Getting It Wrong: Surprising Tips on How to LearnFor years, many educators have championed “errorless learning," advising teachers (and students) to create study conditions that do not permit errors. For example, a classroom teacher might drill students repeatedly on the same multiplication problem, with very little delay between the first and second presentations of the problem, ensuring that the student gets the answer correct each time. The idea embedded in this approach is that if students make errors, they will learn the errors and be prevented (or slowed) in learning the correct information. People remember things better, longer, if they are given very challenging tests on the material, tests at which they are bound to fail. In one of their experiments, students were required to learn pairs of “weak associates,” words that are loosely related such as star-night or factory-plant. The team found that students remembered the pairs much better when they first tried to retrieve the answer before it was shown to them.