Exams are known to create stress and tension due to the pressure of doing well and proceeding to the next step. Hence, coffee consumption tends to increase during the exam period. This is because coffee is known to help one focus and is also said to be an energy booster (Link, 2022). Nevertheless, coffee has its own disadvantages such as insomnia and restlessness, thus one might question whether coffee and exams are a good idea after all (Rx List, 2021). 

The Bright Side of Coffee

As mentioned above, coffee has its own benefits. In fact, it is possibly effective in reducing dizziness, delaying Parkinson’s disease and reducing the risk of certain cancers (Rx List, 2021). Nonetheless, during exam periods, it is mostly used to increase hours of studying and improve focus. Therefore, this blog explores whether the intake of coffee during the exam period is a good idea or not. 

The Effects of Excess

Caffeine has been found to stimulate the brain, however, this needs to be in the right amount as excess caffeine may cause nervousness, lightheadedness and anxiety. Additionally, having too much caffeine might have an adverse effect on what one is taking it for; interference with memory (Sendin, 2022). Thus the issue is not whether one should take caffeine during exams, but on taking the right amount. 

The ideal caffeine intake is said to be 400mg a day. Researchers have also studied the best time to have caffeine which is 200mg upon waking up followed by the other 200mg after 4 hours for improved mental acuity. Furthermore, it is advised to avoid caffeine after 3 pm for adequate sleep (Sendin, 2022). Hence, the right amount of coffee at the right time has been shown to improve concentration and thus is recommended for exams.

Seeking Alternatives

Nevertheless, coffee is not the only thing that can help concentration during exams. Green tea is also a caffeinated drink which has the same benefits while containing less caffeine. Other foods, such as those rich in Omega 3 and blueberries have been proven to improve concentration. 

In conclusion, one can remember that everything that is used excessively can be harmful. Thus, it is recommended to take 200mg of caffeine when one wakes up and to follow with another 200mg after 4 hours. This should be in combination with good nutrition and superfoods for optimal concentration (Sendin, 2022). 

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Yasmine Bonnici graduated in Nursing and also completed her Masters in Counselling. She has worked with victims of domestic violence, clients dealing with suicidal ideations, bereavement, separation and anxieties. She is currently working with Willingness Team as a counsellor seeing clients who would like to explore their own identity and deal with any surfacing issues.


Link, R. (2022). 9 Health Benefits of Coffee, Based on Science. Healthline. Retrieved 10 October 2022, from 


Rx List. (2021). Coffee: health benefits, safe effects, uses, dose & precautions. Rxlist.com. Retrieved 11 October 2022, from https://www.rxlist.com/coffee/supplements.htm. 

Sendin, T. (2022). Is caffeine before an exam a good or bad idea? Viter Energy. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from 

https://www.goviter.com/blogs/viter-energy-blog/is-caffeine-before-an-exam-a-good-or-bad-i dea