TDP Playlist: Mid-Year Exam Preparation

TDP MYE 4Experts do not agree on the potential benefits or detriments of listening to music while preparing for a big test. Some studies suggest that listening to music is nothing but a distraction; while you think you are reviewing your Latin notes, you are really focusing on Lorde lyrics.  Others assert that listening to music triggers the release of dopamine, which makes whatever task you are undertaking while listening more pleasurable, thus increasing productivity. Some indicate that listening to music with a driving beat is best, and others recommend peaceful, calming music. Most, however, believe that the best studying environment varies from individual to individual.  And all experts indicate that listening to music at all times while studying is not smart. There is ALWAYS a need for QUIET while preparing for certain subjects and certain tasks.

TDP MYE 2 If, on occasion, you need something to drown out the sometimes distracting silence during a few of your study sessions, your best bet is to listen to instrumental pieces that won’t prompt you to sing along with any lyrics. These songs can provide an effective, rhythmic backdrop to your review, and – in some cases – might even hep you focus. If  listening to any music at all while studying doesn’t work for you, but you like to crank up the tunes during study breaks, sticking with instrumental sounds might be the way to go. Sometimes switching from silent study to your favorite jam can be too drastic and distract you even further. Instead, consider trying out some of these all instrumental exam prep playlists.

  • “The Mozart Effect” – Although the theory that playing Mozart for babies and children can increase their intellectual capabilities has, for the most part, been debunked, sometimes a little Mozart is inspiring. If you’re still on board with the “Mozart Effect” concept, or if you just feel smarter while listening to classical music, this playlist has you covered.
  •  “Independent Study” – Looking for a more mellow vibe? Or perhaps you’re just a fan of indie darlings like Yo La Tengo and Broken Social Scene? Either way, this mix of indie and electronic music will certainly trigger enough dopamine release to make studying a pure joy.
  •  “Rap Genius” – Need a more high energy playlist to help you get through your chemistry notes? Want a driving beat to drill those 180 vocab words into your brain? Try the Hip Hop Genius playlist.  It’s full of instrumental versions of rap, hip hop, and electronic/hip hop cross-overs. Designed to energize, this mix should help you make it through those long study sessions.  Honestly, it’s probably better for study breaks, or the drive in to school.
  • “Jazz, Man” – If you want a more swanky soundtrack to your study sessions, perhaps this playlist full of jazz classics will do the trick. From Coltrane to Gillespie, these songs will add a little ambiance to your review.

TDP3If you need some more low-key study music, try listening to a few movie scores . The soundtracks to Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and similar films work well. Really, most hero’s journey films have scores with a nice combination of both tranquil and inspiring music, which can be helpful when looking for some sounds to help you focus on your work. These soundtracks  are easily accessible with a quick search on Spotify and other music sharing sites.

If you aren’t the type of student who can listen to music while preparing for exams, you should definitely take off those headphones and put away all other technology. In fact that is one of the tips listed in the BHS mentors’ advice for mid-year exams. The BHS Help Desk students highlight this great advice in the video below.

It’s time to crack the books, Devils!

We wish you the best of luck on your exams.

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