Speed Review Suggestions

Replace the speed review individual decreasing flashcard time limit with an overall speed review timer and refine other gamification techniques.

Speed review is psychologically and fundamentally flawed. While this sounds like a strong statement, I would like to take a moment to clarify my meaning.

Learning should be based on mastery. The learner should be competing with his/her own benchmarks. Presenting an arbitrary timer that punishes the learner doesn’t serve to acknowledge the learner’s current competency level.

This is more problematic for flashcards that present an entire sentence, rather than single word.

You can still retain the idea of a “perfect” score for mastery, but this method should not compromise the actual goal of learning.

A better method would be the following:

  1. ) An overall timer for the 100 words in the set
  2. ) If you have an individual increasingly shortening timer, then failing to meet that timer should add a negative mark to your score but should still allow the learner to try and guess the word. (It’s also weird that getting a correct answer repeats the audio, but getting an incorrect answer does not play the correct audio.)
  3. ) Missing a word should shuffle that word back into the remaining deck and it should be noted in your overall score.
  4. ) At the end of your session, you should see Total Time, Number of Speed Bumps, and Number of Missed Words

From there the learner can benchmark his/her own progress and set goals to be more proficient. It also give more encouragement by giving the user more granular feedback into their progress.

Some other notes:

For flashcards with sentences, I’ve also found it problematic that the next flashcard starts before the previous audio of the sentence ends.

The current mechanic leads to bad practices. Namely the brain scanning answers for key words and guessing without actually internalizing the content.


My main problem with the timed aspect of the speed test is that it doesn’t adjust the time according to the length of the content. For example, it gives you the same time to translate the word ‘conduire’ as it does the phrase ‘est-ce que vous pouvez me conduire à cet hôtel s’il vous plaît ?’

The lengthy phrases are irritating when that timer is giving you less than a second to answer.

Other than that, I find speed tests beneficial… although I only have experience of them in relation to official language courses.


i think the speed review is just fine… my only problem is that the timer doesn’t reset if you get an answer wrong.
you get a new life every 15 correct answers, and messing up would reset it. and getting 20+ answers in a row is very difficult
so basically getting one answer wrong would most likely result in losing 2 hearts

I like the time challenge but I hate to have no chance but to loose every time, because the answering time gets shorter even when I do my best. I don’t care about points, and I get frustrated that I cannot avoid the broken hearts at the end.

My suggestions that don’t change to much the current implementation: calculate an average answer time from the first five answers, so people can choose their individual rythm.
Then present e.g. 50 items and let the time bars go up according to the time necessary to keep that initial average answering time for the rest of the items.

Example: 15 seconds for first 5 items means that the person tries to keep 3sec/item, meaning 150 seconds total time for the following items. If one takes more time than 3 secs for any subsequent item, then the available answer time per item decreases and vice versa. Loose hearts when you don’t answer in time or wrongly, but give an encouragement if you get through all 50 items with hearts left!

The goal is to get a paced flow through a series of items (good for learning) rather than panic and inevitable defeat at the end (bad for learning).

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Puppetpunch is spot on, Speed Review contributes very little in its current form. I will knock off one star per week if this comment is not addressed.

My suggestion is to time how long it takes to review 100 words. That way the user can see if they are improving on their own performance without stressing them out.

Why I hate Speed Review: I tend to make a quick stab at a phrase when I’m running out of time and make silly mistakes

It feels like unnecessary punishment to go through the ‘Difficult Words’ section just to tick off these rushed mistakes.


There are no replacement hearts awarded on the Android app version, it makes Speed Review significantly more annoying if you are used to completing things. Also there are fixed times to answer which become far too short on cards with a large amount of complicated text and very many “trick” answers that need to be read to select the correct option.

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Well said, I also found whilst at first I could complete 100 cards with just 1 card wrong out of 2 attempts, the feature stressed me and made me actually worse. My error rate was climbing and I’d fail to finish, so I stopped using the feature except when I have 75 cards to review or more.

I found when it was giving insufficient answer time to read and pick the right answer, I’d just let it time out. At least that way, you don’t have to go do tricky words over and over for words you have learned perfectly.

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I don’t even do the Speed Review anymore. I just poke buttons without paying attention to end it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it ups my difficult words. But, it was way too stressful trying to read phrases in such a short time. And I would get angry when I picked the correct phrase only to have it marked wrong because I didn’t pick one that ended with a question. Either improve Speed Review or give us the chance to opt out of doing it.

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Hi. Why do you think you can’t opt out of it? Do you mean the Next up button? If yes, you don’t have to do what’s suggested there, just click More and choose whatever it is you want to do. At least, that’s what I do on the web and Android App, I don’t know if things are different on iOS…


Yes, simply hit the menu button when it suggests Speed Review and choose something different.

Now I AM using Speed Review more happily, but for reviewing fairly quickly completed decks; either I have an overwhelming amount of cards to review, or I have known in that subject but want to keep the sets in order, for example tonight Spanish 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7, all had many cards to review; I chose to do a Speed Review on 4, when I realised the Learn with Locals had been played and I had done Comprehension Listening recently.

When you don’t care how many cards you complete, Speed Reviewing is less stressfull. I have noticed OFTEN on rapid time out, I am scoring 43 points, so the time limit is ridiculously short and unfair. If it’s Gamification ideas, making a challenge, then it just discredits the whole “game” part of Memrise. I have been taught to not give a monkey’s about points or streaks …

The funny thing is, that for all my completed PT BR 1-7 and PT Basic Memrise courses the streak is gone on the web portal :frowning:

I really really miss them!

I wish Memrise staff would have added an additional “extra level” per course with some generic / funny / not so important words, so I would have at least 1+ words unlearned so I still have my PT BR 1-7 courses unfinished and I could still benefit from the additional orange day streak panel per course.

I’m new to memrise, and I agree you can find ways around speed review, but I still think a properly designed app/service should allow you to say, “don’t ask me to do any more of these, they’re awful.”

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I think that the purpose of speed review is to actually review the foreign words. For me, the problem with the fast timer is that often one cannot hear the foreign words, because the app jumps to the next question. So I would like Speed Review to at least finish pronouncing the foreign words before starting to count time, in order to prevent jumping to the next question before letting the user hear the foreign words.

Whenever the foreign phrase/ string of words is fairly long a similar problem occurs with the writing: Not only is the pronouniation cut off (as indicated above), moreover, the written words are cut off, because the field containing the answer is too small!

Cutting both written and oral review off = not reviewing!