Learn : Learn all

Learn all allows you to memorize new items and repeat items that have already been memorized. Learn all is called by pressing Ctrl+L. You can memorize new items on whatever day you choose, and in quantities of your choice. However, as soon as an item has been committed to your memory, SuperMemo will determine the dates of subsequent repetitions, and you will have little or no influence on repetition timing. Optimally, you should go through Learn all once a day. If, for any reason, it is not possible to repeat items every day, try to pass Learn all as regularly as your weekly schedule permits. You should remember that working with SuperMemo once a week will reduce the effectiveness manifold, and working once a month can hardly produce results better than traditional forms of learning with a non-optimized repetition schedule.

Learn all proceeds in three stages:

1. Repeating items scheduled for the current day. Outstanding repetition or Repetition appears in the title bar of the Learn window (this stage may be passed independently by choosing Learn : Repeat outstanding items).

2. Memorizing new items. Memorize appears in the title bar (this stage may be passed independently by choosing Learn : Memorize new items).

3. Repeating items that caused recall problems in stages 1-2. Final drill appears in the title bar (this stage may be passed independently by choosing Learn : Final drill).

Items repeated in the first stage are determined by the repetition scheduling algorithm. Optimally, all items scheduled on the current day should be repeated. In the second stage, items are memorized in the sequence in which they have been introduced to the database by means of Append. This sequence can be modified by means of the Intact browser as well as with Reset and Memorize (options available in all editing windows). You can freely choose the number of new items you want to memorize depending on availability of time, tiredness, etc. You can skip the second stage in case there are no more new items in the database, or if you do not wish to increase the repetition burden. In the third stage, you will repeat items that scored below four in the response quality assessment in the first and second stages of Learn all. If you have a great number of outstanding items, e.g., because of vacation, illness, etc., you can resign from the third stage of repetitions. To do this, you can choose the Cut drills option on the Learn menu.

Each repetition in each of the three stages proceeds along the following steps, called the repetition cycle:

1. The question of the repeated item is displayed, and you should provide a verbal response, or you should answer the question in your mind. Upon producing the response, click the answer field of the Learn window or press Enter.

2. The answer of the repeated item is displayed, and you should compare it with the response you provided in Step 1.

3. The grade, or response quality, should now be specified to tell SuperMemo how difficult it was to answer the question. To input the quality click one of the five grade buttons under the Answer field, or click Grade on the menu and select the relevant grade.

Press Enter to continue repetitions, or select any of the options of the editing mode, e.g. Delete (Del), Reset (R), Memorize (M), Print (Ctrl+Shift+P), Copy (C), etc.

The response quality grade scale is as follows:

5 - Bright - Excellent response, correct answer given without hesitation.

4 - Good - Correct answer given after some consideration.

3 - Pass - Answer recalled with difficulty, perhaps slightly incorrect (e.g., 5 billion in response to a question on the size of the human population which was 5.4 billion in 1991).

2 - Fail- Wrong answer that makes you say: I knew it!

1 - Bad - Wrong answer in case when the correct one seems to be familiar.

0 - Null - Complete blackout; you even do not recall ever knowing the answer.

In case you have memorized an item that seems less important or too difficult, and you think that you would rather wish to memorize it later, reset it (in the Learn window, press R or choose Item : Reset). Resetting will place the item at the end of the list of items waiting for memorization (this list is called the intact queue). Note, that Reset will have no effect on intact items; therefore, if you want to move intact items to the end of the intact queue, press M or choose Item: Memorize before you choose Reset.

If you want to put an important item to the learning process before its turn comes in the sequence determined by Edit : Append new items, you can choose Memorize in any of the editing windows (e.g. by pressing M).

Here is the best algorithm for using SuperMemo (tried successfully by thousands of users in several dozen countries of the world):

1. Choose the daily working time from 5 to 45 minutes. Unless you are an experienced SuperMemo user, do not choose the working time longer than 45 minutes!

2. In the course of your ordinary daily activities collect items that you want to remember (facts, figures, rules, vocabulary, names, phones, etc.). For working examples, see sample databases placed on your hard disk by the installation program.

3. Open the database

4. If Outstanding in your database(s) is different from zero, repeat outstanding items until Outstanding equals 0+0 (use Learn : Learn all).

5. If you have got some time left for work with SuperMemo (compare Step 1), and if Intact in your database(s) is different from zero, memorize new items until Intact equals zero or until your time is out (whichever comes first).

6. If you have got some time left for work with SuperMemo, add new items collected in Step 2 (use Edit : Append new items). If your time is limited, select only the most important items. Keep unused items for later use. Continue appending new items until your time is out.

7. If you have got some extra time and would like to work beyond the time limit set in Step 1, append more items. Do not memorize new items after time! Do not repeat items using Random tests!

8. After work, take a one day break and go back to Step 3.

Warning! If you are ever tempted to give dummy grades to provisionally unload the backlog of outstanding repetitions, remember that dummy grades may result in an irreversible damage to the learning process by distorting optimization matrices RF and OF. Mercy and Wipe should be used in such circumstances, and only as a last resort!