Practicing Retrieval Facilitates Learning

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


How do we go about learning new information? This article reviews the importance of practicing retrieval of newly experienced information if one wants to be able to retrieve it again in the future. Specifically, practicing retrieval shortly after learning can slow the forgetting process. This benefit can be seen across various material types, and it seems prevalent in all ages and learner abilities and on all types of test. It can also be used to enhance student learning in a classroom setting. I review theoretical understanding of this phenomenon (sometimes referred to as the testing effect or as retrieval-based learning) and consider directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)609-633
Number of pages25
JournalAnnual Review of Psychology
StatePublished - Jan 4 2021


  • learning
  • memory
  • retrieval practice
  • retrieval-based learning
  • testing effect


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