No learning lost

How to ensure knowledge retention in and out of the classroom

Retrieval Practice: free guide

With students spending so much time out of the classroom, teachers are looking for ways to ensure what has already been learned doesn't disappear between now and their exams.

It is for this reason that many teachers have started adopting retrieval practice (sometimes known as the testing effect): using the science behind the way our brains store information to ensure their students can retain and recall much more, for much longer.


“Assessment of course has many uses, but it doesn’t have to result in mountains of data in order to have value. Regular low-stakes testing, like quizzes, can be helpful for consolidating learning...

Amanda Spielman, Ofsted Chief Inspector


Get the guide

To help you understand and implement retrieval practice, we have created a free guide which introduces the research behind the practice and the most effective methods for using it to enhance teaching.

Read this guide if you want to:

  • Find out why your students forget so much of what they are taught
  • Develop strategies to ensure that learning is stored in students' long-term memory
  • Improve your students' knowledge retention and ability to learn

Read time: 10 minutes

Fill in this form to download the guide:
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Want your students to understand how testing helps them learn?

Use our free retrieval practice resources:

Webinar: Implementing retrieval practice

We know that implementing new strategies in your department can be a difficult task.

If you want to reap the rewards of retrieval practice without putting extra workload on your teachers, see how Doddle's self-marking quizzes can help.

Watch our free webinar to see how you can improve your students' knowledge retention by making low-stakes testing a part of your strategy.


The sooner that students adopt retrieval practice as part of their study strategy repertoire, and teachers do the same as part of their teaching repertoire, the sooner they can reap the rewards of more efficient and more effective long-term learning.

Pooja K. Agarwal et al (2014), Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition



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Photo credit: “Students in a science lesson” © DGLimages