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 making repetitions

Repetition cycle

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 (in Step 2)
  4. Choose a grade that will reflect the accuracy of your response (e.g. Good, Fail, etc.)
  5. Choose Next repetition to continue (go to Step 1)

You can ignore the timer, the response time is not considered in computing optimum intervals


The grades are defined as follows (keyboard shortcuts in parentheses):


Bright (keyboard shortcut: 5), excellent response
Good (4), correct response provided with 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

Grading tips:

Learning stages

Everyday, your learning will proceed in three stages:

  1. Repetitions - reviewing material that has been memorized earlier (to make sure you remember it)
  2. Memorizing - if you have time, you can memorize new material by answering Yes to Do you want to learn new material?
  3. Final drill - reviewing material that caused most problems in the first two stages of learning

Regular repetitions are the key to success with SuperMemo

In SuperMemo you first memorize the material and then repeat it when the program asks you to do it.
You memorize new material at your own pace but once it is memorized, you must make repetitions exactly as demanded by SuperMemo! This is not a limitation of the program. This is a limitation of human memory!

The power of SuperMemo is in providing the best timing for repetitions. Optimally, you should work with SuperMemo every day! This way you will not accumulate outstanding material and you will not deviate from the optimum schedule of repetitions!

Your repetitions should proceed daily until the following equivalent conditions are met (if one of these conditions is met, so are the others):

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

Frequently Asked Questions

You do not have to interrupt repetitions to introduce corrections to questions or answers
You can view the calendar of repetitions with Ctrl+W
Grades provided at final drill do not affect the learning process
You can use Ctrl+R to postpone memorizing a given element
Response time does not affect the learning process
If you return from vacations, you can use Tools : Mercy to recover gradually from the pile-up of work
If you want to give your collection to a friend, remove the learning process from the collection
You can use the forgetting index to learn some portions of material in more detail