A bug - maximum review period is capped at 180 days

Since there’s aparantly no one from Memrise staff on the general forums I’ll leave it here.

There’s a serious bug in Memrise timing algorithm for reviewing items. Maximum review period is capped at 180 days. That’s a serious problem for those with thousands of words for review - no matter how good you know the word, it will always come up at least twice a year, making it impossible to use Memrise after a certain point just because of the time you would need to review the words.

I know that I can ignore the word, but it would take a lot of time anyway and there’s no fast way to do it. And I don’t want to do it anyway - I want to keep reviewing the word, but make it 360 days, 720 days and so on.

This has been numerously reported, since years ago on an old forum. But so far I do not see any comment on this issue from anyone the Memrise staff.

One of the newer posts with this problem:


This is not a “bug”. One does not have to water old items, there is no compulsion to do so, unless one invents it…

I simply quit the courses i’ve finished. I save the links in a memrise folder, then I water the old courses when I am in the mood to do so.


You don’t have to water the words after 180 days. You can do it after 200 or 300 or 500, when ever you want. It’s not like you have to water prior to learning new phrases

When I study a course with 2000 words, I might do it during a very long period of time. So I do have to water the old words I already know, because I can’t select to water the words I studied just recently. Unless I quit the course altogether I have either to water all the words or ignore them.


It’s not a bug per se, but there’s definitely something wrong with SRS algorithm on part of Memrise. I don’t want to quit a course, I want to water them to keep words in mind - that’s a whole idea of SRS in the first place.


but you just said you don’t want to water anymore in certain courses… I don’t get, then, what the problem is…

And, as said, if you quit, you can always take them back (memrise remembers all your courses, every bit of learned item, unless you click “restart”) and applying SRS to items your brain learned for good is … redundant/useless/waste of lifetime/etc?
you cannot waste your lifetime repeating memrise items, can you?

(well, personally, I do use what i learn “outside” memrise…)

My courses already are getting to 180 day spacing. I know in June/July, they will come back. What I plan is after finishing that course, suspend all lessons that have ~180 days and just give myself a long term reminder (reddit, my e-mail, calendar) to unsuspend and go through them again (then add a 2 year reminder). Tedious, but apparently Memrise loves making aspects of its site tedious to both course creators and students for whatever reason.

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I didn’t see them say that anywhere.

Only that the Spaced Repetition interval should not be capped – the interval should keep getting bigger as long as the words are known.

So the interval could go from half a year to a year, then to 2.5 years, than 7 years, etc. (or whatever the interval multiplier is for a well-known word).

And also that this should not be per-course but per-word.

In one of my Anki decks, I have words with intervals that range from 1 day to over 7 years.

I don’t want to ignore the entire deck – I do want to repeat words. But words that I know very well I don’t need to see every year, while words that I know less well I need to see several times a month, perhaps.


I would prefer not to have it changed from 180 days. However, memrise should give us a lot more options. Such as letting us choose the SRS cap. That way we’d all win.


Any updates on this issue?
I’ve been using Anki for about 10 years, but lost my database and just recently started to try out memrise. Seems like this arbitrary 180 days cap has ben around for years, I find a lot of forum posts about it, but the developers don’t care and don’t even comment on it.
The whole point of an SRS is to save time spent on repeating words that you already know. If I have to spend several minutes every day repeating stuff like “yes” “no” “hello” “one” “two”… that hits the 180day mark then no thanks, I go back to anki.

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Doesn’t bother me :slight_smile:

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You can ignore: yes, no, hello, one, two

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Which defeats the purpose of SRS. Setting manual reminders to unignore, or whatever alternative, is nothing short of a stop-gap for a broken system. This is completely antithetical to SRS and memorisation, there should not be any cap.

It amazes me the mental gymnastics people will play to defend this site. Face it, it’s a bunk program that is barely good enough for making children feel like they’re actually learning while keeping them occupied with shiny, flashy colours and poorly-implemented point/streak systems.


You don’t have to use it if you don’t like it. It’s as simple as that


If you are in a course that is asking you to review at 180 + 180 + 180 +180 days, maybe it is time to push through and finish the course.

I recommend that you view Memrise as an excellent tool for learning, and not so much as a tool for perpetual review and maintenance.

This used to really bug me as well: “Doggone it Memrise, why can’t you be the perfect tool to manage my forever vocabulary!” But I no longer feel that way. If I can take a big chunk of vocab to 180 days, then I’ve actually learned that vocab pretty well. I’m fine with having to decide on my own whether I want to keep drilling the vocab, or whether I can stop reviewing a course because 85% of what is in the course is routinely built into daily reading, television, etc, and the other 15% will be re-learned in other courses or contexts.

For some content, continuing 180-day practice is actually quite useful as my pronunciation and ease continues to improve with ongoing repetition. For other content, I choose to just stop reviewing the course all together after reviewing a finished course for another 6 months. And I have a few courses that I completed long ago, and now just do a few thousand points of random speed review every now and then, at my leisure.

Sure, excessive review is a pain in really long courses that span basic-intermediate-advanced vocab, where you keep reviewing basic vocab along with the new vocab. But I actually find it useful to have some of that as well. If there is zero cognitive demand to recall basic words, it is easy to get in a high demand language situation and have your brain freeze. In your native language, you automatically practice the basic words all the time.


In my case, the courses are completed. However, I don’t want to forget the stuff I learned, hence the spaced repetition. That it limits spacing to 180 days is the baffling part. Since my courses are fairly short (500 to 1000 entries) no big deal removing the whole course and setting a reminder. Still, why can’t Memrise add a 360 and 720 day spacing?

Also, Memrise is memory tool. On a number of courses, the learning is done external to the course (especially in grammar’s case) with Memrise being the spaced reminder tool for review.

You don’t have to convince me that that would be a very nice feature. Under the old community fora there were all sorts of ideas for how Memrise could handle words after they hit 180 days. I’m just saying that maintaining and practicing are different tasks than learning, and that if this is a huge problem, then that means that you’ve successfully learned a lot of stuff.

I 100% agree with the point that the cap is frustrating. I am doing loads of courses and therefore every 180 days doing words I needn’t do. It must be a very simple software switch to allow 360 days, 720 days etc etc. There is no reason for the cap. Memrise is so brilliant - but just not. Memrise wants to promote prizes for learning techniques, yet doesn’t listen to the community at all.

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I’m resurrecting this old discussion because I’m also having a problem with this. As @Angharad.Merfin points out one could simply quit older courses once they’ve been drilled enough, however in my experience that doesn’t work very well for courses with a large amount of cards.

I’m currently studying two “top 5000 words” decks and obviously it takes quite a long time to make it through those, especially when you’re not studying very intensely (I tend to dedicate ~30 min/day to memrise). For those having to repeat the most basic vocabulary every 180 days while you’re still struggling with the most complicated vocab is frustrating. I don’t want to quit the course but at the same time I don’t want to waste my time repeating basic vocabulary that I probably won’t forget in a long time.

A potential workaround would be to manually ignore entries that I’ve memorized to only keep the ones I actually want to study, but that’s rather tedious.

Ideally I’d prefer it if Memrise would raise the cap to something much longer than 180days. At least two years would be nice, but why stop here? Surely it’s not a software limitation, even a 32bit integer could handle a few decades without issue with a granularity of a second.

But if that’s too cumbersome simply an option to auto-ignore entries that are successfully remembered after a 180day hiatus might be a good start, for me at least.

I have a great idea. Why don’t they remove 180 cap for a paid subscription. Because of this cap I haven’t used Memrise for years, but I might reconsider :joy:

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