Panel of Experts

Karl Schellscheidt

SAT Prep Expert

  • BSE, Princeton University '90
  • M.A., Secondary Education Seton Hall University '93
  • J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School '00

Fred Hargadon

Dean of Admission

  • Swarthmore College
    (1964-1969)
  • Stanford University
    (1969-1984)
  • Princeton University
    (1988-2003)

Don Betterton

Financial Aid Expert

  • Director of Financial Aid, Princeton University (1973-2006)
  • Certified College Planner
  • Principal, Betterton College Planning

Seamus Malin

Admission Expert

  • Harvard University
    Dir. of Financial Aid
    (1966-1977)
    Asst. Dean of Admission
    (1977-1987)
    International Office Director
    (1987-2002)

How to Eat for the Big Test

ACT  PSAT  SAT  SSAT  Strategies
Guest Columnist

college admissions expert advice from eprep.comTest Prep – How to Eat for Standardized Test Classes and the Test Itself

Getting ready for a standardized test can be an intimidating prospect. The goal in both your studies and testing should be to take all distractions away, including those grumbling in your tummy.

These days on the internet a quick search of ‘Brain Foods’ will pull up all kinds of wacky supplements and diets that profess to have the ability of supercharging your most important organ. But the real truth to eating for a serious test or test prep class is to keep it simple.

No Distraction, Remember?

The overall goal here is to ace that test. And as any good prep class will teach you, your goal should be to eliminate distractions. While it may be advisable to modify your diet, you certainly don’t want to make any radical changes that could give you an upset stomach or give you the need to go running to the nearest bathroom.

Your best bet is simply to eat some light foods which are already a part of your diet, but try to avoid anything heavy that will slow you down and make you tired.

Establish a Pattern

If you are going to make any changes, or incorporate foods that may encourage your brain to function at its max capacity, make the changes long before the test while you are studying. If you build a pattern of eating that corresponds to a pattern of study then there will essentially be no change once the real test comes around. This is a great way to program your body to respond mentally when certain foods are only associated with studying, like mints, which have been shown to increase brain function.
Beware of the Caffeine Crash

If coffee is part of your regular study regiment then by all means feel free to incorporate it into your testing regiment as well. Just be aware of two key factors that may affect you when it comes to coffee: 1) The Caffeine Crash. 2) The necessity of a bathroom.

Crashing down from a caffeine high could be the worst thing that could happen to you in the middle of a test, so remember to take it easy when juicing up. And that liquid is going to have to come out some time, so remember the second reason not to gulp the stuff down right before the big finale.

Snacks?

Last minute munchables are a good idea, but you don’t want to be Napoleon Dynamite and snack on a secret stash of tater-tots mid-test. For one thing what if the guy/gal next to you catches you and demands his/her fair share?

But seriously, snacking during the test is overall inadvisable. During most standardized tests you will be under time constraints, and you shouldn’t waste valuable calculating time by stuffing your face. However, snacking immediately before the test may be a good idea, particularly if it is going to be a long session like most standardized tests.

Nuts, fruit, and a little water are a perfect combo for this pre-test appetite quencher. And since studies show that mint is proven to increase brain function, you may want to include one to suck on during the test just in case.

This post was contributed by Katie Wilson, who writes about the top universities online. She welcomes your feedback at KatieWilson06 at gmail.com

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google Bookmarks