Take a Test

Submitted by ashley on Sun, 03/13/2011 - 12:30am

I know I posted this article on twitter over a month ago, but it’s worth examining in closer detail. Administering regular quizzes is a huge part of my teaching style, and from now on, when my students invariably gripe about my cruelty as I tell them to close their books and take out a pen, I’ll have published research in my corner.


For those of you who didn’t read the full article, I’ll provide a quick synopsis: test taking is an incredibly effective study method. It trumps meticulous note taking, rote memorization, diagram drawing and hands-on activities, all of which, researchers confirm, can give a false sense of mastery. Taking a test unequivocally gives you a better indication of what you know, and more importantly, what you don’t. And (surprise!) tests help you retain more information over time, too.


This is obviously not a secret to teachers, who often hear affirmations of “yes, I understand that concept” right up until the moment when the student performs poorly on an evaluation. So, this blog isn’t for them; rather, it’s for the students, so you know why you must take vocab quizzes during every single session. The benefits far outweigh the ten minutes of mental agony – it’s been proven!