Student life

The Best (and Worst!) Spotify Playlists For Your Exam Revision

Yes, revision season is here. Whilst nobody really likes doing it, some of us are much better at it than others and some of us are just really, really good at…procrastinating.

We all work in different ways – some of us prefer seclusion, some a busy background hum, and some in complete silence.

We know you’re likely to be using Spotify and whilst we love their creatively-themed playlists some of them are clearly more conducive to a working environment than others.

To save you the time (or excuse) of needing to listen to them all to work it out, we’ve done it for you and scored several Spotify playlists on a handy scale: helpful (for when you’re actually going to do some work) to unhelpful (read: procrastination) where 10 is ‘As good as a dozen Pro Plus tablets’ and 1 being ‘I’m already a lost cause’.

1: Late Night Focus

Let’s start off on a positive note. This sounds like a winner and is 2 ½ hours long (enough to get a decent chunk of work done before a break). It’s largely mellow house/electro and most songs have few to no lyrics – perfect for setting a steady background pace without interrupting your thoughts. The only thing we’d change is adding in the occasional loud song to jolt any drifters out of an [un]intentional slumber…
Score: 9

2: The Most Beautiful Songs In The World

True to its name and one of our favourites, this compilation is full of gorgeous, melodic songs (some of which, such as Erik Satie’s Premiere Gymnopedie, you’ll recognise). However, there are a few here that may send you over the sleepy edge so this one’s probably best listened to in daylight hours – and such a lovely album should really have your full attention at some point (no, not NOW!).
Score: 5

3: Power Workout

Whatever your music tastes or workout style, there should be an appropriate playlist. This one’s our top choice for revision – fairly heavy on rap and hip-hop with a little bit of Skrillex thrown in, it should keep you determined and help you channel some motivational anger.
Score: 7

4: Dance Workout

This one, on the other hand, is waaay too much fun to be useful. Great party classics, from Uptown Funk back to old-school Missy Elliott, this album will have you singing and shakin’ around your room (or study area of choice – best keep this one out of the library). Not a chance any work will get done with this on…
Score: 2

5: Acoustic Morning

Sounds promising, but really this is too mild to get you in any sort of working mood. We’d allow it for a gentle wake-up and indulgent lie-in (it could help keep you awake during one?) but really after that you should really think about getting up and actually doing some work – and if you want to hear all 3 hours of it, you’d better set an early alarm.
Score: 4

6: Nature Noise

There are plenty of concentration-themed musical playlists, but if you can’t work with any music at all try a natural soundtrack instead! With sounds ranging from ocean to jungle, via some good old English birdsong, you’ll feel at one with nature even if you’re crammed in a stuffy room somewhere.
Score: 8

7: Songs For Slackers

Oh come on, you’re just giving up now aren’t you? Actually this one’s not as bad as it sounds – the name refers more to songs’ lyrics rather than their actual sounds, and much of this is quite upbeat. Choose it to help you get back in the work mood and fight the slacker feeling!
Score: 6

8: 100 Most Uplifting Songs Ever

Uplifting, certainly – but how is it for revision? It’s a real mix, including songs as melancholy as James Blunt’s ‘You’re Beautiful’ (no, we wouldn’t call that uplifting either) and as happy as Frank Sinatra – take your pick if you’re really desperate to distract yourself.
Score: 5

And don’t even go there with playlists with names like ‘Just Cry, Sad Songs’ or ‘Sleep’.

Wishing everybody luck in their exams!

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