The June 6th 2011 LSAT is in a Fortnight: What to Eat
We’re only a couple weeks away from what will be the most important test of your life (pause for panicking). At this point you should be in the heat of studying, taking lots of practice tests and spending tons of time reviewing said tests. One of the most important things to do, though, doesn’t have anything to do with studying. It has to do with eating.
Two weeks from today, when you take the test, you have to make sure to eat right. Even in the best of times the LSAT is insanely hard, so you need to be on your feet. So not eating breakfast or lunch is really not an option. You want something that is going to stick with you, so granola and yogurt is probably a better option for breakfast that Cap’n Crunch. Coffee is obviously important, but be careful to not drink too much or you’ll have to constantly be running out for urine breaks (which will decimate your score). The important thing is that you’re fully alert and energized for when section one begins, so plan out your morning and afternoon meals in advance.
You also need to bring food and drink into the testing center with you. In between sections 3 and 4 you get about 15 minutes to wolf something down, so plan wisely. After section three you’ll be tired, confused, and questioning your very purpose in life, so you need some comfort food, and something that’ll energize you for round two. Some suggestions:
Trail Mix: This is what I ate last time I took the LSAT. It seemed to work well enough, because there’s a lot of energy in dried fruit, nuts, and M&Ms. Apparently chocolate can help speed up your thinking via our good friends flavonoids.
Granola Bars / Sandwiches: These seem to be the two biggest things that everyone goes for. Quick and easy and a lot of carbs (I think? Clearly, I’m not a nutritionist). I once had a student who brought a cream cheese and jelly sandwich, which I thought sounded worse than a bowel movement croissant, but apparently it worked.
Sushi: I actually had a student bring sushi once. Seriously. She made it herself that morning, so at least it wasn’t day-old. If you wanted to do something like this, it looks like it LSAC doesn’t really have a problem with it, although I’m sure her fellow examinees weren’t too happy about the smell of raw fish. But if you can’t live without your ribs, fondue, or escargot, and can fit it in your ziplock bag, knock yourself out.
In addition to the snack, you’re allowed a “beverage in plastic container or juice box (20 oz./591 ml maximum size).” I don’t know what’s going on with the box. Maybe a lot of people are rocking the 4 oz Mott’s. Most normal people, however, go for water. Be careful not to drink too much if your bladder capacity isn’t optimal; they won’t stop the test if you need a bathroom break. Also, if you’re taking the test at a college of some sort, there will probably be water fountains. Scout it out. If there are, you might not want to waste your drink on something as boring as water, when you can have…
Fruit Juice: This is probably one of your best bets. Hydration plus calories equals better LSAT score.
Vitamin Water: I know the claims that they make are all basically lies (sugar water doesn’t make you relaxed, balanced, focused, or more like 50 Cent), but if you buy into gimmicky marketing, then the accompanying placebo effect can be very real.
Coffee: LSAC doesn’t seem to care if your 20 oz bottle is pre-sealed or not, so if you want to bring some of your own iced coffee, that might not be a bad idea, especially if you drink 8 cups a day like I do. Just remember is has to be in a box or plastic bottle, so no Frappuccinos (which you really shouldn’t be drinking anyway if you’re over the age of 15). But again, remember the pee factor.
Vegetable Juice: This sounds disgusting, but also possibly healthy. I wouldn’t know, I don’t eat (or drink) vegetables, because they don’t taste as good as Snickers bars.
Cigarettes: I know it’s not a drink, but people ask about this one a lot. This is kind of a gray area. Tobacco products aren’t on the proscribed list of kosher LSAT items, but at most centers nobody cares and you’ll probably be able to go smoke at the break. Many people would rip out their proctor’s esophagus if they couldn’t get their nicotine fix, so if you fall into this category, be ready for the unlikely but very real possibility of having to turn in your cigarettes. Bring some nicotine gum just in case, which should fall under the category of medical products.
What about you guys? Ideas for best food/drink?