Intelligent people like Taylor Swift – it's official

Taylor Swift Eras tour
(Image credit: Taylor Hill/TAS23/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management)

Join us for our traditional look back at the news and features that floated your boat this year. This story was originally published in June.

Best of 2023: Taylor Swift fans rejoice! You knew it all along, but your favourite songstress is good for your brain, will get you a better job and help you become a more successful human being. 

Well, OK, not all of the above is strictly true, but a study conducted by College Rover – a US website that helps match students to college courses – has revealed some interesting details about student listening habits, including overall favourite artists and genres, and those favoured by the highest achieving students. 

Students prefer Taylor Swift

(Image credit: College Rover)

The main finding is that pop, lo-fi and hip-hop music are the best genres to listen to while studying, with reggae, blues and folk being the least. And when it comes to artists, Taylor Swift is the top star listened to by students with high GPAs (GPA being Grade Point Average, the US system of grading how a student scores on courses). 

Taylor Swift

We're Taylor Swift fans now because of this (Image credit: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Just behind Swift, The Weeknd comes in second, SZA third and Harry Styles just misses the podium in fourth place. He'll be annoyed at that. Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Lil Uzi Vert are propping up the top 20 chart. They'll be annoyed at that.

The study surveyed 1,025 students aged between 18 and 23 to try and establish how music affects them during study. College Rover also looked at Spotify’s ‘study’ playlists to find the most popular genres and artists listened to by students while working. 

Other interesting takeaways are that classical and instrumental music are the most popular genres listened to by students with high GPAs, with metal and hip-hop being the least. The top reasons for people listening to music while studying are, not surprisingly, to make it more enjoyable and to reduce stress. 

Ed Sheeran

Ed: this is one chart he's not topping (Image credit: Getty Images for SiriusXM)

Finally, when it comes to favourite artists to listen to while studying, regardless of how well students score on the GPA scale, female students answered SZA, Taylor Swift and The Weeknd, while male students chose The Weeknd, 21 Savage and Kendrick Lamar. 

So there you have it, bright students like Taylor Swift and classical music. These are the only two facts you need to know this week. 

Read more details about College Rover’s findings here

Andy Jones

Andy has been writing about music production and technology for 30 years having started out on Music Technology magazine back in 1992. He has edited the magazines Future Music, Keyboard Review, MusicTech and Computer Music, which he helped launch back in 1998. He owns way too many synthesizers.

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