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  1. Lesson One - Pre-reading

    The Power of Prereading - Part One
  2. The Power of Prereading - Part Two
  3. The Power of Prereading - Part Three
  4. The Power of Prereading - Part Four
  5. The Power of Prereading - Part Five
  6. Lesson Two - Single Tasking
    Single Tasking - Part One
  7. Single Tasking - Part Two
  8. Single Tasking - Part Three
  9. Single Tasking - Part Four
  10. Single Tasking - Part Five
  11. Lesson Three - Recognition and Recall
    Recognition and Recall - Part One
  12. Recognition and Recall - Part Two
  13. Recognition and Recall - Part Three
  14. Recognition and Recall - Part Four
  15. Recognition and Recall - Part Five
  16. Lesson Four - Question Logging
    Question Logging - Part One
  17. Question Logging - Part Two
  18. Question Logging - Part Three
  19. Question Logging - Part Five
  20. Question Logging - Part Four
  21. Lesson Five - The Testing Effect
    The Testing Effect - Part One
  22. The Testing Effect - Part Two
  23. The Testing Effect - Part Three
  24. The Testing Effect - Part Four
  25. The Testing Effect - Part Five
  26. Lesson Six - Taking Notes
    Taking Notes - Part One
  27. Taking Notes - Part Two
  28. Taking Notes - Part Three
  29. Lesson Seven - Foundational Learning
    Foundational Learning - Part One
  30. Foundational Learning - Part Two
  31. Foundational Learning - Part Three
  32. Foundational Learning - Part Four
  33. Foundational Learning - Part Five
  34. Lesson eight - Deep Learning
    Deep Learning - Part One
  35. Deep Learning - Part Two
  36. Deep Learning - Part Three
  37. Deep Learning - Part Four
  38. Deep Learning - Part Five
  39. Lesson nine - High Yield Learning
    High Yield Learning - Part One
  40. High Yield Learning - Part Two
  41. High Yield Learning - Part Three
  42. High Yield Learning - Part Four
  43. High Yield Learning - Part Five
  44. Lesson ten - The Testing Effect
    The Testing Effect - Part One
  45. The Testing Effect - Part Two
  46. The Testing Effect - Part Three
  47. The Testing Effect - Part Four
  48. The Testing Effect - Part Five
  49. Lesson eleven - active and passive learning
    Active and Passive Learning - Part One
  50. Active and Passive Learning - Part Two
  51. Active and Passive Learning - Part Three
  52. Active and Passive Learning - Part Four
  53. Active and Passive Learning - Part Five
  54. Lesson twelve - Study Blocking
    Study Blocking - Part One
  55. Study Blocking - Part Two
  56. Study Blocking - Part Three
  57. Study Blocking - Part Four
  58. Study Blocking - Part Five
  59. Lesson thirteen - Linking
    Linking - Part One
  60. Linking - Part Two
  61. Linking - Part Three
  62. Linking - Part Four
  63. Linking - Part Five
  64. Lesson fourteen - Interleaving
    Interleaving - Part One
  65. Interleaving - Part Two
  66. Interleaving - Part Three
  67. Interleaving - Part Four
  68. Interleaving - Part Five
  69. Lessons fifteen - Application Questioning
    Application Questioning - Part One
  70. Application Questioning - Part Two
  71. Copy of Application Questioning - Part Three
  72. Application Questioning - Part Four
  73. Application Questioning - Part Five
  74. Lesson Sixteen - Using Tables
    Tables - Part One
  75. Tables - Part Two
  76. Tables - Part Three
  77. Tables - Part Four
  78. Tables - Part Five
Lesson 46 of 78
In Progress

The Testing Effect – Part Three

Stoicable July 13, 2022


The Testing Effect

Testing yourself on what you’re learning. That’s it.

The testing process engages with four important aspects of effective learning.

  1. Appraisal
  2. Planning
  3. Recall
  4. Application

This is what happens when you test yourself.

  1. You have to read the question and work out what it’s really asking. This requires appraisal.
  2. You need to decide how you’re going to answer the question. What knowledge is required to answer it: what equation for maths, essay for English and anatomy for biology? This requires planning.
  3. You must actively bring the necessary information – attempting to find it from your memory. This requires successful recall.
  4. Finally, you need to put your thoughts into a coherent answer or possible option. This requires application.

Your biggest improvements are when you first begin learning something. This is why it’s much more effective to attack your weaknesses instead of repeating what you’re already good at.

The term for this is diminishing returns. A beginner can cut minutes off their running time with just a few weeks of training. An elite runner, on the other hand, might train years for just a few seconds of improvement.

The better you get at something, the smaller the gains. As uncomfortable as it might be, attack your weaknesses. This is where your biggest gains are hiding.

When it comes to learning, there’s a good chance you’ll find a test at the end of it. If this is for school, university or work, then this is something you want to do well at. If you want to get better at taking tests, then there is no substitute for testing.

Think about how you learnt to drive or ride a bike. You can read every book there is and it still wouldn’t help you get your license. To be able to drive, you have to drive.

Testing is part of learning. You can learn all the content and still do poorly on your test. If you want to get better at taking tests, test yourself.

Lesson Cards

The Testing Effect

Card 1

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Key Idea

A common learning mistake is to do what is easy or what we’re good at. The problem is, we get little benefit from this. The most effective learning will be comfortably uncomfortable.

Card 2

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Key Idea

The reason why testing is so effective is that you must interactive with your material. This ensures your learning is always “active” and not “passive.”

Card 3

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Key Idea

Testing lets you find your weaknesses so you can focus your efforts where they’re most effective.

Card 4

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Key Idea

If you don’t test yourself on your learning, you’re forced to guess whether or not you really know something.


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