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What to Eat on Exam Day? | GATE Exam

GATE exam is one of the biggest thresholds that every graduate student aspires to pass with flying colors. This exam opens up many previously closed gates for these students that help them build a prosperous future for themselves. However, cracking this exam is not very easy!

Around 9 lakh candidates sit for The GATE exams every year! All these candidates prepare very hard for these exams by studying day and night for months on end! However, among all the studying, they forget that preparing for GATE incorporates many other factors. One of which is the candidate’s food habits, especially on the day of the exam! It’s very much important to know what you should or what you shouldn’t eat on the exam day?

Your drinking and eating routines and habits create a lot of impact on your overall performance in your exam. There are a few food items that you should avoid intake of, while there are a few which you must make sure to consume, so as to gain as much strength and nutrition before the exam.

Here we are going to go through what all you can eat on the exam day (GATE Exam), so as to perform your best on it!

Why is your Eating Habit Important?

Eating proper food items is very important on the day of the exam. This is because the GATE exam is very stressful for many candidates. It also lasts for 3 hours, which may feel like a little too less when giving the exam, are actually 3 full critical hours of stress and tension. Also, since this exam takes place in 2 sessions, i.e., from 9:30 AM to 12:30 AM and from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM, managing your eating schedule can be a little hard.

Eating the wrong things at the wrong times can make you sluggish, tired and sleepy! Therefore, it is said that eating and drinking the right items can help energize your body and mind.

Important Tips on What to Eat on the Exam Day?

  • Don’t Skip Breakfast

It is very much expected that due to the stress and anticipation of the GATE exam, candidates forget their hunger. Most people tend to feel full or uncomfortable in their stomach and so end up skipping their breakfast entirely. Some do so due to the simple ‘lack’ of time, which is an excuse not good enough in such situations!

Your brain and your body need the energy that you can only get by eating food. This way, you will be able to focus on your exam, rather than on your persistent hunger while giving it. Therefore, even if you are not able to eat much, make sure to at least drink a full glass of milkshake or protein shake.

The best time to have breakfast for people giving their exam in the morning session is about half an hour or more before the exam. This will help sustain you throughout the exam.

For people giving their GATE exam in the afternoon session, it is best to have breakfast a little early. This way, even if hunger strikes again before the exam, you can have light snacks to satisfy it. This can help you avoid feeling hungry while giving your exam


  • Light Meal or Heavy Meal?


However important it may be to eat before an exam, it is strongly advised that candidates not eat anything heavy. Heavy meals can include oily and deep fried food. This is because such food items tend to make the body exhausted and sleepy very easily. This happens because a lot of your body’s energy goes into digesting these food items, making you sleepy and heavy headed.

Apart from consuming oily foods, another thing that should be avoided is overeating. Overeating does the exact same thing to your body that eating heavy food does. Eating only as much as required to fill your stomach and satisfy your hunger is always advised. This lets your body nourished for a long time while sparing extra energy for focusing on your exam.


  • Take Help of Supplements


The pre-exam period, especially for an important exam like GATE, consumes a lot of energy and time. Continuous hours of study and concentration can take a toll on your body. Also, most students preparing for GATE often end up sustaining on caffeine, junk food, and energy drinks, which greatly affects their health! Therefore, to make up for all the loss of vital vitamins, minerals, and proteins, taking supplements is not a bad option.

Taking a multi-vitamin capsule can boost your metabolism and provide the necessary strength to your body and mind. The presence of iron, zinc, calcium and other minerals and vitamins in the capsules can greatly help in handling stress.


  • Food Items for Boosting your Brain


There are a few vegetables and fruits that help in improving brain power. This power helps in focusing on the exam by boosting its concentrating ability. This is proving to be very important when giving your GATEs because many candidates fail to focus on giving the exam and then end up losing a lot of essential time. A few brain boosting items include:

  • Protein-rich foods always improve mental strength. Such food items include eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, nuts, milk, and whole grains.
  • Offbeat items like Walnuts, sunflower seeds, fish, figs, dry fruits, and prunes also help in boosting brain power.
  • Fruits like oranges, strawberries, bananas, and blueberries can help improve your memory.
  • There are also a few vegetables that you can eat on the exam or before GATE exam day which include raw carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, bell peppers, and asparagus.


  • Food Items you should not eat on the exam day or days before 


Just like there are a few items that help boost your brain, there are a few that do just the opposite! These food items might not necessarily be bad for every occasion, however, consuming them before your important GATE exam can have adverse effects. These food items restrict your brain’s capacity and either make it lethargic or very hyperactive.

A few examples of such foods are:

  • Heavy intake of sugar should be avoided at all costs. If you start your day with a sweet cup of tea, eat sweet food items like cookies, muffins, etc., and then go on to having dessert before giving your exam, then you might get yourself into trouble. This is because heavy intake of sugar leads you to have a ‘sugar high’ due to the rise in blood sugar levels.
  • Avoid intake of carbohydrate-rich foods. Carbohydrates help in relaxing your body rather than making it alert. Such foods include rice, potatoes, crabs, etc.


  • Beverages That can Help


Water is the best beverage that helps in replenishing the body. Therefore make sure that you drink a lot of water to keep you hydrated. Other beverages that can help you avoid lethargy and headache is tea. Tea can aid in making you more alert and focused on your exam. It fights away sleep and also freshens up your body as well as your brain.


  • Beverages to Avoid


First and foremost, avoid drinking any type of alcohol before your GATE exam. Alcohol makes your brain work in a fuzzy manner, making you unaware of your actions. It can also cause tremendous headaches that must be avoided at all costs.

Avoiding sweet/sugary drinks and fizzy drinks will also work in your benefit. Also, caffeinated drinks, mainly coffee, should also be avoided. This is because caffeine can make you jittery, nervous and give you headaches.


  • Snacking Items that you can Eat on the Exam Day


You must always carry snacks with you when you’re going to give exams. If you start feeling hungry before entering the examination hall, you can easily have a bite or two so as to not suffer for the next 3 hours!

Before entering into the examination hall for your GATE exam, you will probably be waiting outside the center for a long time. Therefore, it is advised that you take something to snack on so as to regain your energy. These snacking items must, however, be light and healthy.

This is an especially useful tip for GATE candidates who have their exam in the afternoon shift. As discussed in the first point, having an early breakfast followed by light snacks can prove to be very beneficial. Protein bars, walnuts, almonds, fruits, energy bars, and granola bars are a few examples of snacks that are appropriate to have before your exam.


  • Stay Away From New Foods


In your attempt to ace your GATE exams, do not end up eating any food item that you are not familiar with. Even if it is highly recommended by your family and friends, it is best to stay away from trying anything new just before your exams. This is because you never know how your body will react to certain types of food item!

If you end up eating something that does not agree with your body, then you will be suffering throughout the duration of your exam. This will become an unnecessary distraction that you do not want to face. Therefore, before consuming any new food item just think about whether it’s ok to eat on the exam day.


  • Pro Tip: Sleep Better

The night before your GATE exam, it is important to get good sleep. If you have slept comfortable and deeply, then you will not feel tired and fatigued while giving your exam. Therefore, the night before your exam must not go into revising and last minute cramming. Rather, you must put aside all your worries; have a hearty dinner and a glass of warm milk before falling into deep sleep.

So these were few tips on what to eat on the exam day or days before GATE Exam.


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