Research & Publications

Pooja K. Agarwal, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor, Cognitive Scientist, & Former K-12 teacher. She has conducted research on learning for more than 15 years and is the founder of

Research & Publications

I love research. By taking laboratory-developed strategies from the science of learning and applying them in authentic classrooms, we can verify that these powerful strategies improve learning for real students in the real world.

Highlights from my research experience:

  • I have a forthcoming book, available Spring 2019 from Jossey-Bass, Powerful Teaching: Unleash the Science of Learning.
  • I have published 14 peer-reviewed articles, 3 book chapters, and 3 guides for teachers about the science of learning.


Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles

Agarwal, P. K. (in press). Retrieval practice and Bloom’s taxonomy: Do students need fact knowledge before higher order learning? Journal of Educational Psychology. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K., Finley, J. R., Rose, N. S., & Roediger, H. L. (2017). Benefits from retrieval practice are greater for students with lower working memory capacity. Memory25, 764-771. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K., D’Antonio, L., Roediger, H. L., McDermott, K. B., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Classroom-based programs of retrieval practice reduce middle school and high school students’ test anxiety. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition3, 131-139. [PDF]

McDermott, K. B., Agarwal, P. K., D’Antonio, L., Roediger, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014). Both multiple-choice and short-answer quizzes enhance later exam performance in middle and high school classes. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied20, 3-21. [PDF]

Zaromb, F., Butler, A. C., Agarwal, P. K., & Roediger, H. L. (2014). Collective memories of three wars in United States history in younger and older adults. Memory & Cognition42, 383-399. [PDF]

McDaniel, M. A., Thomas, R. C., Agarwal, P. K., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2013). Quizzing in middle-school science: Successful transfer performance on classroom exams. Applied Cognitive Psychology27, 360-372. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K. (2012). Advances in cognitive psychology relevant to education: Introduction to the special issue. Educational Psychology Review24, 353-354. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K., Bain, P. M., & Chamberlain, R. W. (2012). The value of applied research: Retrieval practice improves classroom learning and recommendations from a teacher, a principal, and a scientist. Educational Psychology Review24, 437-448. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K., & Roediger, H. L. (2011). Expectancy of an open-book test decreases performance on a delayed closed-book test. Memory19, 836-852. [PDF]

McDaniel, M. A., Agarwal, P. K., Huelser, B. J., McDermott, K. B., & Roediger, H. L. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in a middle school science classroom: The effects of quiz frequency and placement. Journal of Educational Psychology103, 399-414. [PDF]

Roediger, H. L., Agarwal, P. K., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2011). Test-enhanced learning in the classroom: Long-term improvements from quizzing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied17, 382-395. [PDF]

Fazio, L. K., Agarwal, P. K., Marsh, E. J., & Roediger, H. L. (2010). Memorial consequences of multiple-choice testing on immediate and delayed tests. Memory & Cognition38, 408-418. [PDF]

Marsh, E. J., Agarwal, P. K., & Roediger, H. L. (2009). Memorial consequences of answering SAT II questions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied15, 1-11. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K., Karpicke, J. D., Kang, S. K., Roediger, H. L., & McDermott, K. B. (2008). Examining the testing effect with open- and closed-book tests. Applied Cognitive Psychology22, 861-876. [PDF]


Additional Publications

Pan, S. C., & Agarwal, P. K. (2018). Retrieval practice and transfer of learning: Fostering students' application of knowledge. University of California San Diego, San Diego, CA. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K., Roediger, H.L., McDaniel, M. A., & McDermott, K. B. (2013, 2018). How to use retrieval practice to improve learning. Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO. [PDF]

Rohrer, D., Dedrick, R. F., & Agarwal, P. K. (2017). Interleaved mathematics practice: Giving students a chance to learn what they need to know. University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K., Lange, R., & Metcalf, L. A. (2012). Illinois’ growth model approach using the value table method. Illinois State Board of Education, Springfield, IL. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K. (2011). Examining the relationship between fact learning and higher order learning via retrieval practice. Doctoral dissertation, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO.

White, B. R., & Agarwal, P. K. (2011). The principal report: The state of school leadership in Illinois. Illinois Education Research Council, Edwardsville, IL. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K. (2003, October/November). College life in the Internet age. Upgrade, 14-15. [PDF]

Agarwal, P. K. (2001). If I could make a school. Learning & Leading with Technology, 29, 28-31. [PDF]


Invited Book Chapters

Pyc, M. A., Agarwal, P. K., & Roediger, H. L. (2014). Test-enhanced learning. In V. A. Benassi, C. E. Overson, & C. M. Hakala (Eds.), Applying science of learning in education: Infusing psychological science into the curriculum. APA Society for the Teaching of Psychology. [PDF]

Roediger, H. L., Agarwal, P. K., Kang, S. H. K., & Marsh, E. J. (2010). Benefits of testing memory: Best practices and boundary conditions. In G. M. Davies & D. B. Wright (Eds.), New frontiers in applied memory (pp. 13-49). Brighton, U.K.: Psychology Press. [PDF]

Roediger, H. L., Weinstein, Y., & Agarwal, P. K. (2010). Forgetting: Preliminary considerations. In S. Della Sala (Ed.), Forgetting (pp. 1-22). Hove, U.K.: Psychology Press. [PDF]