Testing effect

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The testing effect (also known as retrieval practice, active recall, practice testing, or test-enhanced learning)[1][2][3] suggests long-term memory is increased when part of the learning period is devoted to retrieving information from memory.[4] It is different from more general practice effect, defined in the APA Dictionary of Psychology as "any change or improvement that results from practice or repetition of task items or activities."[5]

Flashcards are an application of the testing effect. Here, flashcard software Anki is used to review a mathematical formula through active recall. First, only the question is displayed. Then the answer is displayed too, for verification.

Cognitive psychologists are working with educators to look at how to take advantage of tests—not as an assessment tool, but as a teaching tools [6] as testing prior knowledge is more beneficial for learning when compared to reading or passively studying material, even more so when the test is more challenging for memory.[7]