New Study Says Drinking Before An Exam Improves Scores

Do you have a final this week? Then break out a few beers, gentlemen. According to a new study out of University of Illinois, students who took a quiz after drinking a couple beers fared about 40% better than their sober counterparts. Now, to those of you who go out and show up to your exams still drunk, only to kick some academic ass, this probably comes at no surprise. I’ve always assumed a bit of alcohol would improve exam performance by lowering stress and inhibitions, but it’s nice to see science backing up that gut feeling.

According to the study, the optimal point for “creative problem solving” is about 0.07% BAC, or near the point at which you’re legally too drunk to drive in most states. That’s only like two beers for your average 20-something, but hey, shotgun a few right before your exam and you’ll be in the zone the whole time.

Inevitably some of you will take this too far and go to your exam hammered out of your minds and incapable of functioning, eventually passing out on the desk. That probably won’t help your score, but it would be pretty entertaining for the rest of us, so feel free.

In reality this story probably just validates our higher overall Greek GPAs. Most of us have gone to an exam on the drunk side of a hangover before, for one reason or another, and honestly, until the hangover kicks in, some of those were the exams I felt best about. Of course, the aftermath was me puking in the bathroom in the Biology building. I don’t really recommend that part. People get all judgmental at a guy who pukes in a public urinal at 10am.

Next time you’re stressing over an exam, which is probably today for some of you, grab a beer or a few shots, drink up, and go take that test. There’s a potential 40% improvement in performance if you do, and a potentially great story regardless.

[via MSN Now]


  1. Bill_Brasky

    From the original article, “We found at 0.07 blood alcohol, people were worse at working memory tasks”. Still a tradeoff I’m willing to take.

    8 years ago at 5:43 pm
  2. InnaFrat

    Well taking any sort of break right before an exam always helps. If you give yourself 30-45 min to relax and not think about the subject matter right before a test you wont over analyze the material and your brain will be 100% ready to go.

    8 years ago at 6:52 pm