How to not burn out from an overburden of items needed to be reviewed?

I’d like to know how you cope with those times when one day you log on and your review tab has suddenly racked up 2000 items. Am I the only who gets overwhelmed and paralysed by this??

Haven’t been on Memrise for about half a year or so. I really like Memrise and it has helped and worked for me on many occasions. Though, as far as I’ve used it I always end up quiting because of my unability to have a busy high school life and review 800-something items everyday.
I feel like this time’s going to be a bit different, because recently in my life I’ve started using other online learning tools besides Memrise, such as Khan Academy and Clozemaster, which have broadened my perspective a bit in terms of learning. But~, to not get too ahead of myself, I decided to write this post(sidenote: memrise forums have grown, wow!).

I have felt this too , especially with the website being down for a week. Yesterday when it started working for me I had 1,800 items to review. Because of the time-off, my recall rate was much lower too. So , I spent a lot of time feeling frustrated. All I can say is that really focus on the reason why you are learning, instead of Memrise itself. When I focus on the larger picture, it becomes much easier to smile through the frustration.


(1) You don’t have to review everything. It’s not like you get a bad grade, or don’t advance, or aren’t allowed to learn new stuff if you don’t review. Be selective - water memories from recent learning.

(2) Speed review is useful in some situations.

(3) Courses that you learned a few years ago - I try to go through each level one last time, writing words by hand in a journal, and then I quit the course. Anything I need will come up again in other courses, books, newspapers, etc.

(4) You will learn more if you enjoy the process.


In addition to the above, I’d add that it’s a very good idea to pace yourself. Find a sustainable rate to review items, rather than trying to rush through it.

I’ve always tried to clear out my review items every day in order to prevent backlog, but things come up. After the recent server issues, for example, I found myself with almost a thousand items due for review.

Rather than trying to burn through them all as fast as I can though, I’m doing it bit by bit. I review a hundred items around the start of my day, do something else for a few minutes, then review another hundred. I then repeat the process later in the day, bringing the total to around 400 items per day. The idea is to review more than is coming in every day. In my case, I average something around 200 items coming up per day, so as long as I keep at this rate, I’ll eventually catch up.

Another good reason not to burn through the entire backlog all at once is that all of those items will then stay ‘clumped together’, meaning that later on, once the next review cycle comes around, you’re going to get a huge batch dumped on you all at once, which is never fun.

So I’d suggest setting up something of a priority list with your courses (I use the ‘Groups’ screen for this), so you can slowly work your way through that. As long as you continue to do more than what’s coming in, you’ll eventually get there.

Good luck! :smile:


Don’t be afraid to use “ignore” once you’re confident you know a word well enough that you’ll almost certainly never forget it, or because it occurs in multiple courses that you’re learning.
I also generally avoid learning courses I don’t have edit rights on, so I can add necessary disambiguations and alternatives to prevent being marked incorrect for typing a correct word that wasn’t what Memrise was expecting.
It’s hard to imagine you could rack up 800 new items for review every day - it’s more likely that it crept up to 800 because you were reviewing at a slower pace than you had initially been learning, which can happen very quickly if you have a few weeks where you don’t have so much time. I got up to over 1000 at one point but got it done again within a month by ensuring I focused on reviewing as many words as I could each day and avoiding learning any new ones (even if it meant breaking an occasional streak).


I have 2 methods now:

  1. Set reviews to “5”, open up a comic in another tab. Read 1 page, review 5 words, read 1 page. It goes way faster than you’d think; your brain needs that short break, just 1 page isn’t enough to get you so sucked into reading that you forget to water; just 5 words aren’t enough to feel long or make you forget what’s happening in the comic.

  2. Speed review on the smartphone app. After getting used to it, I was reviewing 60 items a session. To me anyway the app version is much easier to do than the web version.

Of course, also “ignore” any words you don’t need anymore as they come up, as well. When I learn new words I review 10, learn 5. Every time I review I ignore at least SOME words.


I probably spend about 3/4 of my Memrise time reviewing. When the system is down or I have not been able to use Memrise for a little while, the Review can get a little overwhelming. I often use Speed Review as an alternative to Review just to get through it more quickly.

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Since a few weeks ago I do something similar: play video, hit shortcut that pauses the video after 420000 milliseconds, do 2 or 3 25 words reviewing sessions, repeat. I’ve gone to doing basically doing nothing for months on Memrise before I did this to reducing my backlog from 10k to 4k words now.


As people said, really. :slight_smile: My best ones are Speed Review (though I actually prefer the web version to the mobile one, because it’s faster) and ignoring items I no longer feel I’m at a risk of getting wrong. And, of course, you don’t have to do it all at once. You don’t have to watch videos or read comics - just find an activity you can do in small increments and review stuff in between.

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Oh that’s interesting, I guess it must be slower for me because I only have 60% of my peripheral vision (and -11 sight) and the wider/taller/further away computer screen causes problems… Good to know!

I’ve had up to 9000 words to review once. First of all I ignore all courses where there are 5 or less words to review as it takes time going from course to course. Then I start at the top of my list of courses ( I have over 70) and try and do a few hundred words a day. I start at the top of the list each day and gradually at the end of each day I am a bit further down my list of courses. It can take a few weeks but you do gradually get on top of it and you can see your progress clearly. I stopped worrying about the fact that courses at the bottom of the list were gradually getting more words to review and just focused on making a bit of progress down the list.
I have tried other methods like going to the courses which had the most or least to review but then you are going up and down the list all the time.

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Ouch. :frowning: Must be - would it help if you increased the font size on screen? To be honest, I find the tapping on a touchscreen itself faster as well (though not much faster compared to using the Numpad on the PC - I’m slower with the mouse), but it’s the fact that the app makes a little pause between items to give you the audio, while the web version skips it, that makes speed review on PC faster for me.

Ahh, none of my courses have audio… Font size makes it more readable in general, but your eyes still have to “move” across the same expanse of space to see the whole screen. For example, if I’m looking at subtitles I can’t see the top of the TV at the same time, due to that lack of peripheral vision. When your eyes are mismatching prescriptions etc (like mine) it also means they don’t move/focus at the same rate (can’t track objects easily, they also refocus more slowly when the tracking stops). On multiple-choice tests on the computer the options take up more space than on the phone so my eyes have to move more to even read all the options. (Of course the phone font can be smaller because it’s closer to my eyeballs, and I can even just move the phone instead of my eyes if I want.)

(Apologize for getting the thread off-topic!)

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7 posts were split to a new topic: User trying to get back in contact with KA users

What really helps is the user script “Memrise Catch up review”, specially if there is a break of 5-14++ days (and it happens easily when the backlog is filled with >180 words or even 480 words per course; the bigger the queue, the less I am willed to fight through it).

It sometimes saves me 2-3 review cycles by putting the corrrectly remembered question further back from the next standard Memrise cycle (when reviewing out of the standard repetition / daily cycles).