What should I eat to sustain me through a 4.5 hour computerized test?
March 3, 2014 8:35 AM Subscribe
I am taking the GRE on Saturday and I have issues with low blood pressure and mild hypoglycemia. What should I eat the morning of? What should I bring to the test to sustain me for the full 4.5 hours?
posted by Alison to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a small person who rarely eats much in one sitting. I usually have pretty low blood pressure and I tend to run out of steam easily. I've discussed my issues with my doctors and I manage to live a very normal, active life by eating and drinking frequently.
However, I have problems when I don't have access to food or water. A few weeks ago I took my first GRE and the test lasts 4.5 hours. I wasn't able to eat much before the test due to the early start time and general test anxiety. There are 60 second breaks between 30 minute sections, but that is not enough time to sign out, get to my locker to get food or drink, sign back in, and then and get wanded before re-entering the testing room. The ten minute break after 2.5 hours was not quite enough for me to calm down enough to choke down a protein bar and drink enough water. I had a difficult time concentrating during the last two hours and received a score that was probably fine, but well below my practice test performance.
Unfortunately, asking for a medical intervention would have not left time for me to take the test again before my graduate school deadline. ETS needs a few extra weeks of lead time to verify extra allowances. Besides, I would be just fine if I could have a few pieces of chocolate and some water with me. However, the testing guidelines are strict and I cannot take anything into the testing room with me.
I am taking the GRE again this Saturday. I will be taking the test at 12:30 in the afternoon which should help me to eat better beforehand. What should I eat before the test? When should I eat it? What should I bring as a snack for my break? The protein bars I had were not tasty enough for me to be able to eat them without gagging.
Any additional advice about handling the anxiety? I've been using my exercise bike to burn off the nerves, but it makes me a little sleepy. Should I try to exercise that morning or the night before? Is there anything else I can do to keep my mind clear?
Thanks so much for your help!