Photo by Andrea Marie Tan.
Photo by Andrea Marie Tan.

According to science, certain musical genres can help to excel in studying during the exam season. Music is able to engage the brain in a way that strengthens attention span and memory retention – both vital aspects of the studying process. Check out the list below to discover the best musical genres that will help to optimize your GPA.

1. Ambient Music

Ambient music allows the listener to get into a groove. It is a powerful tool for focus and concentration as the human mind is drawn to rhythmic beats. For those with ADHD, music therapy has been shown to increase attention and focus by reducing hyperactivity. The distinct rhythm in ambient music acts as a structure that can soothe a hyperactive brain.

Recommendation: Intro by The xx

2. Pop Instrumentals

Instrumental versions of pop songs are an effective way to listen to a favorite tune without the study session turning into a boisterous sing-along. Hearing familiar songs can be enjoyable and helps fight off boredom. One Canadian study found that IQ test results were higher in subjects who listened to up-tempo music. Who knew Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake could be so useful?

Recommendation: Billie Jean by Vitamin String Quartet

3. Classical Music

Unsurprisingly, classical music makes the list. Here is why: the Mozart effect. In 1993, Rauscher et al. found that after listening to classical music for 10 minutes, subjects showed significantly better spatial reasoning skills and an average IQ increase of 8-9 points higher. Perhaps Beethoven was on to something…

Recommendation: Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel

4. Nature Sounds

Undoubtedly, studying for final exams is stressful. When listening to natural sounds, the brain reflects an outward-directed focus of attention which is shown to reduce anxiety and stress. Since December is ridden with time spent indoors, being able to escape to an auditory oasis while studying is highly beneficial to relaxation and well-being.

Recommendation: Forest Thunderstorm by Weather Factory

5. Movie Soundtracks

While we all wish we were watching Netflix instead of studying, there is a way to incorporate movies into your study routine. In film scores, the dramatic soundtracks can help to heighten awareness and awaken the listener. By mimicking the epic journey throughout the plot, suddenly your study quest becomes a little more enthralling.

Recommendation: Inception Soundtrack by Hans Zimmer

Hopefully, these musical genres can help you succeed in the best-sounding finals season ever.