I think I’ve mentioned that prior to using Anki, my experience with SRS software was limited to jMemorize and Reviewing the Kanji. Both systems use a simple pass/fail scoring mechanism, where either you remembered the fact or you didn’t. Anki, on the other hand, comes from the line of SRS software the has a wide spectrum for scoring yourself on how well you remembered, or failed to remember a fact. This added input enables Anki to better and more efficiently schedule cards for review. Khatzumoto has a method for scoring himself that’s worked well for me (after adapting the 0-5 system of Mnemosyne to Anki’s 0-4).

Just how much of an effect that has isn’t apparent unless you get lazy (like I did a week ago) and start answering all cards as “1 – Made a mistake” or “3 – All right”. I guess I figured it was no big deal since having to stop and evaluate myself on every card was a real pain in the ass and was slowing me down. Boy was that a mistake. The few extra minutes it would have taken me to do a proper evaluation is nothing compared to the hours I spent in the last few days reviewing cards that should have been marked “5 – Easy” and relearning cards that I waited too long to review because they should have been marked “2 – Difficult” or “0 – Completely forgot”.

So do yourself a favor: find a scoring mechanism that works for you and your SRS, and stick to it.

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