Research shows practice tests defend memory against stress

New research shows that test simulations can help protect memory against the negative effects of stress.

In a study at Tufts University, student participants learned a series of 30 words and images. They studied either by taking practice tests, or by the traditional study method of reading over the material to memorize it. They were then asked to recall what they had learned in a stressful scenario (in front of two judges, three peers, and a video camera), and in a less stressful scenario.

The students who had prepared with practice tests (also known as retrieval practice) remembered more words overall than those who studied with traditional methods. While the traditional study group’s performance suffered in stressful situations, the students who studied with retrieval practice were able to remember what they had studied regardless of whether or not the scenario was stressful.

So, if you're preparing for an admissions test, make sure to use practice tests, the most efficient way to prepare for a stressful exam!

Check out Test Innovators' full-length ISEE practice tests here, and SSAT practice tests here.

Learn more about the study here.