What to wear to an exam

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Exam season is upon us, and today’s post is the first in my weeklong series on surviving your exams with style, and as little stress as possible. Today I’m going to show you a few looks that are easy to pull together in a hurry, but still help you look put-together.

Why Dress Up for Exams?

If you go to an exam wearing sweatpants and a baggy t-shirt, you might be comfortable, but you’re not going to be in the right mind set to be very successful on your exam. However, if you have a look that is simple, yet pulled-together, you’ll feel more prepared and professional, ready to write a killer exam. A bonus: if your prof notices how well put-together you look, they may assume you are calm, cool, and collected (even if you’re not). He or she may subconsciously approach your exam with a lighter hand if they already got the feeling that you aced it before reading a word. Clothes truly have an effect on your psyche, so take some time a night or two before your exam to decide what to wear, so you can get dressed quickly in the morning but still look chic.

Basic Tips:

Remember to consider what the weather will be like (check advanced weather reports online), and what building you’re writing your exam in (is there a/c? is it usually very hot?). Make sure to choose comfortable shoes, like flats, so that you can focus on your exam instead on the ache in your ankle. Also, go easy on the accessories: nobody wants to listen to your bangles clank together for the entirety of a three-hour exam.

Outfit #1: Comfortable Chic

For this outfit, I paired a simple cardigan-jeans outfit with a fun spring tank and bright accessories. It is a simple outfit that wouldn’t take long to put together, but it still looks like you made an effort. Plus the bright colours will make you look more awake and alert when trying to hide those crammed-til-2-am bags under your eyes.

jeans: Hollister, cardigan: Old Navy, tank: Forever21, belt: Urban Outfitters, Converse: Delias, bag: Walmart


Outfit #2: Brainy Beauty

I chose this outfit because it’s fun, very Spring, and even trendy by picking up on the nautical theme. But, just like the previous outfit, it’s simple to throw on and comfortable to sit in for hours on end. Plus, the summery style will help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

dress: Abercrombie & Fitch, sweater: Banana Republic, sandals: Charlotte Russe, headband: Delia’s, bag: Alloy

What Do You Think?

What do you wear to exams? Are you usually in sweatpants and UGGs? Will you try dressing up this year? Leave a comment and let me know. And don’t forget to check back later this week for more exam-related posts, from exam-morning makeup, to a no-brainer breakfast recipe.

Author: kaleigh


  1. Nurul says:

    Love this post. I’ve always had a “look good, feel good, do well” policy when it comes to exams and tests and I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  2. irma says:

    i like your post here. .and I do like your site. . hopefully you can help me find outfit for me. . I am not that kind of a Girl or teens that all they wear are looks so nice for them..:(

  3. Aslinn says:

    Ok, so I’m only 13 but I still have exams I no this is for the ” collage girl but do you think you could help a girl out… I don’t no how to look good & be comfortable. And, I’m not realy the type of grl who would wear those cloths( and I don’t have any thing that remotly looks like them) So, not even the web site have to do it… One of the readers could help me just some one… Much apresheated!!!!

  4. leyla_h says:

    Hi, I think this post is great- I’m a strong believer in dressing right makes you feel good and so perform better. I’m sure that this mind-set has got me a lot of jobs and placements. I love look two. Tomorrow I have the first of my finals and I’ll be wearing a cute little blue elasticated waist skirt with leggings, a black tank and a cardigan I can take off if it gets warm. Always plan and lay out your outfit and accessories the night before – that way you can just get dressed and concentrate on the exam ahead :)

  5. SW says:

    In case you didn’t realize, most professors don’t grade the test. At our university we have student and graduate graders for all of our classes. No point in impressing the professor on test day with your outfit.

  6. Jessica says:

    I always put a little bit of extra effort into my appearance (clothes, hair, make-up) on exam days. It doesn’t make me any smarter or replace any of the studying I had to do, but it does give me an extra boost of confidence. Confidence kills stress and nerves.

    I love love love this post! Definitely keep up what you’re doing. :)

  7. jessica says:

    totally unoriginal. disgrace to fashion bloggers.

  8. Tsu Tsu says:

    I would totally wear the second outfit! rlly cute, I love the sandals, looking for a simlar pair for summer

  9. Kaleigh says:

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the post, Kilgore.

    I, and many of my readers, believe that our clothes are a way to represent ourselves to the world. So, in important life situations, such as job interviews, first dates, and yes, exams, what you wear can leave a lasting impression on those around you, and affect your own psyche as well. Why not try changing up what you wear this exam season and test out my theory? You might be surprised!

    • Holly Symosky says:

      I’m a Pre-Med major and a representative from a local medical school came into my class to talk about their school. One of her slides said that there was a dress code and when another student asked, she said it has been psychologically tested that if you dress more professional, you are more confident, and more likely to succeed.

  10. Kilgore Trout says:

    Man, this is the most terrible garbage I have ever read. Is this what ‘higher education’ has been reduced to?

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