Study only select cards

So I really love this app but I find it incredibly frustrating that there seems to be no way to focus on specific words and practice them over and over again. I would really like the option to focus only on cards that I’m struggling with. Is there any way to do this that I’m missing? Also is there any way to stop the review report from popping up?Thanks!

1 Like

Hi LoveMandarin! :wave:

We’re planning to add a method to be able to just focus on / test on cards that were recently marked as wrong (or starred), however there’s currently not a way to do this unfortunately. It’s on the list!

There’s not a way to disable to review reports from popping up, however I’ve made a note of this for our team meeting.

I know this is not the answer you’re looking for, but it’s worth pointing out that the spaced repetition part of the app does this all the time, but over a longer time span than you probably want. You will see the words you get wrong over and over, just not more than twice per day (once when you first review, then again at the end of the session if you got it wrong). Normally, this is a good thing, because spreading each review out makes learning several times more efficient.

Now, we all have words that we really struggle with for some reason, those that just refuse to stick, seemingly whatever we do. That’s when we need the feature Jeremy is talking about, which would allow us to take decisive action and really learn words we keep getting wrong! Still, even when this feature is in place, it’s still not a very good long-term strategy to rely on rote learning for things we find hard to learn. Most of the time, it’s better to learn more about the characters, look at the components, understand why the character looks the way it does, put it in context and so on.

Yes I definitely agree with everything you said. I’m glad to hear you guys are working on getting this feature out. Can’t wait!

1 Like

Just wondering if there is any update from the devs on being able to practice select words without creating a specific list for them? Currently I star words that I struggle with (usually the newer ones) and would love to be able to practice/test only those words as described by LoveMandarin.

The SRS has been helpful but it can be a chore to get it up to speed for intermediate learners who are new to the app and adding a large amount of vocabulary. I know it’s probably not a common situation, but Skritter has been so helpful that I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know, except that I always have to add the caveat that it takes some work and time to get it functioning well if you aren’t starting from scratch.

I had to add HSK 1-3 over a short period of time, so the review queue has those pretty frequently, but in reality I’m nearly done with HSK 4 and a little bit into HSK 5. Those are the words I want to see more frequently, but it’s hard to rely on the SRS when the HSK 4/5 vocabulary comes up so infrequently compared to rest, just by sheer volume. Even when I limit practice to just the HSK 4 lists, it’s difficult to target the 10% of words that are a struggle. Being able to star just those to keep track of which words just aren’t sticking would be pretty helpful.

I know overall sticking to the SRS is supposed to optimize your learning, but I do think for the newest added vocabulary, it can be helpful to go over them a few times separately. I’ve realized that because my short term memory is pretty good, I can get newly added vocabulary correct too many times initially right after adding them, which seems to throw off the SRS algorithm and make those particular words not show up as often afterward in the following days, even though I do actually need to practice them more.

Edit: I found this thread which is really old, but is this “star emphasis 100%” mentioned in it still a thing? Studying starred items - #12 by Jeremy

I couldn’t find any settings on the iOS app for it, and the linked doc about Advanced Study settings actually goes to some HelpScout login page?

If you turn on the Advanced Grading option, which gives you 4 buttons, and then pick the “easy” (blue) option, it’ll very quickly bump known words out for a long time.

Adding to what @Apomixis said, you can also mark newly learned words as ‘hard’ a few times, and they won’t be thrown too far into the future too quickly.

@Junwei1509 @Apomixis Thank you guys so much for the tips, it’s really helped! After just one week, I feel like my Skritter studying is way more efficient because I’m actually practicing the words I need to more often.

I wish I had done this from the beginning but the Skritter SRS guide (Spaced Repetition System (SRS) - Skritter) recommended sticking to standard grading since it requires less effort. But it seems that having advanced grading on doesn’t mean you ALWAYS have to actively choose to grade. Even if you don’t choose anything, it seems to revert back to the standard forgot/got it options anyway.

Hopefully other intermediate learners new to the app see threads like this so they can save themselves a lot of time and just go straight to advanced grading options to adjust the SRS until it’s useful. For a while, to try to optimize practice, I thought about deleting everything and just starting over with adding HSK 3-4-5 level words but at that point I’d spent too much time adding other intermediate decks as well, so I really didn’t want to start over from scratch. (I added both old HSK and new HSK decks and other textbook decks so that was a LOT of vocab to sort through and I got tired of even banning close duplicates, e.g. same word but with 子.)

Maybe in the future there can be a “mark all as learned” function for lists too, to save time on having to “learn” each individual vocab, but even then the problem is that suddenly you’ve flooded your review queue. It seems like optimizing a SRS system when you’re already at intermediate levels is just a bit of a pain no matter what!

1 Like