SuperMemo as a study aid in mathematics in a classroom

Maarten Mols, De Berkenschutse school for special education Heeze, The Netherlands April 1999

New article by Dr. Piotr Wozniak: The true history of spaced repetition

This article was written for Polish Technical Review and published in the issue 5/6, 1994

Aim of the study

The aim of the study was to investigate whether the application of SuperMemo at school during one year would produce sufficient results to justify expanding the use of SuperMemo in the following year.


Subjects: 10 students (of the lower level secondary school, age 12 to 16 years) in special education. Most of the students worked with SuperMemo twice a week about 10 minutes in the math-classroom. Only a few pupils used SuperMemo at home. They worked more frequently with it, but spent less time per day. The collections consisted of questions and answers formulated by the teacher, according to the subject matter of the mathematics book. In the beginning, there were only questions about the first chapter of the book. During the school year all the other chapters were added.

At the end of the school year 1997/1998, the pupils received a test, consisting of 65 questions, randomly chosen from their collection. The computer presented the questions on the screen and the students had to answer orally. The teacher marked the answers.


The collections at the end of the year consisted of 375 items on average. Students had been working with SuperMemo for 7 months on average (some students started school only in January). The average retention score was: 80% (retention reported by SuperMemo was about 90% which could probably be explained by less strict self-grading on the part of students)


Four of every five questions had been answered correctly. The conclusion was clear: next year we will expand the use of SuperMemo in our school for special education. At first we are going to apply it in foreign languages (English, German, and French). Later on we will start using it in other subjects. SuperMemo appears to be an effective supplement to traditional study methods