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Research Suggests Listening to Metal While Studying Makes You Dumberer


It’s summertime and if you’re still of school age, that means you’re not even considering your studying habits for next year. No, now it’s time for chill sessions with your friends, loud concerts, and the type of bad decision making that only youth can forgive. Lucky bastards.

And while the next school year might as well feel like it’s light-years away, you may want to remember to keep metal and your need to study separate next year. That’s because new research suggests listening to our preferred genre of music when you’re supposed to be retaining information may be counterproductive.

According to a recent study by College Rover that surveyed more than 1,000 students, only 37% reported listening to metal while earning a high GPA (3.5-4.0). That was the lowest mark in their findings and was overshadowed by classical and instrumental listeners, of which 55% and 54% received high marks, respectively.

The study also found metal to be the second most distracting (23%) and the second least productive (8%) genre to listen to while studying. Only hip-hop/rap was more distracting and only reggae was less productive.

In most cases, loud music with complex rhythms, quick tempos, and distracting lyrics typically scored poorly in the study. Conversely, researchers found more instrumental genres like classical and lo-fi music were better for students’ study habits.

While looking at Spotify’s API to study their top study playlists, for example, the study suggests that the average beats per minute (BPM) hovers around 113, causing those songs to fall into a more moderate tempo that keeps listeners engaged without wanting to get up and mosh… or dance. Spotify study playlists are also -16 decibels, which helps put the listener’s focus on things other than just the music.

Now, there’s definitely something to be said about the overall popularity of metal among students these days, as compared to pop, lo-fi, and rap, so so that could skew the numbers to make metal look worse than it actually is.

Still, if your grades weren’t all that good last year, maybe you should put down the 200 Stab Wounds record. At least while ya study.

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