The rumble in your tummy is not uncommon when preparing for an examination. As you overload your brain with information, you could have a tendency to overload your stomach with junk food or not eat at all. Good nutrition often slides down on the priority list during such times.
Usually, and unfortunately, it is several cups of coffee and pizza slices which give company to distance education learners studying all night. In reality, good nutrition is an essential part of your study plan because it’s going to help you score well. Food acts as a fuel to your brain, and in effect helps you study better. It’s a no-brainer.
Keep calm… and eat
Stress usually has an adverse effect on appetite, which leads to skipping meals and loss of concentration. Forget nutritional tips like ‘six small meals a day’ or ‘four eggs for breakfast’, stick to your usual diet; one that has worked well during the course of your academic year.
Keep those notes aside… and eat
Food – as all foodies out there would attest to – requires your complete, undivided attention. Well, we’ll excuse staring at a television screen, but looking at your notes while having breakfast, lunch or dinner is a complete no-no. Chew each morsel, digest your food and then get back to your notes. And if you’ve eaten too much and feel a wee bit sleepy, indulge yourself with one cup of coffee. Just one.
Keep sugar aside… and eat right
Avoid food that is high in sugar content, such as chocolates, desserts, and candies during exams. Rather than stabilizing your body during those long hours, sugar will send you on those highs and lows that you would rather avoid. Sugary food includes beverages as well, such as colas and sodas. And alcohol? Well, that one’s pretty self-explanatory.
Stay alert… with protein power
Protein-rich food such as eggs, nuts, yogurt and fish help with mental alertness.
Keep low… but get high on fruit
While your social gatherings are likely to take a beating during examination time, fruit can be your personal companion. While there has been no official research to prove that fruit boosts your mental acumen, who wouldn’t say no to a bowl of grapes? Or an apple, orange or bananas? Or better yet, have a fruit salad. It will alleviate your hunger and as an add-on bonus, make your skin glow.
Get enough sleep… and stay hydrated
Sleep and water are two key ingredients to alleviate exam stress for several distance education learners. Many students pursuing distance education get into the habit of studying late into the night, hoping to cram more information into their already exhausted brains. Instead, on the night before the exam, take it easy, eat your dinner, lay out your clothes, pack your bag, take a shower, watch television, set a couple of alarms and head to bed early.
And stay hydrated, at all times.
Stay focused… on the day of the test
Stick to the mantra of breakfast being the most important meal of the day. While it’s normal to skip breakfast and avoid eating when you are nervous, you should still make the time to have a healthy breakfast. Your brain needs the energy from food to work and function efficiently. Your mental focus needs to be on your exam and not on your hunger pangs. You should avoid being physically fatigued on the day of your exam.
As a distance education learner, you may have several personal and professional commitments, leaving you with little time to study. The above mentioned tips will however, help you stay relaxed during exams and score well.