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How to Use Spaced Repetition

Last Updated: May 06, 2013 03:21PM CDT
Spaced repetition is a learning technique pioneered by cognitive psychologists that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material. This spacing effect refers to the fact that humans more easily remember or learn items in a list when they are studied a few times over a long period of time ("spaced presentation"), rather than studied repeatedly in a short period time ("massed presentation").
 
This spacing technique was eventually applied to language learning by Sebastian
Leitner and evolved into a spaced repetition learning system based on flashcards.
Flashcards are sorted into groups according to how well you know each one in the
study set in focus. AccelaStudy® defines five groups of flashcards:
  • Most Difficult
  • Difficult
  • Average
  • Easy
  • Easiest
This is how it works: all words start out in the Most Difficult group. In spaced repetition mode, you try to recall the vocabulary displayed on a flashcard. If you succeed, you send the card to the next easiest group. But if you fail, you send it back to the group at the previous level of difficulty. Each succeeding group has a longer period of time before
you are required to revisit the cards.
 
The advantage of this method is that you can focus on the most difficult flashcards, which remain in the first few groups. The result is, ideally, a reduction in the amount of study time needed. Though it is perfectly acceptable to set your study focus to “All Categories”, we recommend you define smaller study sets of approximately 20 - 50 vocabulary words
when using Spaced Repetition mode.

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