Do you hate reading for exams? Me too. I’m the kind of student who tries to focus on the lectures so I don’t need to read anything afterwards. I find it very difficult to open the book and start reading, but I have found some ways to make it more interesting and easier. Hope these will help you out too!
1Listen to classical music
Even if you don’t normally listen to Mozart, try doing so when studying. University research in France, published in Learning and Individual Differences, found that students who listened to a one-hour lecture where classical music was played in the background scored significantly higher in a quiz on the lecture when compared to a similar group of students who heard the lecture with no music. Remember to keep the volume at a moderate level though, since listening too loudly will distract you.
Listening to classical music causes the release of dopamine, meaning that it is a pleasurable, rewarding experience which can relax an individual. There is even some evidence that classical music improves mental performance. It also lessens anxiety and stress, so put on some Mozart and relax! Here is a Spotify-link to a good album to get you started.
2Listen to your favourite music BEFORE studying
Studies have shown that listening to music before studying or performing a task can be beneficial as it improves attention, memory, and even your ability to do mental math as well as helping lessen depression and anxiety.
You can also put on your tunes when having a break to charge your brain (remember to have a break every 40-50 minutes). Just change it to something with no vocals when you actually start studying, since vocals will make you distracted when studying.
3Listen to movie soundtracks
This is my favourite! Epic movie instrumentals will heighten your emotional state, making you more receptive to information. It has the same effects as classical music; it makes you relaxed and improves your mental performance. If you’re a fan of Game Of Thrones, you can also imagine being a Grand Maester in Westeros learning something new and exciting.
Make a playlist of your favourite soundtracks so that you don’t need to focus on changing the music. Also it’s a good idea to make the playlist about 50 minutes long so you remember to take a break every time the music stops. Make sure again to keep the volume down! Here is my favourite “epic study music” -playlist on Spotify.
4Listen to calming music before sleeping and before the exam
Listening to calming music before falling asleep will make you relaxed and put you in the right state of mind for a good night’s sleep, and you will remember the things you learned better. Check out this list of my favourite songs that will make you fall asleep.
Listen to relaxing music also before the exam. This will reduce your stress and thus improve your performance.
Just to be clear, this will distract your studying, but it’s fun to do something weird every once in a while and it will give you energy. So once you get bored, stand up, put on some drum n’ bass and start moving! Sometimes I put my computer on a shelf so I can dance a little bit to the music while reading some boring slides about international taxation.