Eating for the SAT Test

Usually when my son Ben arrives home after school he strides right past my office and pretends he doesn’t hear my stock question:  How was your day?

But yesterday was different. He walked up to me and mumbled something that sounded like, “Mom, you were right.” I was stunned and curious about what could have prompted this remarkable observation.

“You were right about needing breakfast,” he continued. For years, I’ve been telling Ben, who is tooth-pick thin,  that he needs to eat breakfast to get his brain cells firing in the morning.

And yesterday I yelled down the hall as he was leaving for his SAT prep class to eat something before he left. He didn’t bother.

But here’s the problem: When Ben got to his class, he had to take a full-length SAT practice test. And midway through, his energy evaporated.

Ben promised he’d eat a good breakfast for the real SAT test on May 2, when thousands of kids will fan out across the country to take the grueling test.

I do have a back up plan if Ben, with or without a bowl of Cheerios, ends up with a bad  SAT score.  There are now about 840 test optional schools in the country. has compiled the handy list.

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and writes a college blog for

Further Reading:

ACT vs SAT: How to Compare Scores

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