Need Suggestions for Reviewing just Handwriting?

Hey everyone, 马老师 here. My Chinese character writing from memory is quite rusty, and as a teacher of the language and a new Skritter user, I was hoping to get some suggestions for how to most efficiently use the app. For the vocabulary from the Integrated Chinese series, I have no problem with reading, definition, or tones, but I need to refresh my writing skills.

Would you suggest I just go to individual decks for IC and directly do the tests, skipping the “learn” option? Once I do a few tests, if I go to “continuous” will it help me to review those characters I am struggling with? If not, where can I focus on reviewing the characters that I struggle with?

Thanks for any help! If you prefer to point me to a resource, that would also be greatly appreciated.


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Hi 马老师,

Welcome, and thanks for your question! First, I would go to your Study Settings on the app and turn off the other card types so you’re only focused on writing.

After that, you have a few options for studying as efficiently as possible. You could use the Learning mode and either study items you’re super rusty on, or just mark them as learned. That’ll get all the IC items into your review queue, and the SRS system should focus the most energy on cards you’re getting incorrect.

Alternatively, you could go into the IC books and do some deck or deck section level tests, and and make a few notes of the things you’re getting wrong or struggling with more than you’d like. After that, you might want to consider making a copy of the IC deck and deleting all the things you know with 100% confidence so you’re only learning/studying the stuff you’re really struggling with.

The second method takes a bit more work in the short-term, but you’ll save yourself a lot of unnecessary reviews overall.

Also, for maximum effect (and to improve those whiteboard writing skills) I would recommend turning on the “Rawest Squigs” setting. You won’t get stroke hints, and it’ll be a lot closer to what you and your students will be writing in the classroom or on paper.


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Just want to chip in and say that I use Skritter for the exact same purpose you describe and what Jake says works well. I actually have all characters I want to know active, including very simple ones I would never forget (the motivation being that it’s worth writing 你 once every few years in order to catch those characters I might just think I remember).

However, since you’re new to Skritter, there’s a large upfront cost to get all the vocabulary into the queue, so using the second method Jake mentions probably makes sense to prioritise a bit. Testing is nice, but since there’s no scheduling, it really isn’t a good long-term solution.

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Hi there and welcome!

Leaving the critical advice above to the experts here, but just wanted to add:

I wouldn’t skip learn mode for characters you need to know, since within the mode you can always skip individual words you are more confident about. Learn mode gets you to focus, and you can take the time then for any dictionary or other definition or mnemonic updating/editing you want to do.

And I would use test mode not as a learning system, as it wastes time on characters you do know and the review mode’s algorithm is better in the short, long and medium runs. Instead, use it as its name suggests: test yourself on a particular list immediately before you need to actually work with those words, like the day before you need to teach them (or whatever is appropriate to your situation.)

For myself for example, I never use test mode, certainly not for learning, until I need to be certain I’ve got down what I must have. For example, I keep a list of my friends’ full Chinese first and last names by region I am planning on visiting, study that list in review from time to time, then use test mode in the week before I am actually going to visit them, just to make sure I get through the entire list accurately without exception.

As far as I know test mode has no algorithm, so it won’t remember what you need to practice most. It just takes you through a full list or list section without excepting anything you already know, just like a test.


@SkritterJake Any idea when Integrated Chinese Volume 4 (4th edition) will be available on the Skritter lists? Currently only Vols. 1-3 for the 4th edition are available.
Clarification. (4th Edition, Volume 4 has a light-blue cover. You already have the 4th Edition Red, Purple, and Green Volumes 1, 2, and 3 books)

I’ll make sure it is order and uploaded in the next month or so.

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Hey SkritterJake, thanks for the swift response. Very helpful! Just one more question, in addition to Learn Mode, to utilize the SRS system, how would you recommend I utilize “Due Cards”, “Continuous” and “Time Attack”? Again, hate to bother you and happy to go read something if there are clear explanations already out there! Thanks so much!

Olle, the legend! Thanks for your suggestions and all your great help over the years.

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Happy to point you in the right direction!

Due cards:
Time Attack:

Personally, I only use due cards for my studying these days, and I find it to be sufficient practice after all these years of character writing. Words/characters I’m studying for the first time (or struggling with) often get customized definitions and/or some reference notes that I put in the mnemonic field.

If you’re actually writing character outside of Skritter and feeling pretty good while your studying you should be just fine with doing Due Card daily review.

Hope the docs are helpful!

Hi there sorry to bother y’all yet again, but thank you once again for the amazing feedback. While in a new deck, if I hit “mark as learned”, will it still make it into my “due cards”?

The modern Skritter apps no longer have an “add” button. It was replaced with the “learn” capability that offers you the option of going through a “teaching” session for the character. You can optionally skip the teaching session by selecting the “Mark as Learned” option. Once you have “learned” a charater, the character will then be added to your list of items that will come up when you review your Due cards.

So, yes, your thinking is correct.

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@Apomixis IC 4 (4th edition) just got promoted to official from a user-made upload. You can find it here or by searching “Integrated” in the app:

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