How Guessing Helps in Learning

Did you know that guessing helps people to learn? Even guessing the wrong answer helps people to remember the right one.

What’s surprising is that guessing is more effective than simply memorizing. For example, someone who guesses wrong and learns the answer will remember that information better than someone who just tries to memorize it.

Why does this happen? It could be because of active interest or because guessing helps to activate memory functions in the brain. Either way, this effect remained even 61 hours after the guessing.

For students, it means that ypu should try testing yourself more. Even if TOEIC tests are non-communicative tests, testing helps students to track progress and can help in motivation.

For teachers, this means that testing shouldn’t be avoided, and that lessons should try to get students to recall information and be active learners, through communicative activities and pauses to guess answers, as well as through normal quizzes and tests.

Source: BPS Research Digest: How guessing the wrong answer helps you learn the right answer.

Image: Harold Groven