How to learn in batches with SRS?

Good job Kevinstadler!

I generally feel the difference between Barely remembered / remembered / perfectly remembered is not that big.
But I didn't spend time to fine-tune it. T
he things are changed is more like max number of cards per day, repeat incorrect cards after test, category selection...

Barely remembered would make my score go from 6000 to 11000
Remembered would make 6000 go to 13000
Perfectly remembered would make 6000 go to 16000
But in the end, it's all more or less x2 for all...

I feel that it would be nice to have a kind of Wizard in the pleco app that would set up the SRS for you depending on your needs. Pleco is amazingly configurable but most people don't want to go and change their settings in fear it will break everything (or they just don't really understand what are the implications of the changes).
 
I generally feel the difference between Barely remembered / remembered / perfectly remembered is not that big.
But I didn't spend time to fine-tune it. T
he things are changed is more like max number of cards per day, repeat incorrect cards after test, category selection...

Barely remembered would make my score go from 6000 to 11000
Remembered would make 6000 go to 13000
Perfectly remembered would make 6000 go to 16000
But in the end, it's all more or less x2 for all...
EDIT: I have since realised that that is indeed approximately Pleco's default behaviour: the relative score increases after barely remembering, remembering and perfectly remembering a card are 95, 100 and 110% respectively, i.e. a near 2-fold increase in all cases. (Your slightly different observed increases of 83, 117 and 167% are probably because of the long-term 'easiness' of the cards you were looking at, which offset the score updates ever so slightly.)

I guess the idea of the roughly 2-fold increase of the score is that, if you remembered a card since its last review (a timespan solely determined by the card's score), that the time until the next review should be roughly twice as long either way. If you want the barely and perfectly remembered options to have a bigger impact on the next scheduled review, you could set the "Correct scale score increase %" to more extreme values, e.g. for Quality 4: 80% and Quality 6: 120%.

I feel that it would be nice to have a kind of Wizard in the pleco app that would set up the SRS for you depending on your needs. Pleco is amazingly configurable but most people don't want to go and change their settings in fear it will break everything (or they just don't really understand what are the implications of the changes).
I agree with the risk of messing up the 'Tweak parameters' menu, as long as the system seems to work for you there's really no reason to start changing any of the values in there. The only two values that I dared to change were the 'incorrect score decrease %' which by default don't actually distinguish between the three different shades of 'incorrect' and simply reset the scores back to the minimum (much like the original Leitner flashcard box system).

I am already at the level where I can write a character and know its pinyin/meaning after seeing it in Pleco once or twice, then repeating after a day, then after three days, seven days, then two weeks. Do you think such a rhythm is practicable with the current SRS, or would you recommend to use Random subject selection and a manually enforced schedule, with Card filters, for that? The tests I usually alternate between are Show Definition or Show Characters in the Self-graded test type.
I understand wanting to have really fine-grained control over the testing regime, but in the end I didn't feel like all the constant manual changing settings/categories around was really worth the hassle, when SRS gives you something very close to it (and is actually more adaptive, like when some of the cards in a set that you started learning at the same time simply won't go into your head, while other ones you can do in your sleep). I actually find myself (ab)using the 'Prompt for recall quality' option in order to get more fine-grained conscious and intentional control over my review schedule: when I sway between two responses (say perfectly remembered vs. remembered) I often look at the time until the next review that would result from my choice, and then pick whichever seems more appropriate to me. If you're on Android make sure you enable 'Show SRS intervals' and select one of the button layouts with a slash in it, maybe it will suit your needs!
 
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Shun

状元
Thank you! I'm on iOS; I will try SRS again using your system, just without the score-dependent switching of test types.
 

sourlearn

Member
I've been neglecting my studies for quite a while :( That said, on the positive side I lived in China for quite a while too so at least my 口语 and 听力 are much improved :) Anyway, it's time to start preparing now for the next HSK level (HSK5), meaning that I once again run into the trouble of how to study in batches. Since I haven't used Pleco's flashcard system for a while, I figured I'd use this opportunity to give this some more thought, as I want to streamline and simplify my workflow.
  • Although I do still believe that it makes sense, in principle, to distinguish between the various learning directions (listening, speaking, reading, writing), and that a high score in one direction does not necessarily imply a high score in another, in practice having 4 different scorefiles for these directions is time consuming, and as my vocabulary grows that becomes a more important problem. I don't want to just study in one direction however. As @FrancoisTaipei says, everybody is different but I think learning in one direction only is dangerous; for instance, I've met many people who are good at reading but struggle with dialogue because the sound-to-meaning link is not present in their head (they often need to visualize the word before they know what it means).
  • Having these different scorefiles has a technical downside too: it makes it hard to set things up so that, for example, words are included in the speaking test only once they have been successfully included in the listening test (although according to https://plecoforums.com/threads/minor-feature-request-for-flashcards-allow-score-filter-to-specify-a-score-file.5261/ this limitation is apparently lifted in version 4.0, but the release date for that is still unknown). This problem could be addressed by using categories in a more detailed manner to specify which words should and should not be included (for instance, using the built-in Pleco functionality to split the HSK levels into categories containing 10 words per category, or use a special "Learning Pool" category), but doing again involves more work; doesn't fit the "streamlined" requirement :) (Incidentally, this was not addressed in my setup as I had described in previously in this thread either.)
  • I think that Pleco's "Alternating" subject selection is a reasonable compromise: each time I review vocabulary, it's essentially random which direction Pleco asks me (I interpret the "writing" direction as "speaking", as I do writing separately; see below).
  • Simply setting up SRS and adding HSK5 as a new category however is no good, as that would immediately introduce 1300 cards as "due" :eek:. This can be addressed using a "Include card if #reviewed > 0" record filter.
  • Of course, that then means that "truly new" cards will never come up; so I use a separate profile for "new" cards; this is useful anyway because for new cards I find it useful to study it in passive direction (char + audio) direction first.
  • Finally, I share @pdwalker 's concern that for "truly new" cards studying them once only is insufficient; so I use a third profile to practice these.
So, I've set up three profiles: Revise, Practice, and New, all of which use the same, single, scorefile.

