Finding the Perfect Revision Playlist
It’s that time of year again and what with the release (sort of) of the provisional exam timetable everyone is starting to sweat a little. For me personally, revision is the hardest part of the year. My brain works well with set tasks that have a clear criteria and a due date, but with revision there is never really any way to tell if you’re finished. To be honest I often struggle to tell if I’ve started! It can be really difficult to sit down, turn off the world around you and focus solely on all the information you’ve *supposedly* been absorbing all year.
That’s where a decent revision playlist comes in. By shutting out the temptations of the world around you with some music that inspires concentration, you’ve already made the first (and probably the hardest) step in terms of a solid revision strategy.
So, here’s five ideas on how to find the perfect soundtrack to your revision this Easter:
1) 1) Make your own playlist
If you have the advantage of Spotify premium or any other ad-free way of making your own playlists, this is probably the sort of thing you usually use to revise with. I would recommend not choosing music that will get you singing along or boogying at your desk since this pretty much defeats the point of not getting distracted. Instead, go for songs you’ve listened to so much that they kind of disappear into the background without you realising. If there’s ever been a time to resurrect that old Coldplay album you were obsessed with when you were 13, it’s now!
2) 2) Use CDs
CDs have the advantage of not having adverts, and also of being a set length. If you’ve got a CD player and an old album that lasts about 45 minutes it’s the perfect way of setting regular breaks into your work. Work alongside that, take a break for 15-20 minutes when it’s finished, and go again. Tracks on CDs are also put in an order to specifically flow after one another, which can remove the jolty distraction of a mixed playlist.
3) 3) Classical music
A lot of people don’t enjoy classical music. I have a real love for it, and it’s got the added plus of not having any lyrics to sing along to. I can recommend Chopin’s Nocturnes for a relatively relaxed revision session. If you’re not into the classics, then Jazz café music is also great.
4) 4) Film/videogame soundtracks
I read somewhere that film and videogame soundtracks are the perfect revision tool as they are designed to make you concentrate on whatever it is you’re doing. I quite enjoy the Pirates of the Caribbean or Harry Potter soundtracks for some motivation, or even the one from Sucker Punch. As for games, Fallout: New Vegas has some good tunes too. A lot of these soundtracks can be found in single videos on YouTube, and are usually between half an hour and an hour, which is again great for factoring in breaks.
5) 5) Background noise
If you’re the kind of person that can’t work to music, but finds dead silence off-putting then there is the option of simple background noise. You can find videos for this on YouTube, but my personal favourite is http://rainycafe.com/ where you can choose rain and/or café sounds and edit the volume level of each to whatever suits you.
I hope this has helped if you’re needing tips on making your own personal revision playlist. As always if you’ve got your own advice or favourite revision music, please put it below! Good luck with the work, and remember it’s OK (and necessary) to take breaks!