Test taking advice *OR* My head is an evil jukebox

I pretty much always have a song in my head, and this is not a bad thing. However it becomes a bad thing when I’m taking a test and I’ll get some song I usually don’t like stuck in there and no doubt at high volume.

I took a midterm yesterday and for the life of me could not get “Sunday Bloody Sunday” out of my head and I had such a hard time focusing on the questions. As it turns out I did poorly on the test and I’m disappointed in myself. Last week I had a test and for the love of G-d I could not get “Kielbasa” by Tenacious D out of my head and it was driving me mad.

I have two more midterms tomorrow and I would really like to do well, but I anticipate getting some song stuck in my head that I won’t like.

Can anyone recommend some way of tuning out the music? Sometimes I’ll try to focus on some other noise like a fan or the hum of the lights but it only lasts for a few seconds before the dj in my head starts spinning again. HELP!

Aw cmon! Nothing?

Nope, not a single clue. I been through many exams cheerfully humming euro-pop tunes but it never bothered me.
By the way:

,badger,badger,badger,badger,badger,badger. Mushroom! Mushroom!


Painful as this sounds, you could try NOT listening to any music for awhile. I notice that songs stick in my head when I’ve heard them recently.

My suggestion: if you have a major test in, say, a week, don’t listen to the radio (and avoid the television) for that week. Try listening to either talk radio or, if you must, classical music (which I notice doesn’t stick as easily, perhaps because it tends to vary more than contemporary).

I took the bar exam this summer and had this exact problem. I did the only thing I could: I abstained from the radio and television as much as possible.

That’s not a bad idea, to try abstaining from listening to music. I’ve found though that even when I haven’t heard music for a while, I’ll still get a song in my head. Even if it’s a song I haven’t heard for weeks, something always pops in there.

I think it might be like the theater joke of “don’t think of pink elephants” right before someone goes on stage. I’ll start thinking of how I need to clear my head, and then some devil says “noooo you want to think of Celine Dion, mwahaha!” And that’s just not right.

Maybe I’ll listen to classical music on the bus ride tomorrow morning, hmm…

Kenny G and his “music” works for me.

Try as I might, that fluff just won’t stick to the grey matter.

I always have a song in my head, too. It doesn’t bother me though for some reason.

Tomorrow I will try to change whatever song is in my head and see if it works.

Oooh I’m so happy I’m NOT the Only One with the mental DJ. The abstaining from tv/radio sounds interesting wonder if it works for most. I find the longer I don’t listen to something I end up with the same song popping in over and over again until I do listen to it.

::wanders off spinning She put the lime in the coconut and she drank it all up…::

I dunno, get a 'script for Ritalin (only half-joking). Just don’t sell it to your scumbag friends, you shady Long Islander (now I’m mostly joking).

Seriously, though, if you’re doing poorly on tests for which you definitely know the material because you can’t focus, then Ritalin might be worth looking into. On the other hand, if these are tests that you might have bombed anyway, then the songs may just be your brain’s way of avoiding some unpleasant business.

I usually find out, if I listen to the lyrics, that there’s some obvious message I’m giving myself.

Pick a song with an ironic but helpful message ahead of time, something you’d like to program into your head to help you win. Listen to it twice the day before to get that stuck in your head. How about Blondie’s whine, “The tide is high but I’m holding on, I’m gonna be your Number One” and dedicate it mentally to the professor?

Today’s song ended up being “The Remedy” by Jason Mraz. I think I heard it on the radio this morning while I was getting dressed.

I think because it was the same song over and over (through two tests) I was able to ignore it after a while…
AND I GOT 100 ON MY SECOND TEST! Wheeeeeeeee!!!

Last year, for finals, I ONLY listened to Metallica’s S&M while studiying. It’s a good album, so it didn’t drive me nuts to hear it over and over again, and after a few times through it didn’t get to me anymore. It was as if my brain started to think that subject matter = Metallica white noise, and so it didn’t “sing” anything else and only thought about the material. And a couple times, when I got stuck on a question, I’d start thinking about Enter Sandman or something, and I’d end up being able to think harder about the question.

I definitely plan on doing the same this year, but with something else. Audioslave, perhaps? Or A Perfect Circle. Maybe the first CD, since I’m still too interested in the second one to let it become background noise!

Listen to more complex albums, like, say, Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. Amazon.com samples:

Metal Machine Music, Part 1
Metal Machine Music, Part 2
Metal Machine Music, Part 3
Metal Machine Music, Part 4

Seriously, anything but pop should do the trick. :slight_smile: