Educational Psychology Review

, Volume 25, Issue 4, pp 523–548 | Cite as

The Power of Successive Relearning: Improving Performance on Course Exams and Long-Term Retention

  • Katherine A. RawsonEmail author
  • John Dunlosky
  • Sharon M. Sciartelli


Practice tests and spaced study are both highly potent for enhancing learning and memory. Combining these two methods under the conditions in which they are most effective (i.e., practice tests that invoke successful retrieval from long-term memory and spacing study across days) yields a promising learning technique referred to as successive relearning. Given the obvious implications of successive relearning for promoting student learning and the voluminous literatures on testing and spacing more generally, surprisingly few studies have evaluated successive relearning, and none have done so in an authentic educational context. The two experiments reported here establish the potency of a successive relearning intervention for enhancing student learning by demonstrating meaningful improvements in course exam performance and on long-term retention tests.


Successive relearning Testing effect Spacing effect Student learning Retention 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine A. Rawson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • John Dunlosky
    • 1
  • Sharon M. Sciartelli
    • 1
  1. 1.Kent State UniversityKentUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyKent State UniversityKentUSA

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