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Can Listening to Classical Music Help You Study?

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Can Listening to Classical Music Help You Study?

Samantha Zakrzewski, Writer/Editor

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We all dread that time of the night (or early morning if you suffer from serious procrastination) when we’re forced to pull out our twenty pound textbook and never-ending stack of flashcards to do our all time favorite activity- studying. Whether it be for a minor quiz or major exam, studying tends to be extremely stressful and exhausting. Especially when you have to cram a ton of information into your head in a short period of time, since you didn’t start studying a week ago when you found out about the upcoming test.

So after studying all night, there’s nothing worse than when your teacher hands back your test and you see that you’ve failed it.

But what if there was a way to ease that dreadful burden and make studying far more bearable?

Studies have proven that listening to classical music helps improve students’ studying habits. It helps students concentrate more on the material and learn it quicker. It also yields better retention rates. Students who listen to classical music while studying have a greater chance of remembering the information when it comes time to take their test. One reason behind this may be that classical music blocks out any possible distractions.

A 1993 study known as “The Mozart Effect” found that listening to Mozart increased people’s intelligence as their IQ scores improved drastically. In this study, college-aged students took a spatial-temporal reasoning test, a test in which students demonstrate their reasoning skills. Before they began, they were given three listening pre-tests- silence, a Mozart piano sonata and repetitive relaxation music. Students performed better on the test after listening to Mozart, proving the theory that listening to Mozart helps improve scores.

However, this theory has since been debunked as it doesn’t necessarily make you smarter. After fifteen minutes, the effect wore off. But the study did prove that listening to classical music raises dopamine levels, which increases one’s happiness and relaxation. This increase in relaxation may result in one’s ability to concentrate better and thus could lead to higher grades. Therefore, listening to Mozart as you study will improve your ability to retain more information.

Classical music won’t make you smarter by any means, but it does help you relax and focus, which in turn helps you retain more information. So the next time you study, try listening to classical music. It may just result in an improvement in your grades.

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