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Can retrieval practice improve student performance within an A-level psychology classroom?

Written by: Lydia Marsh
9 min read
LYDIA MARSH, CHRIST THE KING CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL AND SIXTH FORM CENTRE; MA STUDENT, LIVERPOOL HOPE UNIVERSITY, UK Introduction As with other A-level subjects, psychology students require learning strategies that help them to both remember and effectively apply large volumes of complex course content to unseen questions, as their learning is ultimately evaluated by their performance in summative assessments. Influential research by Roediger and Karpicke (2006) suggests that retrieval practice (in the form of low-stakes practice tests) is a more effective learning strategy for improving students’ performance in assessments than simply restudying. Since then, a growing body of research has shown that retrieval practice is highly effective when compared to many other learning strategies (Dunlosky et al., 2013; Donoghue and Hattie, 2021). Additionally, recent meta-analyses (Yang et al., 2021; Agarwal et al., 2021) report that the beneficial effects of retrieval practice can be trans

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