bar exam food

Bar Exam Food: What To Eat Before & During The Exam

As you prepare to take the bar exam, one thing you may overlook is what you eat the day before and day of the exam.  In this post, we provide some tips for bar exam food to eat those days!

Bar Exam Food: What To Eat Before & During The Exam

The Day Before the Exam

Starting to prepare yourself the day before the exam is a good idea to ensure that nothing goes awry during the exam!  You certainly don’t want to eat something that upsets your stomach and causes you to be in pain or uncomfortable during the exam the next day!  You also don’t want to “carb load” and eat something that will take a while to digest and potentially make you sleepy the day of the exam.

Instead, try to eat healthy proteins such as chicken or fish, vegetables, and whole grains.  Even though you might be nervous, it is really important that you eat the day before the exam so that you have the strength to carry you through a long day!

The Day of the Exam – Breakfast

It is CRUCIAL that you eat breakfast the day of the exam!!  Your nerves might prevent you from eating a big meal that day, but the morning session is LONG and you will be very hungry approaching the lunch break if you don’t have some food in your stomach!  In addition to the (likely) three-hour session in the morning, keep in mind that there are often lots of instructions that need to be read and that seating arrangements often have to be worked out (and, in some cases, rearranged) that morning.  You could be sitting in the test room for well over four hours during the morning session.  As you finish the final questions of the first session, you want to be able to give the questions your full attention, and not worry about your grumbling stomach!

During the Exam

Be sure to check your jurisdiction’s policies regarding what can be brought into the exam room.  Most jurisdictions likely will not allow snack.  You also generally cannot bring coffee or any type of colored beverage into the exam room.  Some jurisdictions allow bottled water, while others do not.  The limits on what you can (and cannot) have with you in the exam room are important to keep in mind and make it important to plan your food intake the other times of the test days!

 The Day of the Exam – Lunch

The day(s) of the exam, it is a good idea to plan ahead for what you will do at lunch.  While you will be given a break between the morning and afternoon session, the test center location may limit your options regarding what you are able to eat.

Try to check out the food options around the test center in advance of the exam.  If there are no restaurants or food options available, you may want to consider taking a lunch with you.  If you drive to the test center, you can leave the food in your car (weather permitting).  Even if you don’t have a car at the test center, you may be able to leave a bag outside of the test room inside the building.  Be sure to check with your jurisdiction regarding the bag policy inside the building.

The break can go by pretty quickly.  If you do plan on grabbing some food during the break, you should try to plan out in advance where you will go and what you will be ordering so that you can conquer that task as quickly as possible.  If a friend or relative accompanies you to the exam, you could ask them to grab lunch while you are in the morning session so that it is waiting for you when the break starts.

As for what to eat for lunch, the same principles that applied to dinner the night before still apply.  Try to think about foods that will keep you full, but that won’t put you in a food coma.  Also try to think about eating something bland so as not to risk an upset stomach during the afternoon session.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking plenty of water throughout the exam (and also throughout bar prep!) is also crucial to success.  Whether or not you are permitted to take water with you into the testing center (check your jurisdiction’s rules!), you want to make sure you are well hydrated.  However, keep in mind that, if you struggle with timing on the exam, you may not want to have to get up to use the restroom multiple times throughout the exam and, therefore, might want to watch your water intake.

Check out our guide for self-care during bar exam prep to make sure you’re keeping yourself (and your mind) healthy for the big day!

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