Have you ever wondered if listening to music while you prepare for a big test is helpful or hurtful? Whether you are a high school or college student, an adult looking to pass an exam for work, or someone who simply wants to retain information better, listening to music while you study is beneficial.
Here are some of the scientifically proven benefits of listening to music while studying:
Helps with Test Anxiety
Sometimes, anxiety about tests is worse than the tests themselves. Students who deal with high levels of test anxiety can easily sabotage their performance with their nerves. The good news is that listening to music has been shown to be effective in reducing anxiety. One study even showed that listening to music can have relaxation effects equivalent to getting a therapeutic massage.
Stress can negatively impact performance in any arena. When students’ stress levels are high, they are less likely to earn high grades. Music, however, is an effective combatant for stress. According to research at the University of Maryland Medical Center, listening to music can reduce stress by decreasing blood pressure and heart rates.
Listening to music can also improve your memory. Our brains look for patterns in music, which is why we are often stuck with catchy songs in our heads for weeks. This is referred to as an earworm. If you’re having trouble remembering something important, set it to music. For example, if you can’t remember names and dates for an upcoming exam, write a quick song and set it to one of your favorite tunes.
Studies have found that when we listen to music that we enjoy, we will focus better. So, you needn’t feel obligated to play Mozart in the background of your studies— although that’s a great option. The most important factor to consider in choosing the right music is whether you or not you enjoy it. Once you find the right genre, you should see your focus improve.
Improves Performance in High-Pressure Situations
Listening to music is especially beneficial if you find yourself cramming in some studying immediately before your test. In fact, listening to some tunes before your test can enhance your performance, even if you aren’t frantically cramming in more information. One study found that athletes who performed poorly in high-pressure situations improved their performance when listening to upbeat music before heading out on the court.
This benefit is less scientific in nature, although we all know that it’s true. Every task is more fun when we listen to music that we like. Studying may not be your favorite task, but there’s no reason you shouldn’t add a little enjoyment to it. If you increase the fun in your studies, you are more likely to study longer and more often. So, consider permission officially granted.