Testing makes our brains work better

Exams and quizzes aren't bad and shouldn't be feared! Expert Annie Murphy Paul explains how testing helps people learn.

Author Annie Murphy Paul is an expert on the science of learning.

Video transcript

“One thing that parents might be surprised to learn about testing, is that it’s actually one of the best ways to support students’ memory — and even their deeper learning. I think there’s the perception that testing is all about ‘drill and kill’, and it’s just about rote-ly memorizing a list of facts… but it’s actually a way to make deeper learning, more creative learning possible by taking those facts and moving them into our long-term memory — so that we have more room in our short-term working memory to take those facts, combine them in new ways, think of new ideas that are sort of jumping off from what we know… That’s one reason that testing, by consolidating memories, moving them to our long-term memory, is really a great way to promote deeper learning.”

Paul also offers some simple but effective tips for dealing with test anxiety and how to help your child study to get better results.

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