Fresh Memory
Versions: 1.4 | 1.3 | 1.2 | 1.1

3. Studying cards

Fresh Memory has two studying modes: Word drill and Spaced repetition. The Word drill is the classic random browsing of cards. It can be used for getting familiar with the material. The Spaced repetition is the main tool for repeating the cards. It automatically schedules repetition intervals of each card according to its difficulty. Spaced repetition allows to quickly study any structured material and keep it in memory for a long time.

3.1. Word drill

Word drill mode allows to browse all cards in the dictionary. Use this mode only to preview available cards and get familiar with them. To study cards, use the Spaced repetition mode instead.

Start browsing with Tools ‣ Word drill (shortcut F5). This will open a study window shown below.

Word drill screenshot

Word drill

The top of the study view has the card pack name (“English - Russian”). It describes what fields are used in this card pack.

The upper part of the card is the question, the lower is the answer. Pressing Next button shows the next card (shortcut Space or Enter). The cards are shown in random order.

Note

The random order of shown cards can be switched off in Options ‣ Study settings. Uncheck the Show cards randomly checkbox.

The number of the current card and the total number of all cards in the dictionary is shown under the answer. These numbers are illustrated also graphically with the progress bar.

It is possible to return to the previous card by pressing the Back button (shortcut ). You can return back in the history as many cards as you like. To go forward in the history, press the Forward button (shortcut ). In the history mode, the number of the current card is shown as normal, and the number of the last seen card is shown in parenthesis (), see figure below.

Browsing history screenshot

Browsing history

Pressing the Next button always shows the next new card, and the history mode is canceled.

When all cards in the dictionary are shown, the same cards will go on to the second round. This will be indicated with the Cycle icon icon and number of the cycle.

Browsing in the second cycle screenshot

Browsing in the second cycle

By default, both the question and the answer are shown. When the Show answers checkbox is unchecked (shortcut S), only the question part is shown first. The user must press the Show answer button (A) to open the answer.

Hidden answer screenshot

Hidden answer

3.2. Spaced repetition

The Spaced repetition is the main study tool. The user can study cards with high efficiency. Well known cards will be shown rarely, and difficult cards will be shown more often. The cards are repeated in comparatively small portions, which are spaced in time with the repetition intervals. The program automatically schedules cards for repeating depending on how well they are known by the user. The better the card is known, the longer interval is automatically selected for its next repetition. With each repetition, the next interval automatically increases, as the user knows the card better. The repetition intervals may range from several minutes to over a year, without a limit. The easier the card is for the user, the longer its interval becomes. If a card is difficult to remember, its repetition interval will be kept short so that the user would have more chance to study it.

Note

The scheduling algorithm uses the idea of SM-2 algorithm of Super Memo application.

Start Spaced repetition with Tools ‣ Spaced repetition menu item (shortcut F6). It opens the study view shown below.

Spaced repetition screenshot

Spaced repetition

The user first sees a card question. He must think of the answer, then press Show answer button (shortcut Space) to open the correct answer. The user must check if his answer was correct and evaluates himself with grades from 0 to 5. The grades are selected with numbered buttons at the bottom of the study window (shortcuts are keys with the same numbers). The grades depend on how difficult it was to recall the card. The application then schedules the next repetition of the card depending on the grade.

Grades from 2 to 5 represent correct answers with different difficulties, 0 and 1 grades mean incorrect answer. Here is the meaning of all grades:

5 – the card is too easy
The next repetition interval will be greatly increased.
4 – correct answer, maybe after some hesitation.
The interval was just OK, and will be slightly increased.
3 – correct answer was recalled with difficulty.
The interval was too long. The interval increasing speed willl be reduced.
2 – the question was familiar, but the answer was not completely correct.
The interval increasing speed will be reduced more.
1 – wrong answer, but the question was familiar.
The card will be repeated after 15 cards.
0 – completely unknown card.
It’s a new card or it was forgotten completely. The card will be shown again after 7 cards.

3.2.1. Card statistics

In the beginning, all cards are considered new. New cards have not been repeated by the user yet. When a card is repeated, it is called studied.

The area under the card answer shows study statistics for the current card pack. It consists of numbers and illustrated progress bars. The first line shows the scheduled cards for today. The number before the progress bar is the number of repeated cards today. The number after the progress bar is how many cards still remain to repeat. This number consists of two parts: number of studied cards (before “plus” sign) and the number of new cards. The progress bar at the first line shows the progress of today’s session: how many cards were repeated of those scheduled for today.

The second line illustrates the general statistics of the card pack. The number to the left of the progress bar is the number of all studied cards in this pack (including those that are scheduled for today). The number to the right of the progress bar is the number of new cards that have not yet been repeated by the user. The colored progress bar shows the pack statistics with different colors.

Green
Studied cards, which are scheduled for later time
Yellow
Studied cards, which are scheduled for today, and haven’t been repeated yet.
Red
New cards, which have not yet been studied by the user.

As the user studies cards, the new items from the red zone gradually move to the green studied cards. In each session, the cards that must be already repeated now are shown as yellow items. When they are repeated, they become green again.

3.2.2. Card limits

Each day, the user studies both new cards (not seen yet) and those studied cards, which were scheduled for today. They are mixed randomly. The application limits the number of new cards introduced each day. By default, it is 20 new cards per day. After the limit for new cards is reached, only the studied cards are shown. The rest of the new cards are left for the next days. Thus, all new cards are gradually introduced during several days of study in order not burden the user too much.

Note

The day limit for new cards is configurable, and can be changed in Options ‣ Study settings, Day limit of new cards.

It is recommended not to study too many cards at once. The application has the day limit for all repeated cards, 70 cards by default. It will warn the user about it when the limit is reached. Though it is just a warning, the user may still continue studying more cards.

Note

The day limit for all cards can be changed in Options ‣ Study settings, Day limit of all cards.

When there is no more cards left for today, the application will tell about this. It means that both the scheduled cards have ended and the limit for new cards is reached. The user may choose to study more new cards or even study those cards, which are scheduled for the next day.

3.3. Editing cards

The cards are normally being edited in the dictionary window. But it is possible to edit the cards even during the study in the study view. It is very convenient, when the user notes a mistake during the study. The top-right part of the study window has two buttons: Delete card Delete card icon (shortcut D) and Edit card Edit card icon (E). They correspondingly delete the current card and start editing it. Editing opens a separate window shown below.

Editing card in the study screenshot

Editing card in the study

Pressing Go to dictionary window button will take you to the dictionary view, where the current card will be centered and selected.


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