A Literature Review of Music and Test Anxiety: A Psychological and Physical Perspective

Author Name(s)

Mikela Keefer

Faculty Advisor(s)

Amira Ibrahim


Taking an exam is never easy, students are bound to feel a certain amount of anxiety. Would music help students out of this anxious state? Or would it cause more of a hindrance? Test anxiety is known to interfere with exam performance. Specifically, the cognitive interference and worry that’s caused by test anxiety can lead to difficulty in understanding the exam material, and hinders exam performance. This presentation explores the current literature on how music may influence the psychological and physical effects of test anxiety. Current studies mostly assess when individuals listened to music during an exam or test, participants mentioned that they felt less anxious and that the calming background music actually helped them focus. In this presentation I will discuss how music and test anxiety each affects us physically and psychologically and how music has been shown to lower test anxiety. In conclusion, I hope this literature review motivates teachers/professors to look at exams and test taking differently, because test anxiety is real, and can be a hindrance to student’s performance.



1 thought on “A Literature Review of Music and Test Anxiety: A Psychological and Physical Perspective”

  1. Mikela – Congrats on your poster presentation! This was an interesting topic and I enjoyed hearing about the research that you’ve been doing. Good job!

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