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Get Bach to Good Test Scores

Students prefer listening to music while testing, could create a healthy environment

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It’s no surprise to see students in the hall who are wearing headphones. Sometimes, it’s even possible to hear their pop music blaring through the tiny speakers, and wonder how they have not managed to suffer from severe hearing loss or not get run over by a car when they cross a street.

In a world where listening to music in every imaginable setting is normal, it’s difficult for some students to grasp the concept of music not being allowed in testing environments. State law cites that students and teachers are not allowed to play music during state exams, and this greatly affects some students.

Teachers around campus have noticed an increase of students listening to music while they study or work. Even though they are not allowed to listen to music while they test in all classes, on state assessments, on college entrance exams, some teachers prefer to allow students to listen to music because they presume it helps them focus on their work and perform better on tests. A few teachers on campus believe allowing students to listen to their own music has both positive and negative effects on their students.

“I think that music can be useful while studying for some [students] in order to block out distractions,” Katie Beth Miller, English II teacher said. “Though, there are some individuals that get much less work done while listening to music because they are preoccupied with what they are listening to rather than what they are working on.”

Some would argue that music can be beneficial, and it can be. However, in testing settings, relying on personal music can be a faulty crutch. When students aren’t able to pull out their phones to enjoy music, it creates tension within the working environment.

“When I study or work, I do listen to non-lyrical music. It helps me focus on my work,” Kirsten Zachry, senior said. “If I don’t listen to music while I test, it doesn’t effect my ability to clearly answer the questions, but it does create a more difficult time focusing on what I’m doing. If I were able to listen to music while I tested, I would listen to the exact same music that I studied with.”

Some teachers on campus do allow students to listen to music, but they do not allow their students to listen to it from their phones.

“When I give tests, I almost always play music,” Jill Brown, U.S History teacher said. “However, lyrical music is not conductive to memory performance, therefore I do not allow personal music.”

Recent studies have shown that classical music “puts students into a heightened emotional state, making them more receptive to information.” (Read the article here.) This shows that listening to the right kind of music can be beneficial to students while they study.

Even though there is a lot of conflict with this in class, teachers should consider listening to classical music or non-lyrical music while their students study/work. By doing this, teachers could see an increase in test scores, and students would be able to better retain information. Despite music not being allowed during any tests, it might be useful if students listened to specific genres while they study.

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The student news site of Joshua High School in Joshua, Texas
Get Bach to Good Test Scores