New research from Washington University in St. Louis suggests that repeated test taking might be more effective than repeated studying. Students who tested themselves while they studied had better retention of the information than students who simply studied the material without testing themselves.
The improved retention of material was probably a result of the feedback that students received from taking the tests. The students who did not take tests were never able to verify that they had correctly learned the information. Students who did not test themselves came away with a false sense of confidence about their knowledge.
This research suggests that teachers who give their students frequent quizzes may be improving their student's retention of the material better than if they had spent the time discussing the material.
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