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This study investigated the effect of background music, played prior to an exam, on the mathematics test anxiety and academic achievement of college algebra students. Two research questions were posed. The first question inquired if the use of background music played while students study 10 minutes prior to an exam, as opposed to the students studying in silence 10 minutes prior to an exam, reduced the level of mathematics test anxiety. The second question inquired if there would be a significant difference in the achievement scores of the students exposed to background music while studying to background music. The participants were 160 college algebra students at West Virginia University. All participants completed a revised version of the MARS and the first college algebra exam for the semester in the course. Data analyses indicated that studying to background music reduced the math anxiety of the participants. Achievement scores were not affected by the background music for either high anxiety students or low anxiety students.