Music to listen to while studying

This is a blog post about good music tracks to listen to when studying for actuarial exams, it can carry over to the CFA exams too so check it out.

No music for me - just earplugs. I prefer to have my study environment match that of my test taking environment. I buy into state sensitive memory recollection… where you are more likely to recall information if you are in the state of mind in which you received it. How much will that affect my CFA results… probably not much, but it doesn’t hurt me by doing it. In fact it gives a little confidence boost during exam day. Earplugs in, pencils at the side, calculators out… all per usual.

Hans Zimmer soundtracks (must have listened to Gladiator soundtrack hundreds of times), Beethoven, and Chopin for me.

+1 to all of this–except the earplugs thing. I just wore a pair of earmuffs (the kind that pistol shooters wear), and it canceled out any noise around me just fine. I know I can’t take it into exam day, but I find that easier than carrying/inserting ear plugs.

Beethoven is a good one, classical music is my favorite to study with.

No music. Avoid it at all costs.

haha, greenman… I’m actually right there with you. was too embarrassed to share. at work, if there is a lot of talking going on while I’m in the study room, I put in the earplugs AND then also put on these bad boys: can’t hear a freaking thing.

if i started off with earplugs or absolute silence, i’d fall asleep right away with reading content like the CFA study book. i usually listen with hip hop or rock to hype up the energy… then the music aint matter no more coz im in my study zone; any sound will then be white noise~


if you must, something that lingers in the background so much that blocks out noise, but music that you almost don’t hear it anymore

If you’re going to listen to music, classical is the only music to listen to (while studying). Many studies have proven that it actually enhances learning ability.

I find that if I listen to something with words or a beat, I start to concentrate on the words or beat and not on my studies.

I tried listening to hip hop while studying and never did it again. It gets you too hyped up.

Everybody is different but anything soothing with no lyrics: Mozart, Beethoven, Richard Stoltzman, any type of Sound of Nature. All very good at helping me focus.

Also, download Brainwave for iphone or ipad. Very good app.

Started from the bottom by Drake.

I think music actually hampers my progress as I tend to think about the music and not studies. It is a distraction at best and not an aid tool. I feel most productive when I’m studying in pin drop silence.

Although I do sometimes listen to music (mostly Hans Zimmer’s Dark Knight trilogy score) just to get pumped up. But once the study is on, music is off.


I’m glad you started this thread!

I think Baroque music is the best way to relax your mind and enhance concentration. Just give it a try when you’re feeling down. Following are my suggestions:

Johann Sebastian Bach: (Specially “Joy of Man’s Desiring” )

Antonio Vivaldi:

Ocean Breeze:

I also suggest these artists: Yo-Yo Ma, David Garrett, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell

If you enjoy classical music,Check out my YouTube channel !


So Good by B.O.B

credence clearwater revival