Exam Jams: Studying and Music

Ryerson’s final exams for the fall semester are here. This means that the study grind has started, which asks questions about the best ways to study. How long to study for, how many breaks to take, where to study and even what to study are all dilemmas that can arise in this stressful season. A debated point about study sessions is whether or not music should be involved. Some say it’s distracting, some say it’s helpful and others are stuck in the middle.

So… what’s the truth?

Study.com says that listening to music can help students feel less stressed, and background music while studying can improve mood and help study endurance by keeping you motivated. On the other hand, it also says that listening to music while studying can be distracting and less efficient for retaining information. I think that listening to music while studying depends on the person and the content being studied.

Personally, I enjoy listening to music when writing essays or working on assignments, but when it comes to doing readings, I prefer it to be quiet. When studying, I like to have instrumental music in the background so I can focus but don’t sing along and get distracted. At least for me, it really does depend on the study situation.

Classical music has been known to greatly increase concentration when studying. Listening to music can help exercise your brain, manage your stress, relax and escape. Music also makes memorizing much easier – explaining why I know the lyrics to countless songs but can’t tell you much about globalization, despite having a whole three-hour lecture dedicated to the topic. If you’re struggling to memorize material try setting it to a song – like The Periodic Table Song or The Bone Dance from Hannah Montana.

During my most recent WhyRyerson Instagram takeover, I asked followers for your exam jams, also known as study songs! With the submitted songs and some of my favourites, I made a playlist of potential exam jams to listen to during your next study session. I also added some of Spotify’s study playlists I like to listen to.

Other favourite’s of mine include:

Happy studying and good luck!

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A photo of one person singing and another playing guitar