Thought I’d share this because I just spent several hours making it instead of studying… Let’s hope it pays off.
What do you listen to while studying? For me, it has to be stuff I already know and love.
Otherwise, I’ll get distracted by the words or tune (if it’s good and unfamiliar) or I’ll just not be into it and tune it out (if it’s “not good,” thus most likely unfamiliar as well).
The former is definitely a more difficult situation to cope with while trying to study because the “extra” stuff directly interferes with your study resources. The latter isn’t quite as bad, but it’s like when you have a matching question on an exam but the quantity of options to choose from exceeds the number of questions to match with; the dreaded “Some choices may be used MORE than once. Some choices may NOT be used at all” — the “extra information” isn’t useful; it can only get in the way.
Songs I have a history with but it’s “been a while” are especially great candidates because I already know that I dig them and can jam out, and there for sure won’t be any surprises thrown at me. Not to mention, I get to pleasantly re-enjoy them in the sort of way a certain smell reminds you of or gives you a sense of that one time on the playground in first grade that you didn’t even know you still remembered.
I’ve heard different qualifications from other people in the past, though. I went through a phase where I listened to party music while studying, and at the time it totally worked for me. Although, I guess the fact that it’s party music doesn’t mean it doesn’t fit my [current] qualifications noted above.
In my opinion, listening to music on my own terms has a positive effect on my studying overall. I wish they’d let us listen to approved playlists during exams. It’s not like it’s gonna be completely forbidden in the “real world”/our future jobs (at least I hope not!).