Apparently Wearing Make Up Really Help You Ace An Exam…Really, Though?

Apparently, a swipe of lipstick could be the difference between a 2:1 and a First. We're not so sure.

Study Claims That Wearing Makeup During A Test Can Help You Achieve Better Results

by Arianna Chatzidakis |
Published on

According to a study by Cogent Psychology and researchers from Harvard Medical School and Chieti University, women who applied makeup before a test achieved 10% to 20% higher marks than those who were bare-faced. Sounds legit, but we'd be lying if we said we weren't a little bit sceptical.

The study sought to 'examine the possibility that makeup can affect academic performance', and involved asking 186 female undergraduate students to take a simulated university examination. While it's previously been proved that higher levels of self-esteem are associated with better academic performance, the interaction between physical self-esteem and cosmetics in cognition has never before been examined.

Surprisingly, the results of the study showed that wearing make-up could, in fact, increase test results by up to 20%, and this is apparently down to the 'lipstick effect'. The theory behind this is that 'wearing makeup could have increased the level of self-beauty perceived, consequently enhancing self-esteem, resulting in improvement of cognitive performance.' In some ways, this does make sense because makeup is used to enhance the user's facial appearance and therefore increase their levels of self-esteem by boosting physical attractiveness. This study reckons that in exam situations such a boost in self-esteem makes women feel better, which in turn could potentially increase their academic performance by having a knock-on effect on memory and confidence.

Now, while we're all for using makeup to boost our self-esteem, we can't help but wonder if applying makeup before an exam is the best use of our time. Is a swipe of lipstick really the difference between gaining a 2:1 and a First? We're not too sure. Of course, it's completely down to personal preference whether or not you wear makeup, but I for one certainly am not convinced that a full-face of foundation can ever trump a good revision session and a healthy dose of self-belief when it comes to achieving better grades.

I can personally attest this, too: I had very little sleep the night before my final university exam due to me needing emergency root canal surgery, and hence I looked (and felt) awful the morning of my test. It just so happened that I bagged a First in that exam, and I credit that result purely down to plenty of revision.

So, The Debrief's take on this...if a slick of lipstick or a flick of eyeliner makes you feel like you can conquer the world then go for it. Put as much on as you possibly can and go forth and show 'em how it's done. But, if you're into the natural look and you'd rather spend your final moments before an exam cramming than carefully applying foundation that's totally understandable too. You do you.

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Follow Arianna on Twitter: @ariannachatz

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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