7 Best Nootropics for Test Taking & Exams in 2023

Updated on April 18, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
best nootropics for tests

What are the best nootropics for tests?

As a student, exams and tests can be an incredibly stressful experience. With so much information to digest and recall, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and anxious.

Fortunately, nootropics, often referred to as "smart drugs," can help you stay focused and improve your cognitive abilities, making it easier for you to perform well on your exams. In this blog post, we'll explore the best nootropics for studying and test-taking that can help you boost your memory, focus, and mental energy.

Whether you're preparing for a final exam or just looking to improve your academic performance overall, read on for some valuable insights into the world of cognitive enhancers!

Best Nootropics for Tests

  • Vyvamind — Great for increasing motivation and brainpower
  • Qualia Mind — Great for enhanced brain health
  • NooCube — Best dietary supplement that enhances mental speed
  • Alpha Brain — Great for overall brain function
  • Panax Ginseng — Best herbal supplement for improved working memory and attention
  • L-Theanine — Best amino acid that promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety
  • Bacopa Monnieri — Best for enhancing learning ability and information processing speed

1. Vyvamind

Vyvamind has been consistently ranked as the best overall nootropic for improving cognitive function and mental performance. It is specially designed to provide comprehensive brain support when needed most, making it an ideal supplement for tests and exams. With rigorous testing and premium ingredient sourcing, Vyvamind is a safe and effective alternative to traditional stimulants like Adderall.


  • Improves focus and cognitive performance
  • Boosts mental energy
  • Improves memory and multitasking abilities
  • Made with high-quality natural ingredients


  • Not recommended for pregnant women
  • Some users may experience minor side effects like headaches or stomach discomfort

Its recommended dose is one to two capsules per day, making it easy to integrate into your study routine. Whether you're looking to boost mental energy, improve memory retention, or enhance mental processing, Vyvamind is a nootropic you can count on for optimal results.

2. Qualia Mind

In the world of nootropics, Qualia Mind is a true standout. This supplement offers a wide-spectrum blend of essential vitamins, amino acids, minerals, choline donors, and antioxidants that work together to promote long-term memory and brain health.(1) It is designed to improve mental performance as a whole, making it an ideal choice for anyone who wants to achieve deep and meaningful experiences in life.


  • Improves long-term brain health
  • Boosts mood and motivation


  • Some users may experience minor side effects like nausea
  • May take several weeks to experience optimal results
  • Not suitable for pregnant or nursing women

What's more, Qualia Mind has been tested and reviewed by experts, making it a top pick for those looking for nootropics to enhance performance during tests. It's recommended to take Qualia Mind for five days on and two days off per week to maximize its benefits over time. Qualia Mind is a nootropic that truly delivers on its promise of improving cognitive function and mental clarity.

3. NooCube

NooCube has been consistently ranked as the overall best nootropic supplement in the US, and for good reason. It is effective in boosting memory, concentration, and overall cognitive performance. Third-party testing has proven its effectiveness, quality, and absorption. This makes it an ideal choice for long-term use, especially for those who need to perform well on tests.

NooCube is a nootropic stack that contains a combination of 13 ingredients, including Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, and Cat's Claw extract, which have been researched for their ability to improve brain function.(2) The combination of these ingredients is what makes NooCube stand out from other supplements.


  • Improves cognitive function and enhances memory
  • Contains natural and safe ingredients
  • Helps reduce stress and anxiety


  • Not recommended for those under 18 years of age
  • Some users may experience minor side effects

Overall, NooCube is a great option for you if you are a student who wants to improve your memory and cognition.

4. Alpha Brain

Alpha Brain is another promising nootropic supplement that could help improve focus and concentration during exams. It contains a blend of natural ingredients like AC-11, Bacopa Monnieri, and Huperzia Serrata, which work together to enhance focus, mental clarity, and overall memory function.


  • Enhances cognitive functions like memory and focus
  • Contains high-quality natural ingredients
  • Improves brain health and growth
  • Boosts mood and motivation


  • May cause gastrointestinal issues for some people
  • Not recommended for nursing women

Alpha Brain has gained a strong following among students and professionals alike, as the supplement is known to support memory recall and help you get "in the zone" by supporting alpha brain waves. Plus, it's safe to use and doesn't contain any harmful stimulants or additives.

So, whether you're preparing for a crucial exam or trying to stay sharp at work, Alpha Brain might be the ideal nootropic supplement to help improve your cognitive abilities.

5. Panax Ginseng

Panax Ginseng is a well-known natural nootropic compound that has been extensively studied for its cognitive benefits. As one of the best nootropic ingredients available, Panax Ginseng has been shown to boost brain function and improve memory retention. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that can protect brain cells from damage. According to some studies, Panax Ginseng has a protective effect on brain cells against damage caused by oxidative stress, inflammation, or neurodegeneration.(3)


  • Boosts energy levels
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Increases physical performance
  • Enhances immune system


  • Can cause insomnia if taken in high doses
  • May interact with medication

If you're looking for a natural and effective way to enhance your cognitive function, consider incorporating Panax Ginseng into your daily routine. With its optimum daily dosage, it can help you perform at your best on tests and in other mentally challenging situations.

6. L-Theanine

L-Theanine is a well-known nootropic ingredient that has gained recognition for its cognitive and health benefits. It has been found to improve mental clarity, memory, and cognitive performance. L-Theanine also promotes relaxation and reduces stress and anxiety, making it a great choice for those who struggle with test anxiety.

