Bringing Food to the Exam, A Good Thing?

December 30, 2009  |  Exam Taking

Some people do it, others do not. I’ve always wondered if bringing some snacks to the exam is more helpful than it is hurtful. Although I’m not entirely convinced to either side (yet) here’s my simple analysis of the problem (feel free give your own opinion in the comments).

As far as I’m concerned, bringing fruit & snacks to the exam has both positive as well as negative consequences. The obvious pros are.


  • Gives you energy. If you’re energized you can think more clearly, that’s why eating small amounts of sugar results in a energy rush.
  • The act of chewing itself can be beneficial. When we chew we are quite literally forcing our brain to be awake since the act itself requires the jaws to move.
  • Eating is good. We all know that. The reason that I feel so ambivalent on this issue has to do with the following.


  • Sometimes sugar gives the opposite effect. Ever eaten too many chocolate bars? Then you know how it feels to be overly stimulated by carbohydrates, you may even start dozing off in the middle of the exam!
  • There’s also the risk of getting preoccupied with the food instead of focusing on the exam.

    In the end, I believe this is a decision that should be taken with great care. If you know that you eat way too much while taking the exam, perhaps you should consider discarding the food and bringing only water instead (bringing liquids is always a plus). I

    About the author

    ABDERISAK ADAM is an author, blog writer and a PhD candidate in the institution of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He is also the owner and webmaster of, a website dedicated to the discussion of study techniques in the context of higher education. Adam is the author of a number of publications including 'The Study Guide PRO'. You can connect with him through Google+, Linkedin or by submitting a form.


    1. Nobody should bring…chocolate bars…to an exam. Whoever does, definitely has never brought food to an exam before because they probably would’ve regretted it if they ate the energy blasting and then draining junk food during the assessment..
      Well balanced food that will fill you up quick and won’t raise your blood sugar, leaving it only to plummet…is recommended. I don’t even know what the point of bringing junk food to an exam would be…maybe this girl is slightly overweight and that’s the only food that comes to her mind…I pity her…
      Snacks like nuts, protein or fibre bars of the sort, dried hearty-healthy cereal, rice cakes, fruit-like a banana or an apple does wonders to satisfy the nutrient craving during an exam…as well does snacking vegetables like mini carrots, broccoli, celery and dip are healthy snacks for an exam when package to-go.

    2. Maybe it’s a guy and not a girl…who knows..but they must really have an informed point of view when it comes to HEALTHY exam taking tips…(sarcasm)
      If you can’t figure it out what is HEALTHY food to take to an exam and what is DISGUSTINGLY famishing and a GROSSLY bad choice…then I guess you should be against taking snacks to an exam…if the snacks YOU take are going to do worse than good….duh…

    3. @Shan, People tend to take “chocolate bars” and junk food to a test because its a comfort food. They aren’t thinking about what’s healthy. They’re nervous and therefore craving something that will soothe their nerves.

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