Student opinions differ about drinking alcohol before final exams


Editor’s Note: This article was completed as an assignment for a class in the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

The thought process is simple: Take a shot before an exam, and it’ll help loosen you up to perform better. Does alcohol really help, or is it just all just in a person’s head? It’s said that if the state in which you study is the same as that in which you take a test, you will score higher. This method may simply depend on the person, though, and what they think in their head.

“If you study drunk and take a test drunk, I think you will remember more,” said Cindy Stueder, junior in accounting. “I have heard that if the state in which you study and the state in which you take the test are the same, then you will do better on the test. It’s like if you chew mint gum while studying and chew mint gum while taking a test then it will help you remember more.”

While some students believe in the method, other students feel that alcohol does not help. Samantha Johansen, senior in family studies, says that it’s all in the mind.

“I feel like it’s a mind over matter kind of thing,” Johansen said.

If someone were to drink while studying for a test and then drink before taking the test, they may only believe that the alcohol is helping them. Since they think that the alcohol helped them loosen up, they will, in turn, perform better on the test.

“I think the thought of taking the shot before a test does more than actually taking the shot,” Johansen said.

A lot of people may try this technique during finals week when things get pretty stressful. They may take a few shots to take the edge off of the stress. If people get stressed out enough they will try it just to see if it works or not. Some students may think that the alcohol will help them relax and calm down more before they take a test.

“I think that if you’re drinking to help you relax, there are better ways to help you relax that won’t affect your cognitive thinking like alcohol does, especially before taking a test,” Johansen said.

There are other ways to get rid of stress during that crazy finals week besides drinking. Just taking a simple study break can help a little bit. Getting up and exercising can help students deal with stress.

There are students who have not tried taking shots or drink before tests, or do not feel like they need to.

“I’ve personally never done it so I couldn’t say if it works or not, but I don’t think it could make a big difference,” said Hillary Schartz, sophomore in animal sciences and industry. “I still get good grades on tests without drinking alcohol.”

While some people believe drinking or taking shots before a test isn’t necessarily a bad thing, students may wish to find alternative stress relieving activities.