Circling back to “the best test day snacks,” the College Board advises students to arrive to the test by 7:45 a.m. I usually arrived a half hour early (nerves). That meant, breakfast was consumed by approximately 6:45 a.m. (i.e. not a time of day I’m up for a hearty meal).

Each of the 7 SATs I took let out somewhere between 1 and 1:15 p.m., which meant that I wasn’t eating lunch until 7+ hours after I’d eaten breakfast.

Students are given three, five-­minute breaks during the SAT at which time snacking and bathroom breaks are allowed. I attempted to sample everything I could think of that would enhance performance, from Red Bull to peanut butter, to everything in between.

Below is the list of top foods that I found to be most effective in warding off hunger and boosting energy, though it’s possible that simply believing they are effective is the secret sauce.

 The Three Little Breaks:

  1. Dark chocolate. Try for 70% or higher cocoa content-­for example, one Willie Wonka-­sized bar.
  2. Water. I’m certain water makes me think more clearly.
  3. Sliced red apple. A story on calorie restriction in The New York Times reported that apples are superb at warding off hunger in people eating 25% fewer calories than they normally consume. Even people who, at the study’s beginning, disliked apples ate them because they were effective. My “research” concurred: apples fill the belly.
  4. Listerine strips. An energizing pick-­me-­up, like taking a shower. You get to start over, feeling refreshed.


The SAT Yellow Brick Road

You can sign up for a  series of tailored emails that will lead you step-by-step through the entire SAT process:

1) Parent Series

2) Student Series

Each series also includes links to SAT resources and articles that I highly recommend.