The Ultimate Exam Study Playlist

The Ultimate Exam Study Playlist

To me, music is motivation. Having the right song to listen to at a given moment is essential.

When walking through the library, I see more and more students wearing headphones while studying. This led me to question what everyone is listening to. Is it the stimulating compositions of Ludwig van Beethoven? The hype rap songs of Lil Yachy? Or, maybe they’re just noise cancelling?

What I do know is that when studying, I like to listen to music that transports me to a place free of external distraction. I like to be encapsulated in a world of calmness and serenity, because let’s face it, studying can be extremely stress-inducing and anxiety-ridden! Whether you’re cracking open your textbook for the first time this semester, or going over your 35 pages of psychology notes, this playlist will help you stay motivated and allow you to remain focused through exam season!

Studies have demonstrated that listening to music while studying has an exorbitant amount of benefits. Music reduces stress, stimulates the brain, keeping you alert and focused on the task at hand. It evokes emotions that are conducive and advantageous to studying. Soothing acoustic music, specifically, has been shown to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and high anxiety levels. A Stanford Study concluded that “music moves the brain to pay attention”, as it trains the mind to organize incoming information, and helps with memory processing and retrieval.

With the right music flowing through your headphones, you will feel at ease, ready to take on chapter after chapter.

Playlist highlights:

Celestial tracks like “Intro” by M85 and “Together Alone” by Hammock, will transcend you a to an “other-worldly” place, stimulating your auditory senses and elevating your study energy. These songs, while unassuming at first, contain ambient melodies, effervescent builds, and ethereal instrumentation that will surely get you ready for some serious studying.

“Please Be Naked”, an interlude off The 1975’s second album, will put you in a state of complete concentration. The song begins with a delicate piano melody, placed on top of a soft synth sound. Layer by layer, the instruments gradually build to an atmospheric climax, which depletes and circles back to the opening piano melody. This electronic instrumental track makes you feel like you’re floating above water, with rays of sun peering from behind the clouds, amongst glistening fish swimming by in the water. Without words, this song implicitly communicates an intriguing story of searching, hoping and wishing.

Perfection manifests in two short acoustic piano interludes produced by Coldplay and The Lumineers. These songs are unequivocally satisfying and are truly “perfect” in every sense of the word. “Patience”, the final song on The Lumineers’ 2016 album Cleopatra, radiates tranquillity, happiness and peace. With a delicate softness and a consistent melody, “Postcards From Far Away” takes you to a faraway place, keeping you safe and calm even through uncertainty. As the title insinuates, this song is like receiving a postcard from far away; one that is short, one that is meaningful, one that makes you envision a place unseen, one you never want to finish reading.

The playlist also contains a variety of acoustic covers, including The Lumineers’ raspy and stripped-down cover of Bob Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather”; Marianas Trench’s warm, harmonic rendition of Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes”; The 1975’s delicate and tantalizing cover of Sade’s “By your side”; and Corey Harper’s simplistic version of Post Malone’s “Fall Apart”.

This playlist is a carefully curated collection of tracks that will get you through those late-night study sessions and motivate you during last-minute essay edits. Relax, unwind and immerse yourself in a range of soft acoustic tracks that will fuel your studying!

So, close your Facebook tab, grab your highlighter, turn up your volume, because here we go…

Good luck Golden Hawks!


2 Responses

  1. This is such a chill playlist! Also love me some M83 to start and end off with!
    Great post and really great write up!

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