It’s time to start prepping for your finals, and chances are you listen to music while you study. There’s plenty of evidence that the right kinds of music can help improve the quality of your studies and help you retain information. While you might already have a favorite playlist, it might not be ideal for helping you cram. Here’s what will work, and when.
Two Weeks Before Finals
This period can be challenging with finishing final projects for your classes and beginning to focus on reviewing everything you’ve learned throughout the entire semester. At this point, you can listen to any music you find motivating. Choose a great playlist that will boost your energy with versions of today’s best songs, such as this one. Dance in your seat while you work!
One Week Before
It’s time to focus. This is when you should go a different musical direction, and choose something other than your favorite. Why? Researchers from Fu Jen Catholic University in Taiwan studied how listening to your favorite songs impacts your concentration, and discovered that if you strongly like or dislike the music you hear in the background, you become more distracted by it. So choose a totally different musical style to listen to, so long as you don’t hate it. This acoustic playlist is a perfect example of music that is kind to your ears and helps focus.
Three Days Before
Now it’s time to ditch the lyrics. Dr. Clifford Nass at Stanford University states, “music with lyrics is very likely to have a problematic effect when you’re writing or reading. Probably less of an effect on math, if you’re not using the language parts of your brain.” Trying to process both words from the study content and the music means you miss some of both. Choose an instrumental playlist which offers excellent music that will keep you on track.
The Night Before The Test
It’s crunch time, and you need music that will keep you awake and alert while also inspiring you. But how do you stay motivated while also avoiding music with lyrics? Classical and instrumental music is great, but if you find it too relaxing you’ll be asleep at your desk. This sharp eight hour trance study mix is the perfect mix of motivation without the distraction of lyrics. But keep the volume low to medium; this study from the Journal of Consumer Research found that moderate noise levels are just right for creative thinking.
After Your Finals
We’d be remiss to not recommend a great playlist to celebrate the end of finals! While you can choose your own mix to dance to in celebration, this fun R&B focused playlist featuring both current and classic tunes is a great pick. So dance like no one is watching and pat yourself on the back for a semester well done!