What Does YOUR Exam Playlist Look Like?

by Sean McGilvray on November 23, 2009

A Boombox to Pump Your Law School JamsAs law students all across the country prepare to barricade themselves in their respective study holes and mainline Red Bull and Coffee to keep their eyes open while rereading their commercial outlines for the 8th time, I can’t help but wonder what all those playlists look like.

I mean this is the 21st century, right? We take class notes on our laptops (in between status updates and looking for couches on craigslist) and we keep our Ipods running on a constant basis. I know people aren’t studying in silence out there. I can see the collective earbuds of a whole generation of lawyers every time I look through the glass wall of the conference room where I’ve decided to make my last academic stand. So what are you all listening to?

I like a little background study music myself, but my attention tends to divert when I hear people singing.  Anything with lyrics is pretty much right out of the running. I suppose classical music is a natural choice, but I know absolutely nothing about the more refined aspects of culture and I can’t tell my Beethoven from my Brahms. I never really know where to begin. Besides, good study music has to be slightly soothing and the main pieces of classical music I know are a little bombastic. Still, going over my International Commercial Arbitration notes while blaring The Ride of the Valkyries does have a certain appeal.

“I love the smell of kompetenz-kompetenz in the morning. Smells like…judicial efficiency.”

Techno (or ambient or elctrojazzercisedubstep or whatever the kids are calling it these days) is another option. It is loud and repetitive just like my favorite gunner from Con Law, but once again I have to admit my ignorance of the entire genre. And the end of the semester when I’m staring down the barrel of the final exams isn’t the best time to improve my grasp of the finer points of electronic music. I have other things on my mind. Besides, it’s hard to manage a highlighter, post-its, and a glowstick.

Which means that my “Study Playlist” is full of movie scores. My favorite list for studying is the orginal motion picture soundtrack for:

  1. The Bourne Identity
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. Braveheart
  4. Casino Royale

I pretty much just hit that on repeat, crack the books and let the test cramming begin. What are the rest of you rocking out to? What gets your exam juices flowing?