All Your Musical Needs this Exam Season, Covered

It’s that time of year, yet again – exam season. Everyone has different strategies when it comes to studying. Whether you obsessively colour-code your notes, highlight whole pages in your textbook, painstakingly build a set of flashcards for every course, or just wing it, some exam-time experiences are universal. Here’s a carefully curated, stylistically varied (read: I have Apple Music and I abuse the downloading privileges that come with that) playlist to get you through this year’s exam season.

Champion – Fall Out Boy

This song, by everyone’s favourite whiny pop-punk group, is the quintessential early exam season pump-up song. Play this when you decide that this is the year you’re going to open your books and get down to business is late November; after all, you’re a champion, and if you can live through this month, you can do anything.

Get Up – Mount Holly

You started from the bottom, but now you’re here – early exam season! This song may not be CanCon, but it takes inspiration from Drizzy and it’s perfect for motivating you through those first few chapters.

Bon Bon – Era Istrefi

This song is perfect for the moment you hand in your first exam – one down, four to go! It’s time to celebrate a little. Bon Bon is a perfect soundtrack both for eating candy to and busting out some dance moves at that mid-exams Friday club night.

Best of Us – Weird with Cats

Whether you’re hungover from that mid-exam party or just from hitting the books a little too hard, this Weird with Cats number is perfect. I once heard it described as “the song that would play at the end of a weird art house movie, at sunset right before the protagonists get killed in a car crash”, and that is totally accurate. And weirdly perfect for mid-exam ennui and despair.

Eye of the Storm – Watt White

But you can’t wallow forever, so play this song to get out of your funk! It’s upbeat, and personally makes me want to beat things up (i.e. final essays). Plus it sounds like it’s straight out of an 80s kung fu remake, which should really motivate anyone to study.

I’ll Make a Man Out of You – Mulan

So, you’ve got all your exams down and done, except one – THAT final, that you’ve been dreading, the hardest class, the longest exam – it’s probably the last day of exam session too, because that’s just how university works. It’s time to bring out the big guns – Mulan and the gang. Seriously. Blast it. Find a lyrics version and sing along. You won’t regret it, and you’ll be motivated to study for DAYS, I swear.

Hymn for the Weekend (Seeb Remix) – Coldplay

HOORAY. Exams are OVER! You’ve sharpened your last pencil, filled in your last Scantron bubble, handed in your last booklet. It’s time to nurse that writing cramp and play some chill music to wind down. Or… to pull out the beers and shot glasses. Your choice, this Coldplay remix frankly works for both!


Congratulations on making it to another exam season – I’ll see you on the other side!