Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing

  title={Rethinking the Use of Tests: A Meta-Analysis of Practice Testing},
  author={Olusola O. Adesope and Dominic A Trevisan and Narayankripa Sundararajan},
  journal={Review of Educational Research},
  pages={659 - 701}
The testing effect is a well-known concept referring to gains in learning and retention that can occur when students take a practice test on studied material before taking a final test on the same material. Research demonstrates that students who take practice tests often outperform students in nontesting learning conditions such as restudying, practice, filler activities, or no presentation of the material. However, evidence-based meta-analysis is needed to develop a comprehensive… 

Figures from this paper

Testing (quizzing) boosts classroom learning: A systematic and meta-analytic review.
The results show that overall testing (quizzing) raises student academic achievement to a medium extent and support 3 theories to account for the classroom testing effect: additional exposure, transfer-appropriate processing, and motivation.
Metacognition About Practice Testing: a Review of Learners’ Beliefs, Monitoring, and Control of Test-Enhanced Learning
Over a century of research has established practice testing as a highly robust learning strategy that promotes long-term retention. However, learners do not always appreciate the benefits of testing
Pretesting versus posttesting: Comparing the pedagogical benefits of errorful generation and retrieval practice.
Pretesting is highly competitive with posttesting and can yield similar, if not greater, pedagogical benefits, which have important implications for the incorporation of practice tests in education and training contexts.
The Testing Effect in University Teaching: Using Multiple-Choice Testing to Promote Retention of Highly Retrievable Information
Retrieval practice promotes retention of learned information more than restudying the information. However, benefits of multiple-choice testing over restudying in real-world educational contexts and
Testing pays off twice: Potentials of practice tests and feedback regarding exam performance and judgment accuracy
Two studies investigated the testing effects on performance and on metacognitive judgment accuracy in authentic learning settings. Across two educational psychology courses, undergraduate students
PLAT 20(1) 2021: Enhancing Student Learning in Research and Educational Practice: The Power of Retrieval Practice and Feedback
Students and instructors are looking for effective study and instructional strategies that enhance student achievement across a range of content and conditions. The current Special Issue features
Frequency of Testing. Lessons from a Field Experiment in Higher Education.
The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of frequent testing on the performance of undergraduate freshmen. Methodology The impact evaluation of the intervention is designed as a field
Retrieval Practice in Classroom Settings: A Review of Applied Research
Tests have been vastly used for the assessment of learning in educational contexts. Recently, however, a growing body of research have shown that the practice of remembering previously studied
Examining the Testing Effect in University Teaching: Retrievability and Question Format Matter
Examining the testing effect in its pure form by implementing a minimal intervention design in a university lecture suggests that short-answer testing but not multiple-choice testing may benefit learning in higher education contexts.
Achieving Testing Effects in an Authentic College Classroom
This research investigates the role of instructor workload, equity, and resources in the development of testing effects in an authentic classroom and suggests several ways to achieve testing effects.


The testing effect: The role of feedback and collaboration in a tertiary classroom setting
SUMMARY Successful retrieval on a test compared to just re-studying material improves long-term retention—a phenomenon called the ‘testing effect’. This study investigated the role of feedback and
Interteaching and the Testing Effect
A growing body of research has shown that taking tests can result in enhanced learning, a phenomenon known as the testing effect. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the addition of
Testing the testing effect in the classroom
Laboratory studies show that taking a test on studied material promotes subsequent learning and retention of that material on a final test (termed the testing effect). Educational research has
A Test of the Testing Effect: Acquiring Problem-Solving Skills From Worked Examples
The testing effect might not apply to acquiring problem-solving skills from worked examples, as results showed equal performance in both conditions on an immediate retention test, but the SSSS condition outperformed the STST condition on a delayed retention test after 1 week.
The Power of Testing Memory: Basic Research and Implications for Educational Practice
This article selectively review laboratory studies that reveal the power of testing in improving retention and then turns to studies that demonstrate the basic effects in educational settings, including the related concepts of dynamic testing and formative assessment.
Effects of Frequent Classroom Testing.
ABSTRACT The educational effects of frequent classroom testing have been studied and discussed since the early part of this century. Testing advocates have suggested that more frequent classroom
Metacognitive strategies in student learning: Do students practise retrieval when they study on their own?
It is proposed that many students experience illusions of competence while studying and that these illusions have significant consequences for the strategies students select when they monitor and regulate their own learning.
Testing versus review: Effects on retention.
Taking a test on content that has just been studied is known to enhance later retention of the material studied, but is testing more profitable than the same amount of time spent in review? High
The Testing Effect: Illustrating a Fundamental Concept and Changing Study Strategies
An important recent finding is that testing improves learning and memory. In this article, the authors describe a demonstration that illustrates this principle and helps students incorporate more
Memorial consequences of testing school-aged children
To examine the memorial consequences of testing school-aged children, second graders took a multiple-choice general knowledge test and later answered a series of short answer questions, some of which corresponded to questions on the earliermultiple-choice test.