Ask a question

What is the best breakfast to eat the morning of a big test?

What other things should you do the morning of a big test to best prepare?

2 Answers by Expert Tutors

Tutors, sign in to answer this question.
Sara T. | Experienced English Tutor Specializing in Writing SkillsExperienced English Tutor Specializing i...
5.0 5.0 (5 lesson ratings) (5)
Protein is good. Depending on your dietary limitations (e.g., I don't know if you're vegetarian, keep kosher, have allergies or sensitivities, etc), this could be eggs, meat, Greek yogurt, or cheese, or some combination of these elements. If you don't want a big cooked breakfast, try Greek yogurt with a scoop of protein powder, maybe with some granola mixed in. Or if you like hot cereal, you can make "power" oatmeal or multi-grain hot cereal in the crockpot overnight, adding a scoop of vanilla or unflavored protein powder, plus some honey and/or dried or frozen fruit. 
If you don't like breakfast food at all, have chicken or some other meat in a non-breakfasty form:  dinner leftovers on a sandwich, a plate of rotisserie chicken (cold or warmed up), stir-fry. 
A protein-based breakfast will fill you up so that you stay full longer, and it will give you longer-term energy than a carbohydrate breakfast. Donuts are tempting, but not a great choice, especially when you need clarity of mind. When you're nervous, you may not have much appetite, but do what you can to give yourself the best possible start. 
Other preparations:  
*Get up early, so you're not rushed and stressed. 
*If you have time, go for a short walk to clear your mind. 
*Do some stretching and relaxing exercises to prepare yourself for sitting. 
*Drink water. Being dehydrated doesn't help the mental processes. 
*Do something to give your mind a break from the test:  a crossword puzzle or Sudoku, ten minutes of reading a book you like. Something that's not numbing or stress-producing, like television or the internet, and something that's not at all related to the task ahead of you, will help your brain to hit "refresh" before the big moment. 
Good luck! 


Great suggestions, Sara T.! I've just got one to add: Eat something like an Altoid just before or during the test. The strong mint helps to focus your mind. Cinnamon gum such as Dentyne can also help. The key is a sharp, clean flavor - no fruity sweet stuff.
Thomas L. | Mathematics TutorMathematics Tutor
4.9 4.9 (26 lesson ratings) (26)
I don't think there is any "special" food that is going to help you remember material but there are types of food that will give you a few advantages. 
First, stay away from heavily greasy or oily foods that my give you an upset stomach or sit heavy in the tummy.  That will make you uncomfortable and comfort is important so you have less distractions. 
Second, stay away from any food that is questionable when it comes to how fast it moves through you system.  It's a comfort thing but also you don't want to have to use the restroom in the middle of a test which would affect your focus.
Third, this is what I go by and it hasn't steered me wrong. Carbohydrates.  Your muscles and your brain run on glycogen.  The carbohydrates produce the glycogen which replenishes and stores.  This is why athletes "carb up" before competitions(although they usually do it the night before).  
Bodybuilders do something called a "carb load", where they restrict their carbohydrates for 3 days and workout moderately to deplete their glycogen storage and then load up the carbs for 3 days, which flood the muscles with glycogen and make them look fuller.  The reason I bring this up is that, if you have ever talked to a bodybuilder during the first 3 days, when they are loosing the glycogen, they say they are having a hard time focusing their thoughts. (they still eat the proper amount of calories the first three days, just not many carbs, instead protein and some good fats.)
So I make sure to eat carbs that morning or before or later depending on when the test is. **carbs are basically not meat, dairy or fat.  **Sugar is also carbs but there are 2 types, complex and simple.  Sugar are simple carbs and not the kind that you are looking for.  You want bread, granola, cereal, pasta, brown rice... that type of stuff.
Also depending on how long the test is, I do like to have caffeine with during it.  If it is less than an hour I have a mountain dew(yes I know it has a lot of sugar, i just don't care).  If it is a long test like a mid-term or final I bring a Monster. (there have been some positive results with energy drinks and their ability to assist ADD students to focus better)
Unfortunately I usually have to use the restroom during though, so I try to find a good time to go that won't mess up my rhythm.
Finally, anything you do, do in moderation.  You can and should eat, but don't eat any meal to where you feel "stuffed", you might get sleepy.
Hope this helps.