People Who Play Music While Studying More Likely to Have Higher GPA, Says New Poll

By Dollar Gill

If picking a playlist was your first step when studying, you’re more likely to have earned a higher GPA, according to a new poll.

Of those that do listen to music while studying, 80% agree that it is therapeutic and 75% said it helped them absorb information.

The survey of 2,000 Americans looked at the tie between music and study habits and found those who played music were likelier to have a GPA above 3.2 (84% vs. 78%).

Results showed that half of respondents recall regularly listening to music while studying (49%), and 60% said they were able to study better with sound on in the background.

Of course, younger students are more likely to multi-task while jamming. Fifty-eight percent of 18-25-year-olds noted they listened to music while studying, compared to only 41% of 58-76-year-old respondents.

And this trend continues beyond the classroom and into the workplace. Currently, two in three Americans listen to music while working. Most of those respondents feel more productive at work when listening to music (89%), and said that it makes them look forward to working more (84%).

Similarly, 81% of those who listen to music while studying said it helps make their learning experience more enjoyable.

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Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of CSU Global, the survey found that classical music (31%), R&B (28%) and country (28%) are among the top genres people would recommend for a productive study session. But Rock and Oldies are not far behind, at 26%

Some students only listen to music, but others cited nature sounds (30%) and podcasts (24%) as favorite background sounds while studying.

Those who listened to music while studying were also more likely to use mnemonic devices, such as notecards or other tools to help them memorize information (52% vs. 36%).

This may be why music listeners felt they had an easier time taking tests (64% vs. 45%) and felt more prepared for class regularly (80% vs. 66%).

While the average person spent five and a half hours studying every week, those who enjoyed music were more likely to spend upwards of seven hours a week.

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“Listening to music while studying can be an extremely helpful tool for some students in improving their focus,” said Dr. Christina Agvent, program director of teaching and learning at CSU Global. “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.”


Classical – 31%
R&B – 28%
Country – 28%
Rock – 26%
Old favorites – 26%
Gospel – 25%
Jazz – 23%
Hip hop – 22%
Pop/Top 100 – 21%
Instrumental soundtracks – 21%

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