Study Says: Drinking Doesn’t Affect Academic Performance

WOO! I've got a test in the morning!!

We all are victims of the classic college dilemma: huge party at night, big test in the morning.  The modern day “to be or not to be.”   We don’t want to risk being hungover for our test, but missing our roommate’s cousin’s girlfriend’s younger brother’s birthday is totally not in the cards.  We go back and forth weighing the pros and cons, slowly being sucked in by peer pressure.  We start to justify our irresponsible actions, “I’ll just have two drinks,” or “I’ll wake up early to study.”  The decision making process is grueling.

But wait, a new study at Boston University shows that binge drinking the night before a test actually does not affect student’s performance on that test.

Best news ever? Perhaps.

193 students participated in the study over four days.  They were given either alcoholic or non-alcoholic (O’Doul’s?) beverages and then administered a practice version of a test.  Results showed that students who were sober did not perform better than the students who were rippin’ shots the night before.

Although the study sounds like it is the answer to all of our life problems, stop to think about what it actually measured.  All the study proves is that students who drank one night did not perform worse on an exam the next day.  It is not an indicator of how alcohol affects academic performance overall.  The study also did not specify if the students studied prior to drinking. Obviously, if you choose to get wasted instead of studying, you will not do as well (unless you are ridiculously lucky).  It also is not indicative of the long term.  The study reflects one night of drinking, and one test.

As pleasing as this news is, it does not mean you should start funneling beers on your way to class (or during….). However, you may not have to miss your best friend’s beer pong tourney on behalf of the next day’s exam.

Interpret as you will, and remember: drink at your own risk!

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