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Study Shows That Frequent Testing Improves Performance

A study on a psychology course taught at the University of Texas found that quizzing students at the beginning of every class improved student performance as opposed to conducting traditional midterm and final exams.

The New York Times article states:

“This study is important because it introduces a new method to implement frequent quizzing with feedback in large classrooms, which can be difficult to do,” said Jeffrey D. Karpicke, a professor of psychology at Purdue, who was not involved in the study.

He added, “This is the first large study to show that classroom quizzing can help reduce achievement gaps” due to socioeconomic background.

The article continues to discuss how students from lower-income areas benefited from the quizzes:

The grade improvements were sharpest among students from lower-income backgrounds — those from poor-quality schools “who were always smartest in class,” [Dr. Samuel D. Gosling] said.

“Then they get here and, when they fail the first midterm, they think it’s a fluke,” he went on. “By the time they’ve failed the second one, it’s too late. The hole’s too deep. The quizzes make it impossible to maintain that state of denial.”

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