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Music to aid exam study and ease stress

You might think that to study, you need peace and quiet to think clearly. However, many studies have shown that, far from being conducive to studying, silence makes the mind wander and try to fill the void. Listening to music is the way forward

Classical Music

Classical music is calming and so reduces stress, leaving you relaxed and so is one of the best options for studying. The Mozart effect can be seen in pupils who have listened to his music whilst studying, this effect seems to make you smarter!


If you listen to music that has no lyrics, it can help clear your mind, ready to absorb the facts you need for your exam. Film themes and music used in adverts often have instrumental, so as not to distract from the storyline.

Sounds of Nature

sounds of nature

There is lots of evidence to show that the effect of listening to the sounds of nature, such as birdsong, waves, rain and even thunderstorms can lift your mood and help prepare you to concentrate. If you do not have such sounds on CD, then simply opening your window will give you some natural sounds. Hopefully the neighbourhood wildlife will start a chorus. Sheffield is a wonderful city for its indigenous wildlife.


You are meant to be studying and not having a rave, so keeping the volume down a little, is not just for your sake, but also for your fellow flatmates. Why not invest in some comfy headphones?



Why not put a playlist together to help you? You will not need to scroll through loads of music after every track. If you make your playlist 30-40 minutes long, this will also act as a reminder to take a break from studying. You will know when you have made the right choices in your playlist, when the music just washes over you and your studying takes centre stage.

Why it works

It seems like our brains are not wired for complete silence or concentrating on one task alone. We seem to need to keep the conscious mind on the studying and the unconscious mind distracted by music or sounds. Up beat music, makes the feet want to move and starts to make us jiggle in our chairs. Slow, or monotonous beats, such as a metronome produces is like a dripping tap, annoying. So, hitting that sweet spot somewhere in the middle will allow our brains to get in the zone of concentration.

We have a number of blogs to help you to study, revise and get through student life, here are some of them:

Survival of the fittest

Revision Tips

Study Tips for Uni