Difference between Review and Learn modes?

I’m using a community created course (NGSL - L2 Japanese with audio) with a group of students in a course I teach. When students go to my group, they can click on the green “Learn” button, or the orange “Review” button.
review v. learn

The problem is that I can’t find any clear information on the difference between these two options, and thus can’t advise my students on their use.
By my understanding, the whole idea of a “spaced repetition” algorithm is that the system manages when and how learners review items in the course—that it basically runs on autopilot. Doesn’t the “Learn” mode provide this? If it does, what is the purpose of the “Review” mode? And how should/could they be used in tandem?
If I’ve missed a clear discussion of these issues somewhere, please feel free to point me to the correct link. I’ll be very thankful for any clear direction on these points.

Hi @kjsjp and welcome to the forum.

The “Learn” function is when you are being presented with new words that are not yet in you ‘long term memory’. It is for the student (or the teacher) to decide when to learn new words. It’s described here;

The “Review” function (also referred to as “Classic Reivew”) kicks in once a word has been ‘learned’ (ie after the first six tests in the “Learn” function have been completed). This is controlled by Memrise’s spaced repetition system which determines when each word falls due for review depending on success or failure when being tested. The number displayed in brackets indicates the number of words that have fallen due for review. It’s described here:

The spaced repetition system is described here:

I hope this helps.


Thanks very much alanh.
So if my students use both Learn New Words and Review (keeping the number of words to review low), they’ll be getting the best benefit of Memrise’s spaced repetition scheme?

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In theory, yes. Just bear in mind that the more new words you learn, the more your reviewing load grows. It’s a bit like a snow ball rolling down a hill :sweat_smile:


Thanks. I came to Memrise from another app, WordEngine, which combines the Learn New Words and Review functions into one process. That was probably the source of my initial confusion in using Memrise.
I guess I’m wondering what, if any, advantage there is to dividing the two modes, as Memrise does.