The '''pretesting effect''' is a phenomenon where even failing to produce the correct answer or testing before learning a material improves test scores relative to regular studying (also called "extended study", where one passively reads a passage).<ref>[http://learninglab.uchicago.edu/Pre-Testing.html "The Pre-Testing Effect"]. ''The University of Chicago Learning Lab''. Retrieved November 6, 2018.</ref><ref name="richland-2009">Lindsey E. Richland; Nate Kornell; Liche Sean Kao. "The Pretesting Effect: Do Unsuccessful Retrieval Attempts Enhance Learning?" ''Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied''. 2009, Vol. 15, No. 3, 243–257.</ref> This effect justifies generation, especially generation before learning a topic ([[meditation]], [[inquiry-based learning]]
One weird detail about the Richland paper<ref name="richland-2009" /> is that it doesn't talk about what the "test and study" were subjects were thinking as they were studying, e.g. did they recognize that reading passages contained the answers to the questions they were asked?