With only a week to go until finals, I’ve started creating my Study Playlist for 2014.

Until freshman year I was fundamentally opposed to listening to music while studying. I could barely handle math problems in a room with people talking above a whisper—how could I possibly learn anything with Macklemore rapping in the background?

But then I started the three-day study marathon before my first set of finals and realized that if I didn’t have some entertainment involved in the ordeal, I would go crazy.

When I finally succumbed to turning on the radio, I was surprised by how quickly the time flew.

And I actually ended up remembering things better. Something about the music made dates and facts easier to ingrain in my tired brain.

Nonetheless, music that is too obnoxious or loud can be detrimental.

Here are my suggestions:

1) Listen to the music over a speaker instead of through earbuds, and make sure it’s quiet enough that you can still hear yourself think.

2) Don’t choose rap. Since the lyrics are usually the most important part of piece, there is no melody to take the edge off of feeling obligated to understand the words being spoken. If you are determined to have rap, though, I would suggest Watsky. His rap isn’t as harsh as most and is easier to put into the background.

3) Play familiar music. If you are spending time trying to figure out the lyrics instead of the quantum mechanical model of the atom, then you aren’t studying.

My favorite study artists are Lana Del Rey, Mumford & Sons, Of Monsters and Men and The Hush Sound, not to mention anything classical.

Any study-song suggestions? Leave them in the comments below!

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