students push the boundaries of casual dress, coming to school in pajamas, sweats and even bedroom slippers. “Since we’re not in a classroom setting, I don’t see any reason to dress nice,” Price said.

Of course, students want to be comfortable during the three days of back-to-back, three-hour tests, but could what you wear affect your ability to test well?

While students may be tempted to choose comfort over looks during finals, doing so could actually impact their grades. According to a Huffington Post survey of college seniors, four out of five agree that they have never done well on a final exam they took while wearing sweatpants.

According to, although it’s tempting to stay up all night studying and go to your final in pajamas, you’ll feel more awake and ready for the test if you’re dressed nicely.  Going to an exam in pajamas when tired invites sleep instead of success.

Freshman English teacher Halle Bauer said that she thinks what students wear to a final exam affects their ability to perform well on the test, and that there have even been studies to prove this.

“For model congress, all students are encouraged and given bonus points for dressing professionally. Dressing well gives you a confidence boost. It’s about the mindset,” Bauer said.

It’s also a matter of respect for your teacher, peers and yourself. “I don’t think you need to be dressed up, but it’s a sign of respect not to be wearing pajamas,” Bauer said.

Finals are not the only tests students wear their pajamas to. “I’ve proctored SATs, and kids show up to those in pajamas,” Bauer said.

Price, however, worries that dressing nicely could distract students during an exam. “If people look at what people are wearing, it could distract your performance to do well on finals. Like, if someone is wearing a nice pair of shoes and you’re looking at them,” Price said.

Sophomore Shakeela Rogers does not understand why students would dress nicely for an exam. “I’m like, ‘Why are you wearing that? Don’t you want to be comfortable?’ ” Rogers said.

Although Shaker does not enforce any sort of exam dress code, “There are definitely teachers who enforce a dress code in their classrooms,” Bauer said.

Shaker students who roll out of bed and come to final exams in pajamas may find their habit isn’t tolerated in the later stages of their education. Some state bar associations, such as Virginia’s, enforce a strict dress code for law school graduates who are bar exam candidates.

Although Price and Rogers both like to feel comfortable during finals, both agreed that they would not let wearing a business suit to the bar exam keep them from attending law school.

“Sometimes dressing professional helps me think professionally,” said Price, and Rogers agreed.

She said, “I’d just deal with it if that was something I really wanted to do.”

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