Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Master of Arts (AM/MA)

Degree Type



The multitude of research on the benefits of testing often focuses on the direct effect of retrieval in enhancing performance on future tests (e.g., Roediger & Karpicke, 2006). However, testing also has another indirect benefit: It can enhance learning during subsequent study periods (test-potentiated learning; Izawa, 1971). In the current study, we compared a standard schedule of studying (study-test cycles; ST) to an unintuitive schedule suggested by the idea of test-potentiated learning (test-study cycles; TS). We asked subjects to master GRE word-synonym pairs (e.g., penury—poverty) in multiple study-test cycles or test-study cycles. Although both groups performed equally well on the final test in the learning phase, subjects in the TS condition outperformed subjects in the ST condition on the delayed criterion test (Experiment 1). Examining long-term retention, subjects did not experience more forgetting in the TS condition than in the ST condition (Experiment 2). The current results suggest that testing then studying information is a more efficient way of learning than studying then testing and may have important educational implications.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Henry L. Roediger, III

Committee Members

David A. Balota, Mark A. McDaniel


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Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2115