“Total Recall” – The Testing Effect
Did you ever feel that you remember the material for the test better after taking it? You were probably right!
After taking a memory test, we know what we remember, but the test itself also enhances later retention. This phenomenon is also known as “the testing effect”
In a research by Henry L. Roediger, III, and Jeffrey D. Karpicke, of the Washington University in St. Louis, this effect was examined with educational materials.
Two groups of students were requested to learn some material, and one of the groups took free recall tests.
The retention of was tested 5 min, 2 days, or 1 week after the free-recall tests. When the final test was given after 5 min, repeated studying improved recall relative to repeated testing. However, on the delayed tests, prior testing produced substantially greater retention than studying, even though repeated studying increased students’ confidence in their ability to remember the material.
The importance of taking a test is now proven as a tool to improve learning. Simultating tests can actually help in later retention of the learned subject.