Memory management

Assessments and memory

While it may seem like studying and rehearsing information is the best way to ensure that you will remember it later, researchers have found that being tested on information is actually one of the best ways to improve recall.

A study appearing in the November 2006 issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology reports that researchers found that students who studied and were then tested had better long-term recall of the relevant information, even on information that was not directly covered by the tests. Students who had extra time to study and revise (but without additional assessments) had significantly lower recall of the relevant information.

Indeed, the best way to commit to memory is not to keep reading or attending lectures but to keep taking tests (and keep filling the gaps). Just the process of taking tests (and reviewing the test feedback) improves learning.

However, we all know the disclaimer here – the finer line would read as follows – reading, assessments, micro-diagnostic inputs for remedial, effective remedial, re-assessment at a somewhat higher plane, diagnostics, re-reading is the process to follow for best learning and performance in exams. Thoughtless and repetitive assessments are no good.

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