Exam day prep: Food Advice For the Big Day

You have to work with constraints of time and availability of eateries. The Javits center area and the Piers area are set out far from other locations and there isn't too much to purchase in the area.

However, there are some decent locations to eat. The Javits center has little newsstands where candy bars, peanuts, and other snack foods and drinks are sold. There are hotdog stands outside and a cafeteria downstairs (expect very long lines). The safest thing to do is bring your own lunch.

I have two old favorites: peanut butter and jelly on wheat, or canned salmon on wheat pita. Both are very energizing and protein rich foods.

I personally like to eat something after the "main" food, so I usually bring a "snack" dessert. I am partial to popcorn or crackers and a few pieces of non-messy fruit such as: a banana, apple slices, strawberries, cherries.

It's important not to overeat, and not to eat certain foods such as: turkey, heavy dairy, or anything with loads of caffiene. Keep it light but filling.

I also bring other snacks to nibble on during the course of the test - such as dried pineapple chunks, or peanuts. I also find that Peanut M&M's give a great energy boost toward the end of the day, and they are delicious.

You should bring a bottle of water. BOLE limits the size of the water bottle you can bring to 20oz. But unless you are a fish, you won't be needing more than that. I also pack a tiny juice box to drink with my lunch (the water is for during the test and you don't want to slurp it all down during lunchtime).

Be careful of how much liquid you actually consume. I never drink the entire water bottle. I don't want to be getting up a thousand times during the exam to go to the bathroom. I try to find a spot where I won't be bothered and eat my lunch as leisurely as possible. I also keep my earplugs in so that I won't have to listen to anyone else bullshit about the exam.

What I'd really like is to be able to bring my MP3 player so that I can listen to music during the lunch break, but since those things are prohibited in the test room and you pretty much just have your person I haven't been taking that chance. Best thing to do is to veg, enjoy your small meal, and try to ignore everyone else's mind games.

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