ABC Hints&Tips Overviews Reference Glossary Support
Contents : Overviews

Button Learn at the bottom of the screen makes it possible to learn the material stored in SuperMemo.

Learning in SuperMemo is based on a sequence of repetitions. Each repetition includes the following stages:

  1. Look at the question and try to answer it (mentally or verbally)
  2. Choose Show answer (at the bottom of the screen) to see the correct answer
  3. Compare your response (from Step 1) with the answer displayed on the screen
  4. Choose a grade that will reflect the accuracy of your response (e.g. Good, Fail, etc.)
  5. Choose Next repetition to continue (and go to Step 1)

The grade point scale is defined as follows (instead of clicking the grade button you can press a key displayed in the parentheses):

Bright (keyboard shortcut: 5), excellent response
Good (4), correct response provided after some hesitation
Pass (3), answer recalled with difficulty; perhaps, slightly incorrect
Fail (2), wrong response that makes you say I knew it!
Bad (1), wrong response; the correct answer seems to be familiar
Null (0), complete blackout; you do not even recall ever knowing the answer

Note, that in SuperMemo you are unlikely to need grades Null or Bad

In SuperMemo you first memorize the material and then repeat it when the program asks you to do it.
Note the important difference: you memorize the material at your own pace on the day of your choice; however, you must repeat the material on the days SuperMemo demands it! This is not a limitation of the program. This is a limitation of our memory. The power of SuperMemo is in providing the best timing of
repetitions. It is best if you can open the program at least once per day to check if there is any material scheduled for repetition.

Delaying repetitions is the most likely cause of having little success with SuperMemo!

Frequently Asked Questions

(Deron Isaac, USA, May 21, 1997)
How can I edit texts of items during
repetitions without backing out of the test mode?
Choose Q to edit the question, A to edit the answer, or E to edit all text
components. You can also edit all properties of all components by using pop-up menus available with right button click on a component in question.

(Matt Cassidy, New Zealand, Aug 18, 1997)
How to review
items to be repeated on a given day?
Tools : Workload and double-click the day of interest.

(Grzegorz Malewski, Poland, Dec 10, 1997)
Do grades at
final drill affect the learning process?
No. They are only used to eliminate items from the final drill queue.

How can I postpone memorizing an
element when I am learning new material?
Forget on the element pop-up menu (Ctrl+R). This will put the item at the end of the pending queue.

(Ryszard Siwczyk, Poland, Nov 4, 1997)
Does the response time at
repetitions influence the next interval?

I left for vacation, and my learning process is in mess. What should I do?
Tools : Mercy

My computer was hit by a virus and SuperMemo reports integrity problems. What shall I do?
File : Recover

(Mariusz Szepietowski, Poland, Dec 7, 1997)
How can I remove information about the learning process from a
collection? I would like to start learning all over again from scratch?
File : Reset : Collection. At the end of this process choose sorting the pending queue either by hierarchy (in most systems) or by ordinals (e.g. in Advanced English 97)

I keep material of different learning priority in my
collection. Can SuperMemo help me pay more attention to high priority material?

Yes. You should reduce the value of the
forgetting index for high-priority material (forgetting index is a proportion of items not remembered during repetitions). In the contents window select the item or node that you want to have higher priority and choose Node operations : Forgetting index : Set forgetting index on the pop-up menu. Forgetting index is 10% by default and can be set to 3-5% for high-priority material or only to 20% for least important branches of the knowledge tree