Fresh Memory
Versions: 1.5 | 1.4 | 1.3 | 1.2 | 1.1

6. Studying cards

6.1. Spaced repetition method

Fresh Memory uses a special studying algorithm: Time spaced repetition, or just Spaced repetition. It automatically schedules repetition of cards according to their difficulty. Spaced repetition allows to quickly study any structured material and keep it in memory for a long time. This makes it very efficient studying method.


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

According to Spaced repetition, well known cards are shown rarely, but difficult cards are shown more often. The repetitions of cards are spaced in time with repetition intervals. The program automatically schedules cards for repeating depending on how well they are known to the user. The better a card is known, the longer interval is automatically selected for its next repetition.

New cards, which have not yet been studied, have a starting interval of 2.5 days. This means that the studied card will be repeated in about 2–3 days. With each card repetition, its interval automatically increases — it will be shown more rarely. Incorrectly answered cards (with grades 0 or 1, see below) will have a very small next interval, they will be repeated again after several cards. When previously incorrect cards are answered correctly, they will have the interval of about 1 day — they will be repeated on the following day.

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 shorter so that the user would have more chance to study it.

6.2. Spaced repetition tool

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


Spaced repetition window

First, the study window shows a question. The answer is hidden. The user must think of the answer, then press Show answer button (shortcut Space) to open the correct answer. The user must compare his answer with the correct one and evaluate himself with a grade from 0 to 5. The grades are selected with the numbered buttons below the answer (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, 0 and 1 grades mean an incorrect answer. Here is the meaning of all grades:

5 – The card is too easy
The next repetition interval will be increased quite much, with higher speed.
4 – Correct answer, maybe after some hesitation.
The interval was just OK, and will be increased with normal speed.
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.

6.2.1. Study progress

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

The area under the card answer shows study progress for the current card pack. It displays different numeric values and colored progress bars.


Study progress in Spaced repetition

The first line shows the scheduled cards for today. The Today number is the number of repeated cards today. The Remaining number is how many cards still remain to repeat. This number consists of two parts: number of studied cards (before “+”) 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 all scheduled for today.

The second line illustrates the overall progress of the card pack. The Studied number is the number of all studied cards in this pack (including those that are scheduled for today). The New number is the number of all new cards. The colored bar show the progress with different colors:

Studied cards, which are scheduled for a later time (after today)
Studied cards, which are scheduled for today, and haven’t been repeated yet.
New cards, which have not yet been studied by the user.

In the very beginning, all cards are new, and they are shown in red. A small number of cards are automatically selected for today’s session — they are shown in yellow. As the user studies cards, items from the yellow zone move to green (they are scheduled for next days). During several days of studying, cards from the red zone gradually move through yellow to the green.

6.2.2. Card limits

Each day, the user studies both new cards (not seen yet) and studied 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.


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 in one day. 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, and the user may still continue studying more cards.


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.

6.3. Editing cards during study

The cards are normally being edited in the dictionary window. But it is possible to edit the cards even 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 (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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