Revise

This is the most important one. When I don't have much time, this is the only once I use, and is the one that is essential for SRS to work properly.
  • Set "Card selection/System": "Repetition-spaced"
  • Leave "Card categories" at "All categories" (since this is used only to revise cards that are due; can set this to specific categories if specific reason to only focus on some of the words that are due, but this would mess up your SRS for the other words :).
  • Enable "Card Filters/Record Filter", set "Include card if": "# reviewed", "Is": ">", "Than": "0".
  • Set "Test settings/Subject selection" to "Alternating", then enable "Test reading", "Test writing", and "Test listening"; since I interpret "Writing" as "Speaking" I then change "Configure Subjects/Writing/Show" to "Definition".
  • Enable "Commands/Repeat incorrect cards" (not essential)
  • Enable "Test Settings/Auto-play on reveal" (not essential but I like to have the audio repeated whenever possible to reinforce the right pronunciation).
Practice

If I have a bit more time, I use this to practice the words that I haven't yet got right at least 3 times in a row (in particular, this would be words that I saw for the first time today -- which I've only studied in a passive direction -- but also words that I got wrong in the review session).
  • Set "Card selection/System" to "Random" and disable "Card selection/Manage new cards"
  • "Max number of cards": "All" (can just stop the test when you run out of time or when you've answered too many words wrong and want to practice those first before trying others).
  • "Card categories": leave at "All categories"
  • Enable "Card Filters/Record filter", set "Include card if": "# reviewed", "Is": ">", "Than": "0" (i.e., consider the same set of cards that we consider for "Revise")
  • Enable "Card Filters/History filter", set "Include card if": "not correct in a row", "Is": "3" (but only consider words that we haven't yet answered correctly 3 times in a row).
  • Optionally, enable "Card Filters/Time filter", set "Include card if": "last reviewed", "Is": "within", "Amount": "1", "Unit": "Calendar day" (to practice only the words that you revised today; I enable or disable this filter depending on how motivated I am :).
  • Set "Test settings/Subject selection" to "Alternating", and set up in the same was as for "Revise".
  • Enable "Commands/Repeat incorrect words" (more important in this case because it allows you to focus on a smaller set of words by terminating a test session early)
  • Enable "Test settings/Auto-play on reveal" (again, not essential).
New

This profile is used when I feel ready to learn new words; I use it only if no words come up in "Revise" or "Practice".
  • Set "Card selection/System": "Fixed" (or "Random")
  • "Max number of cards: "All" (I then just stop the test when I feel I've learned enough new cards).
  • "Card categories": set as appropriate. This is the only profile where this matters.
  • Enable "Card Filters/Record filter", set "Include card if": "# reviewed", "Is": "=", "Than": "0" (i.e., "Revise" and "New" are mutually exclusive).
  • Set "Show" to "Chars + Pron + Audio" (I first want to have "passive" knowledge of the word).
  • Enable "Commands/Repeat incorrect cards" (not essential).
I also disable "Commands/Show statistics" for these profiles, but that's very minor.

Up to HSK4 I didn't practice writing very much; after all, it's perfectly possible to "write" Chinese on a computer/phone if you are able to "read" only. However, I want to improve my handwriting (partly because I am studying Chinese calligraphy also). Writing Chinese however truly is a separate skill so I've set up three analogue profiles "Writing Revise", "Writing Practice" and "Writing New", using a separate "Writing" scorefile, along the same lines above (except setting "Show" to "Pron + Defn + Audio" for all three profiles).

All in all, this still leaves me with 6 profiles, but my daily routine is streamlined and more efficient. Whether or not it will get me to HSK5, well, we'll see :)

I'm really interested in this thread and your method of study. Any chance you have updated it since this post? And is did, do you mind sharing a screenshot of the settings?
 
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