By Clarissa Pompa |

Most people enjoy listening to music, and they especially like to put music on while studying. I remember my dad told me that when he was in school that he would play certain songs and during the test, he would try to remember what was playing while he studied certain facts. I don’t know how well that worked out for him, but a little music playing isn’t bad for you.

If you want the best results, you should try instrumental music. That could mean movie soundtracks, symphonies or concertos. To give you a good jumpstart, here’s a playlist of songs to put on in the background while you get ready to rock the next test.

The Rite of Spring (Igor Stravinsky)

It starts quiet with a little oboe and then gets mysterious with some great clarinet.

Prelude in G Minor (Sergei Rachmaninoff)

From the very beginning, this piece starts bright, pushing you to keep reading.

Symphony No. 5 (Dmitri Shostakovich)

While this one might be more intense, it’s great when you’re feeling the sense of impending doom from a looming test.

1812 Overture (Tchaikovsky)

This one is a good time. It’s driving, but in the sense that you feel sweeping motion, pushing you forward. While it is energetic, it gets you in the zone.

Dance of the Knights (Sergei Prokofiev)

This is an excerpt from Romeo and Juliet. It’s pretty calm compared to some of the other songs on here and provides a nice reprieve.

Symphony No. 10 in E Minor (Dmitri Shostakovich)

As a former woodwind myself, this song hits all the right notes.

Scheherezade, Young Prince and Young Princess (Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov)

My marching band in high school performed this piece a few years before my time. That may have influenced its inclusion, but it doesn’t take away from how intricate this one is.

Serenade for Strings in C Major (Tchaikovsky)

This is so calming but purposeful, too. When you hear it, you’ll be filled with a serene confidence.

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik (Mozart)

We know this song, if not by name, then by the sound. Or maybe that’s just the band nerd in me. This song has a delicate force and is a good choice while studying.

Ride of the Valkyries (Richard Wagner)

Yes, this is “that one song” from Bugs Bunny. That doesn’t mean it’s not a classic. The trumpets herald not only the great musical moments but the great grades coming your way.

L’Arl Sienne Farandole (Georges Bizet)

This is another one you might recognize the melody. Don’t worry, it won’t distract you from your work, it will just serve as another memory when you take the test.

Men are Still Good (Hans Zimmer, Junkie XL)

Do you want to be on your toes? Do you need a little suspense to keep you awake? This will do that for you. With some resolution.

An American in Paris (George Gershwin)

You may have heard about Gershwin of Rhapsody in Blue fame. He was a great pianist/composer of his time and this piece is also fairly popular.

No Man’s Land (Rupert Gregson-Williams)

A heartfelt and inspiring composition. The song for when you think you have 10 pages left but it’s really 25.

Hedwig’s Theme (John Williams)

John Williams. A guy. What a composer. What a soundtrack. Save this song for the end, finish your assignment and take a movie break. It’s totally valid.

Ben (Trevor Rabin)

Does this sound familiar? Does it inspire you to learn about the Founding Fathers? Is it not Hamilton? You’re right, it’s National Treasure and it is a solid choice to listen to while studying just like Ben did to get the treasure. Except our treasure is the A.