How Quizzes Can Help Learning–Two Sources


Pam Belluck in a summary of research for the New York Times

Quotations from Pam Belluck

Taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know, according to new research. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques. The research, published online Thursday in the journal Science, found that students who read a passage, then took a test asking them to recall what they had read, retained about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods.

Pam Belluck “To Really Learn, Quit Studying and Take a Test” (a summary of research)


Roddy Roediger III

Quotations from Roediger

“Our study indicates that testing can be used as a powerful means for improving learning, not just assessing it.

“Students who self-test frequently while studying on their own may be able to learn more, in much less time, than they might by simply studying the material over and over again….” [bold added]

Henry L. "Roddy" Roediger III, Ph.D., “an internationally recognized scholar of
human memory function and the James S. McDonnell Distinguished
University Professor at Washington University


Quotations from the Article Itself

Perhaps equally important, this study demonstrates that students who rely on repeated study alone often come away with a false sense of confidence about their mastery of the material.…

Many students, notes Roediger, continue to rely heavily on repeated-study techniques, often with the encouragement of their teachers….

Even better long-term retention may be possible, he suggests, if students are alerted that they will be tested often, encouraged to review at least once before each test and then given timely feedback on the accuracy of their answers. [bold added]

”Repeated test-taking better for retention than repeated studying, research shows”
By Gerry Everding, Director of News and Electronic Communications at  Washington University in St. Louis

March 1, 2006





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