Testing enhances both encoding and retrieval for both tested and untested items.

Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006)

PubMedID: 27049596

Cho KW, Neely JH, Crocco S, Vitrano D. Testing enhances both encoding and retrieval for both tested and untested items. Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2016;1-60.
In forward testing effects, taking a test enhances memory for subsequently studied material. These effects have been observed for previously studied and tested items, a potentially item-specific testing effect, and newly studied untested items, a purely generalized testing effect. We directly compared item-specific and generalized forward testing effects using procedures to separate testing benefits due to encoding versus retrieval. PARTICIPANTS
studied two lists of Swahili-English word pairs, with the second study list containing "new" pairs intermixed with the previously studied "old" pairs.

completed a review phase in which they took a cued-recall test on only the "old" pairs or restudied them.In Experiments 1a, 1b, and 2, the review phase was given either before or after the second study list. Testing benefited memory to the same degree for both "new" and "old" pairs, suggesting that there were no pair-specific benefits of testing. The larger benefit from testing when review was given before rather than after the second study list suggests that the memory enhancement was due to both testing-enhanced encoding and testing-enhanced retrieval. To better equate generalized testing effects for "new" and "old" pairs, Experiment 3 intermixed them in the review phase. A statistically significant pair-specific testing effect for "old" items was now observed. Overall, these results show that forward testing effects are due to both testing-enhanced encoding and retrieval effects and that direct, pair-specific forward testing benefits are considerably smaller than indirect, generalized forward testing benefits.