Test or Study 2 Learn?

Research by J. Karpicke & H Roediger, 2008

Contemporary view: tests are traditionally seen as a pure and neutral assessment of knowledge (Karpicke & Roediger, 2008)

What consequences does the act of testing knowledge have on learning?

###Purpose of research Examine the effects of studying and testing on learning and long-term retention.

###Secondary goal Assess students perspective on their learning outcomes.

###Method Repeatedly study, then test items. Three drop conditions for successfully recalled items. One control condition. All learners then completed a final test one week later.


  • 1 All items studied and tested (control)
  • 2 Dropped from study but still tested
  • 3 Dropped from test but still studied
  • 4 Dropped from test and study

There were no differences between condition recall immediately after the learning phase. All learners had equal recall of the items. All learners also perceived that they would perfrom equally well during the final week delayed test.

Testing items, rather than studying them, played an integral factor in preserving long-term knowledge (Karpicke & Roediger, 2008).

Repeatedly studying items successfully recalled had no performance effect on the final week delayed test.

In the control (1) and still tested (2) conditions, learners recalled 80% (x̅) of the items.

Opposingly in the still studied (3) and completed item removal (4) conditions, learners recalled 36% (x̅) and 33% (x̅), respectively.

###Repeatedly test knowledge in order to promote long-term retrieval capability.

Written on January 10, 2016