How to remember: spaced repetition in Vocabulary Miner

Zuzana May 11

If you always wanted to understand the process of effective vocabulary practice in a Flashcards app, take a peek now. It is all about boxes!

The spaced repetition learning method has proved very fruitful in learning languages so far. It forces users to actively recall words from memory. But how does it even work? A simple explanation bellow. ↓

boxes are part of spaced repetition algorithm

The better you know the words, the less frequently you will practice them and vice versa.  You can easily learn even words from Google Translate and stop translating everything all over again. Start remembering.

Learning vocabulary is all about boxes

Spaced repetition algorithm works in the Flashcard app Vocabulary Miner for improving your language skills as following:

In the beginning, all words are in box 1. When during the learning process I say that I “KNOW IT” a word, the word goes to box 2.

If I say “NO IDEA” the word, the word goes three boxes back ending furthest in box 1 since there are no negative boxes. If I say “NOT SURE” the word stays in its current box.

Thus, in the boxes with lower numbers, there are words I don’t know very much. The higher the box number, the better is my knowledge of the word.

Time Gap: Flashcards can come up again very next day or in 90 days

Each box also defines the repetition and time needed to learn the word. Words in box 2 will show the very next day but the words in box 8 will come up again in 90 days. Such an artificial gap in learning enables to remember words much better.

Boxes and their repetition pattern:

Box — Repetition pattern

1 — 1 day

2 — 2 days

3 — 3 days

4 — 5 days

5 — 10 days

6— 30 days

7 — 60 days

8 — 90 days

The time of the repetition pattern will change only if you label the card with “KNOW” option. The options “NOT SURE” and “DON’T KNOW” won’t change the time gap.

The right choice of words makes it surprising

At the beginning of every learning cycle, 20 words are randomly chosen for practicing by Flashcards. After the very first random cycle, words from box 1 get the highest priority in the next round while the words from box 8 are the very least in the row to be practiced. Only words that are currently not in the artificial gap of spaced repetition mentioned above are at play.

The learning process is not tiresome thanks to the Language switch. It gives you the choice to decide what language — foreign or mother tongue — you see the first on a Flashcard and combine different Word lists from same language.

vocabulary miner screenshot of Flashcard spaced repetition
Choose different language direction by clicking on the upper right corner


vocabulary miner screenshot
Combine Word lists while learning to mix it up

What about other Flashcard apps? How do they work and what can they offer? There is a very simple yet detailed comparison.

Spaced repetition algorithm for technical souls

Choose the spectrum of words in boxes that are not in the compulsory learning gap. Then sort the spectrum upwardly. The next step is to choose 20 items according to this pseudocode:

currentIndex = 0;
for(int i = 0; i < 20; i++) {
     currentIndex = currentIndex + rand(0, (array.length —           
     currentIndex) / (20 — i));

The resulting spectrum learnThis needs to be shuffled afterwards. The above mentioned choice of words for learning applies only with 20 or more words.

Learning algorithm in Flashcards is not enough for learning vocabulary

Vocabulary app Vocabulary Miner created by studio SKOUMAL is based on the popular Flashcard System and a special algorithm. It is without ads, other distractions, and works even offline.

Don’t forget — No app with spaced repetition will save you. You have to come to the app and practice, day by day. You have to have the determination and…fun. Learning words quickly can be a day-to-day activity and so much fun in many little steps.

How to use Vocabulary Miner app? Check video … or more detailed tutorial here.

Interested in more stories? We practice to #saymore on our Instagram, too.


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