In my teaching, I addressed this as I taught in the classroom. I told them that the information they learn is SOMEWHERE in their brain. To GET to that information, they have to follow a kind of "roadmap" to the spot where it is. Some information is on a road that is so frequently traveled, it's a superhighway, such as "What's your name?" (You don't have to go far on the road to get to that answer.)
What I tried to do was to give the kids several "roads" to get to the information. I asked them to (a) read the assignment and (b) take notes as they read; (c) take notes in class as I lecture and (d) star information they hear repeated. (d) Star and double-star information they hear three or more times. (e) Pay attention as I deliver the information in class, as that might give them a directional post as well.
For example, they read the "Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales. As we covered the concept of satire, I defined it for them as humor whose purpose is to reform. In other words, the people being satirized are supposed to see their weaknesses and, with luck, will laugh at themselves and as a result of their new perspective, they might change their behavior, etc. I had them write down the term and the definition in their notes. The next day, I asked a student to check his/her notes and read the definition to the class. Then I gave them an example of satire from the "Prologue," such as the Oxford Cleric. He was essentially a "professional student" who couldn't make a living in the real world but who wasn't connected well enough to get a job in the church. As a result, he was always mooching money from relatives and friends, but the only repayment those people got was that he "prayed for them." I told them the Oxford Cleric was "book smart but life dumb. The kind of guy who gets A's on all the tests, but he can't get through a revolving door without getting his coat caught in it. We talked about this kind of person, and I asked them to think of someone they know who is really smart when it comes to school but just doesn't seem to live in the real world. They all smiled and nodded. I told them of a classmate of mine (a 10-minute diversion that I would later come back to in other lessons in other units throughout the year, so it wasn't a complete waste of time) who was smart enough to learn how to make gunpowder in his basement laboratory (times were different then) but not smart enough to figure out he shouldn't light a half-full metal bucket of old gunpowder next to a tree in his front yard. Well, he did, and he blew a large branch off the tree, and the neighboring volunteer firemen poured out of the firehouse from their card game, thinking the Rooskies have attacked their small town in southwestern Ohio.
Then, before the test, I reviewed with them, and I told them, "Here are the roads you have to get to your information about the definition of satire, how Chaucer satirized the Oxford Cleric, and (by extension) how he satirized other characters:
From your reading, the definition of the word. From your notes, the appearance of the definition of the word you wrote on the page. From the class notes, the starred definition and the big arrow pointing to the Oxford Cleric. The visualization of the Oxford Cleric trying to get through a revolving door and getting his coat caught. The visualization of my classmate lighting the bucket of gunpowder and the volunteer firemen pouring out of the firehall. The notes they were taking for the review session that emphasized this right now. Maybe your know it because you memorized it. Maybe you can "see it in your mind's eye because you can visualize where it is in your notes and/or in the class notes. Maybe you remember because you remember your friend who is book smart but life dumb. Maybe you remember it because you're laughing at the memory of my having pantomimed the explosion of the gunpowder incident. EACH of those "road" takes you to that information, and when you get there, you will find more roads leading to how other characters were satirized and how four of them were NOT satirized (in another part of your notes, etc)
SO.... no matter how you get to the information, you want to be sure you CAN get there by reviewing just a few minutes each night--not just the night before the test--so those roads are well-traveled and not covered with the dust of days of neglect.