Learning Routine?

Hi everyone,

Right now, i am only reviewing words when they are due.
Additionally, after having completed a course, i make sure to only review a maximum of 25 words of that course per day, to avoid many words from piling up (e.g. having a review list of a few hundred words, which can be demotivating).

I’m doing quite fine that way, making the occasional mistake or forgetting a word, but it’s nothing dramatic. There’s also enough time to learn new words.

But whenever i take a look at the leaderboards or the people i follow (e.g. jlptbootcamp), i see that many people seem to do a lot of reviews to get lots and lots of points. While i don’t care about points, it got me wondering, if my approach of reviewing is actually a good approach, or if i could improve by reviewing more words more often.

On the other side, i see the danger of many words piling up (is this really a problem?), or even wasting time reviewing words that i can still remember, instead of learning new ones.

Of course, everyone learns in a different way, but maybe there’s some common ground or even best practices.
I’d love to hear your opinion on this and maybe experiences with different learning approaches!



I think it all comes down to personal preferences to how you study best.
For me, I do find myself reviewing words sometimes daily (even if memrise doesn’t say I need to review them), but that is because my brain is like a sieve. :tired_face:
Which usually means I don’t get that many words planted each day, although I aim for around 100 I rarely end up getting that done.

I have done it before for about a month, where I only reviewed the words that memrise said needed reviewing and used the rest of my time to learn new words. But I found after the month I didn’t really remember the words that well.

So for me, I usually prefer to try and get around 50-100 new words planted a day, review everything that memrise says needs reviewing, and then review courses that I feel I still don’t have the words properly learnt for, or courses that I haven’t used in ages and go back just to check I do know the words.

I’m pretty sure everyone is going to be completely different on their study methods though. :slight_smile:

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Hello. I am very much like Tampora in some ways :wink:

When I learn something new, I review daily for a few weeks (even if Memrise doesn’t say I need to review them), and gradually increase the space between the days.

And I agree with Tampora :slight_smile: :


@milamy and @tampora are right. You know best how hard you find it to recall new words and how often you ought to review them to make them stick.

Myself, I sometimes have days of massive… uh, ‘planting’ (never really thought of it this way, despite the flower garden thing, lol) new words, and the next day an absolute ton of review to make them stick. Sometimes, I find I’ve been struggling with the review one evening, but when I try again the next morning I can recall it all just fine (as if my mind worked through them while I was sleeping, which is nice of it).

I would say that you want to avoid reviewing constantly, especially on completed courses (which I only do a basic 1500 hundred point rep on each day, to hold the streak, as I used to have a bad habit of ignoring (and forgetting) completed courses), simply because it takes up a lot of time and if you get bored from doing this, may demotivate you from learning new words on other courses. Now days I avoid making a course ‘complete’ – I always leave one word so I have to review it at least somewhat or face self-shame for losing the streak, lol – but never do hundred word review sessions on them.

If you are worried about reviewing too much, if there is such a thing, then think about trying to keep your words learned/points ratio on courses in a specific region. On courses I’m still learning, I try not to let mine slip from about three thousand points per word learned (though I know that on my worst courses, points per word is much higher, and ‘completed’ courses can’t really fit to this as you continue reviewing them even once you’ve stopped learning new words).

But seriously, it is all about how you learn best. If you think you can retain words but review less, then do. If not, review to your heart’s content until you feel it’s stuck.

The leaderboards are always going to be skewed at the top towards those who are happy doing repetitive, hardcore rote memorisation, rather than those of us who are just casual learners. The boards by no means represent how many points/reviews you should be getting in order to learn efficiently. To see this, you just need to follow a small selection of other users – though some will be the hardcore sort, you will usually find that on your ‘personal’ leaderboard, the number of points people rack up is much smaller. For example, I follow user/smutsigakläder/, who hits insane points each week and blows me away with his dedication; but I also follow @LangAddict and @MarshallLanguages, both of whom are more middling (mercifully normal) on that front (depending on the week).

Meh, I’m just rambling now (again). Sorry.

Just… don’t worry about it. The crazy point-getters will be crazy point-getters, and it has no bearing on your personal learning.


@isharr Hey, thanks for the shout-out. I don’t get that many points because I use speed reviews (to get it done with the more “on the side” courses). I typically have only 2 main courses where I sometimes do classic reviews on some levels (typically the ones I learnt recently).

But aside from that, to address OP, just don’t worry and learn how much you want. For example, today I didn’t review that many words because I felt like reading a book in Japanese for hours on end. Language is not only about vocab, and especially if you’re learning a language close to yours, vocab is the least of your worries. I’d argue that reading and listening are Memrise x100 because you basically review words in context at a faster pace.

Now learning is a different issue. Depending on your stage in said language, you might wanna shoot for about 15-20 words as a beginner to 50+ words as a more advanced learner. Doesn’t matter if you can’t remember them all when your reviewing session starts; nobody can remember so much information, but the point is to make your brain aware of it so when you see the word in a book your brain will tell you “Ok, this probably means that thing, got it?”. As the famous polyglot Steve Kaufman, whom I mentioned a couple hundred times on this forum, says “Forgetting words means I’m learning them” , might seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but it’s certainly true.

So to sum up, do whatever you want and don’t give in to the competition. My advice would be to learn as many words as you can and review words to a healthy amount (but don’t over-review words unless they don’t stick to your brain) and then read/listen to the language as much as possible (and as soon as possible even if you’re a beginner).