Friday, January 21, 2011

Is There a Secret to Test Taking?

According to new research, testing is not just a list of questions testing what you know. Testing helps people learn, and it may be a lot better than some other learning techniques.

According to The New York Times, "The research, published online Thursday in the journal Science, found that students who read a passage, then took a test asking them to recall what they had read, retained about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods.

One of the methods is recognized by legions of students who study before exams. The other method is prized by many teachers because it forces students to connect on facts.

Researchers gathered 200 college students in two experiment to read paragraphs about science. For the first experiment, the 200 students were divided into 4 groups. One group didn't do anything but read the text for five minutes. Another group of 50 studied the passage in four five minute sessions.

One week later all the groups were given a short answer test to recall facts based on what they studied.
Why standard testing helps is still a mystery. But it is an area that is being heavily researched and considered these days.

To find out more, go to the New York Times Website.

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