Hey, kids! If you think your teachers give you tests just to torture you, I’ve got news. A new study says that tests actually help you learn. Why? Because the act of retrieving information from your memory makes remembering easier.
According to MSNBC, researchers at Kent State University studied English speakers who learned 48 words in Swahili using a technique called “mediators”. That’s when you link easy to remember concepts or phrases to the more difficult things you’re trying to learn. For example, the Swahili word “wingu” means “clouds.” By remembering “wing” they’d think of birds flying in “clouds,” which would lead to the English translation.
One group studied the words before three separate practice tests, the second group simply studied the vocabulary and keywords over and over and were tested once. The result: The group that took three tests did three times better on the final exam than those who only took the final.
Mary Pyc is a co-author of the study and she thinks giving more tests in the classroom would help kids learn the material. And be able to recall it better at a later time.
In the meantime, if you want to get an “A” on your next exam, test yourself more often. Say by flipping to the practice tests at the back of your textbooks or creating flash cards because every test helps.