Way too much emphasis on tone review

Hi, this is a new problem I’ve just starting noticing, and it’s really eating up a lot of my study time. It seems recently that the SRS algorithm has changed so that I’m getting way more tone questions than writing reviews.

Yesterday I started out with 322 items in my queue, and no joke I think over 300 of them were drawing tone. Tones are important to me, but this is way overboard, and there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do to reduce the reviews appreciably–even if I just mark everything “easy,” I still see the same terms repeatedly in the same day’s queue.

This creates another problem: I can’t even be honest about which tones I miss and which ones I get right, because if I allow one marked “forgot” to slip by, then it’s going to come back 20 times in the next 5 minutes or until I mark it “too easy” at least 3 times in a row. If I miss a character on the written review, by comparison, I just have to get it right a couple of times in a row, and then if it persists in showing up too often, I hit “too easy” maybe once or twice, and I don’t see it again until the next day.

Also: it used to be that if a new term came up, and I got it right, then I didn’t see it again for quite a while, and if I marked it “easy” on the first appearance, I didn’t see it again for maybe weeks. This doesn’t work with tone reviews. Those suckers come back no matter what, day after day after day.

If this sounds like nitpicking, I’ve done over 100,000 reviews in the last 4 months, so this adds up to serious time lost. I noticed the 2.0 app allows you to click to the next item without doing anything with it, but how does that get counted? It’d be great to hit “too easy” without having to answer the question first–it’d save some time, anyway–as long as it doesn’t affect the SRS down the line. IOW, if I skip past a review and it gets counted as “forgot/didn’t know,” that would actually be harmful overall.

One final wish list suggestion: would it be possible for users at some stage to choose a skill level? As it is, if a new item is added to my list and I get it wrong, it’s treated like a word I’ve never seen before, and it comes up over and over until I lose patience and start marking it “easy.” (again, much more so with tone reviews). The thing is, at this point in my studies there aren’t many characters I haven’t practiced exhaustively already, but with 4000-6000 of them jostling around in my memory, it’s common to lost track of them here and there. I see the correct entry and then I think,“Oh, it’s THAT one,” and then I’ve got it for at least the next day or two. It’d be nice if Skritter could be set to drill missed characters less relentlessly if you just miss it once.

Do you have a tougher time with tone prompts versus other prompt types? That might explain a bit of the emphasis being put on tone prompts versus others, however with 300 of 322 items being tone prompts, something does sounds like it’s going wrong.

To confirm, do other prompts (writing, reading, and definition) seem to go away after marking them easy? (Is it only tone prompts that keep cycling that day even though they are being repeatedly marked as correct)? That’s what it sounds like based on your description, but I want to make sure!

Any item skipped past is counted as correct (3).

The “too easy” button is designed to be extremely powerful, where it should only take pressing it three times in the first three years for an item. If this doesn’t seem to be the case, this needs to be looked into as well!

This is what the “so-so” button is for! In theory, if the system is working as it should, you shouldn’t have to put any thought into scheduling, Skritter eliminates the need for spending time thinking about what to study and when. If you forgot something (unable to remember it without revealing it or seeing a hint), it’s forgotten, so you should mark it as incorrect, (since you wouldn’t have remembered it in the wild). If you DID remember it on your own without aid, but it took a bit of time, that would be a “so-so”, and if you immediately remember it that’s “correct”, and if it’s something like 您好 for instance, that would probably be a “too easy”.

Doesn’t seem to work that way for me. I have to hit the “too easy” button 3 times in one day sometimes to get a break from tone reviews, if I’ve seen one too many times. Basically, if I get one wrong and let it stay marked that way, there’s nothing I can do to get that term out of my queue for the day without hitting “too easy” 3 times, and it’s back the next day.

The next day review doesn’t bother me, and a couple of subsequent reviews don’t bother me, but it seems that if I get a term wrong once, and then right the next few times, that should be it for the day, or at least the next hour or two. And then if it persists in coming back and I hit “too easy,” one time should be enough to get it out of the queue for 24 hours. The persistent makes more sense if I get a word wrong because I’ve never seen it before and am learning from zero, but when it’s one that I know pretty well and just temporarily spaced on, it shouldn’t be this difficult to deal with, imo.

I don’t know on balance if tones give me more trouble than writing characters. I have leeches in both camps, and there are real problems with certain terms that I learned with Taiwanese tones going back years before I discovered there were significant differences with the mainland tones, and that’s played no small amount of havoc with my Skrittering. But even making allowances for that, there still seems to be an outsized emphasis on tone reviews in my queue, although I notice more of it comes from my newest list. Still observing and trying to work out what’s going on.

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Would you be able to verify if this is also the case on legacy at https://legacy.skritter.com ?

it would be difficult: I only use the Android app for actual study, and mostly while out. I have a Bamboo tablet somewhere, maybe I can dig it up and see what happens on the website–can’t abide drawing characters with a mouse.

I tried the legacy version yesterday for 15-20 minutes. Hard to compare since it seems to run on a very different review principle from the android app, but I went through dozens if not more than a hundred tone reviews without seeing the same one twice, including ones that I got wrong. Nice interface, too. If my writing pad worked better, I’d use it more often.

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