When combined with caffeine, as is often the case in nootropic blends, L-Theanine can help maintain focus and brain function without the jittery side effects of caffeine alone.(4) For these reasons, L-Theanine is a popular ingredient in many of the best nootropics for tests, including Vyvamind, Qualia Mind, and Alpha Brain.


  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Increases focus and attention
  • Enhances mood
  • Promotes relaxation and reduces insomnia


  • Effects may be subtle for some individuals
  • Doses higher than 400mg may cause dizziness and headaches
  • May interact with certain medication

Due to its potent effects, L-Theanine is popular for improving focus and memory during exams and test-taking.

7. Bacopa Monnieri

Bacopa Monnieri, also known as Brahmi, is a powerful herb, used for centuries as green tea in India to boost cognitive function and memory retention. This natural nootropic stands out for its ability to improve brain blood flow and boost neurotransmitters, particularly acetylcholine, which is essential for learning and memory.

Researchers have extensively studied Bacopa Monnieri and found that it can enhance cognitive performance in both young people and older adults.(5) This makes Bacopa Monnieri a popular choice among students looking to improve their test-taking abilities.


  • Improves memory and cognitive function
  • Reduces anxiety and depression
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Protects brain cells from damage
  • Safe for long-term use


  • May cause gastrointestinal distress in some individuals
  • Not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • May interact with some medication

When combined with other nootropics like L-Theanine and Citicoline, it can have a more acute impact on cognitive function. As such, Bacopa Monnieri is a key ingredient in many top-rated nootropic supplements.

How Do Nootropics for Tests Work?

Nootropics for tests are substances that are taken to enhance cognitive function, memory, and focus during exams. These substances work by improving the levels of neurotransmitters in the brain such as dopamine, serotonin, and acetylcholine. They also boost blood flow to the brain, which enhances energy levels, focus, and performance.

Nootropics can be synthetic or natural and may target different parts of the brain depending on the substance. For example, Panax Ginseng has been shown to improve attention and memory, whereas Bacopa Monnieri may improve brainpower and mental clarity.

Overall, nootropics allow students to approach tests with improved mental stamina and focus, resulting in better academic performance.

How We Picked the Top Nootropics for Tests

We employed a comprehensive review process to identify the best nootropics for enhancing test performance. Factors we considered included effectiveness, ingredients, scientific evidence, product safety, brand reputation, transparency, manufacturing process, user feedback, price, and overall value. This methodology allowed us to present our readers with a reliable and thorough list of the top nootropics for acing tests.


We evaluated clinical trials and user experiences to measure improvements in test performance, with an emphasis on enhanced focus, cognitive processing speed, and memory retention.


We critically examined each formula, prioritizing proven, natural, and high-quality ingredients that specifically target cognitive function during tests.

Scientific Evidence

We consulted peer-reviewed research and meta-analyses to confirm the effectiveness of key ingredients in improving test performance.


We determined the most effective dosages and ingredient ratios, ensuring they comply with established research for optimal test performance.


We confirmed the safety of each ingredient by considering potential side effects, interactions, and compliance with regulatory guidelines. FDA-approved ingredients receive precedence.

Brand Reputation

We appraised brands' credibility and trustworthiness through customer reviews, expert recommendations, and company background.

Product Transparency

We favored products with transparent ingredient information, including sources and concentrations, to enable informed consumer choices.

Manufacturing Process

We inspected manufacturing standards and prioritized products produced in certified facilities that adhere to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

User Reviews

We studied actual customer feedback, placing importance on reviews detailing test performance improvements and cognitive enhancements.


We compared product costs, ensuring they were competitive and reflective of the quality and effectiveness of the nootropic.


We evaluated overall value by considering the balance of price, quality, and effectiveness to guarantee maximum return on investment for consumers.

Nootropics for Tests FAQs

When is the best time to take nootropics for exams?

To ensure that the brain is in optimal condition for studying and taking tests without any interference from the drugs, it is recommended to take nootropics before the exams. Also, consistency is key when using nootropics.

Are nootropics safe for students to take?

Generally, nootropics are safe to take, especially when taken in recommended doses. However, some synthetic nootropics may have adverse side effects such as headaches, nausea, and insomnia. It's important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.

Can nootropics help students with ADHD?

Yes, some nootropics can help with ADHD symptoms such as inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. They work by increasing the levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and other neurotransmitters in the brain. However, it's important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements for ADHD.

Are natural nootropics for studies as effective as synthetic ones?

Some natural nootropics can be as effective as synthetic ones, especially when used in combination with other natural compounds. However, synthetic nootropics are often more potent and have more research supporting their effectiveness.

Do nootropics work for every student?

No, while nootropics may help many people, they are not guaranteed to work for everyone, and their effectiveness may vary depending on factors such as age, health, and lifestyle.

Can I just count on the effects of nootropics for good grades?

Although nootropics can enhance focus, concentration, memory, and cognitive function, you still have to work hard to ace tests.


When it comes to acing tests, students often turn to nootropics for that little extra boost of brainpower. These cognitive enhancers provide cognitive benefits such as improved focus, memory, learning, motivation, and overall brain function. The listed best nootropics for tests have been rigorously tested and reviewed, and have proven to be effective in supporting cognitive function, memory, and focus — all key areas for test-taking success.

Our top list includes Vyvamind, Qualia Mind, NooCube, Alpha Brain, Panax Ginseng, L-Theanine, and Bacopa Monnieri. Each of these supplements contains powerful ingredients that work to optimize brain function and help you perform at your best.

So whether you're a student cramming for finals or a business professional preparing for a big presentation, be sure to consider adding one of these top-rated nootropics to your routine.