Getting it wrong helps us to get it right!

BrainAccording to the Scientific American, research has shown that people remember things better, longer, if they are given very challenging tests on the material, tests at which they are bound to fail.

The report says that a series of experiments showed that if students make an unsuccessful attempt to retrieve information before receiving an answer, they remember the information better than in a control condition in which they simply study the information. Trying and failing to retrieve the answer is actually helpful to learning.

It’s an idea that has obvious applications for education, but could be useful for anyone who is trying to learn new material of any kind.