A strategy to strengthen concepts in long-term-memory by trying to recall them, thus reinforcing the neurological access pathways.
This is by contrast with simple study that reinforces the concept itself but does nothing to reinforce the access pathway.
Retrieval practice is a strategy to rehearse already learned information by trying to recall it from memory, or to actively locate the piece of information in one's mind. It is based on what is known as “The Testing Effect” – the findings that future long-term memory performance is enhanced for materials practiced by testing when compared to rehearsal.
Efrat Furst page
Positive effect of repeated testing on delayed recall
Repeated studying after learning had no effect on delayed recall, but repeated testing produced a large positive effect. In addition, students’ predictions of their performance were uncorrelated with actual performance. The results demonstrate the critical role of retrieval practice in consolidating learning and show that even university students seem unaware of this fact.