If you’re someone who listens to music because you can’t study in silence, you probably have a high GPA, according to a new study.
A recent survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of online university CSU Global looked at the correlation between music and studying and found that those who listen to music were more likely to have a GPA above 3.2.
Half of the 2,000 respondents recalled listening to music regularly while studying (49%), and 60% said they studied better with sound in the background rather than in complete silence.
Some other sounds people enjoy listening to while studying include nature sounds (30%), real-life noises (26%) and podcasts (24%).
“There are a variety of platforms students can tap into to aid their studying habits, whether it’s an instrumental music playlist on Spotify, a soothing meditation on Calm or rain sounds on YouTube,” said Dr. Christina Agvent, program director of teaching and learning at CSU Global.
“There is something out there to fit every student’s preferences and study styles.”
The percentage of those who studied with music is larger for younger students, with 58% of 18 to 25-year-olds listening to music while studying versus just 41% of 58 to 76-year-olds.
Eighty percent of those who listen to music while studying agree that it’s therapeutic, and 75 percent said it helps them absorb information.
Those who listen to music also concede that it helps them enjoy their learning experience more (81%).
The survey also found that of the two-thirds of respondents who said they were focused in school, 58% of them still listened to music while studying.
Music listeners were most likely to use mnemonic devices, notecards or other creative tools to help them memorize information. They were also more likely to spend more time studying every week — upwards of seven hours.
Sixty-four percent of those who listen to music said they had an easier time taking tests, and 80% felt more prepared for class on a regular basis.
Listening to background music goes beyond the classroom.
Two in three Americans said they listen to music while they work, with 89% of respondents saying they feel more productive at work when listening to tunes and 84% saying music helps them look forward to work more.
Respondents’ favorite songs to listen to while they study included “Riverside” by Agnes Obel, “Against the World” by Bob Seger and “God’s Plan” by Drake.
Classical music (31%), R&B (28%) and country (28%) were the top genres people listen to while studying.
More than half (58%) of respondents said that schools should consider letting their students experiment with background music to help them focus.
“Listening to music while studying can be an extremely helpful tool for some students in improving their focus,” Agvent said. “I encourage all to explore different genres or other sounds to discover what may be the best fit for them in aiding their educational experience.”
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