We’ve all been there: You’re in the library during finals, it’s packed, and some people forget to keep their conversations to a minimum. You pop in your earphones and start a Spotify playlist while you try to memorize dates related to film noir. Not exactly thrilling, but at least you have your bud Taylor Swift to keep you company. Unfortunately, T. Swift might not help you ace that exam.
Although a study in the early 1990s concluded that listening to music may be responsible for better test scores, the “Mozart Effect” hasn’t been found to be reliable. In fact, outside noises, including music, can cause distraction during studying, especially if that music is fast-paced and loud or tunes you don’t like.
That’s not to say that music can’t help improve your test scores if you use it correctly. In the best case scenario, listen to some feel good songs before studying to boost your mood and alertness, keep things quiet during your study session, then play some soothing music when you’re done – you’ll remember more if you relax after.
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