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Catching up on Anki Reviews Slowly or All at Once — 17 Comments

  1. A strategy that has worked for me in the past is setting a review cap to 20 or 30, getting those down to zero, then continuing to work on them in small batches until I’ve made a dent or gotten rid of them all completely. Because you can’t see the huge number, it’s easier to get through it.

  2. If your anki spirals out of control, my advice is to chip away as much as you can each day while keeping it manageable and enjoyable. I recommend picking a number, i.e. 1000 reviews=100 day.

    Then your next completely free day, the weekend for example, you can smash out as many as you possibly can. Rinse and repeat.

    I think this works because you develop the habit of doing anki daily.
    You’d be surprised how much inertia helps you in making sure you don’t keep pushing it off.

    Keeping motivated in japanese is 100% good habit forming. I can’t emphasise how important this is to anyone’s success, in anything really.

    • Agreed. The way you approach it is so important. You don’t want to develop a relationship where you hate Anki.

  3. I definitely go for the all in one day. I haven’t been studying long, but had almost a week long stint where I just couldn’t bring myself to fully finish my reviews and ended up with around 600.

    My strategy is to finish one deck at a time or at least make a decent dent and spread it throughout the day. If I feel like there’s a chance I won’t finish the days reviews, I try to finish the JALUP stage I’m currently adding cards from first. That way if I end up not finishing everything I at least finished the material I knew the least.

    Surprisingly, I end up very motivated the next day after finishing a large card amount. It makes you feel like if you can do that much in one day then this amount should be cake.

    • You make a great point. Once you knock it to zero, and your next day is an easily manageable number, it can make you want to start getting back into the normal Anki habit again.

  4. My worst was a deck of 7500 cards not reviewed for 5 whole months. I didn’t have all 7500 due but easily half.

    I decided in the September that I wanted to be back on top by Christmas. So I worked out the weeks until then (about 16?) and did 7500/16= 468-9 cards a week.

    So I separated the first 468 cards into a separate deck- reviewed it down to 0 for every day without fail. Start of next week, added the next 468 etc.

    I couldn’t be bothered with the effort of picking out the due cards into a separate deck, so sometimes a higher percentage of the 468 would be due in one week than the next. It worked out quite well though and I won in the end.

  5. If you’re not too far into a deck, you could reset it as well (if you can’t find a fresh version of the deck, there’s a plugin on anki that allows you to reset the entire deck). I recently did that to a deck I’d already learnt 1500 cards for. I found it easier to do 30-40 new cards a day rather than large reviews. The other thing is, if you haven’t touched a deck for a while, you might be sending a card that you technically got correct but is still a little vague 6 months into the future. I was finding myself doing this too often for my liking which is why I tried resetting the deck. I’m now catching up quite quickly with a high retention rate because of the familiarity with the deck. If you’ve already learnt over 2000 cards it could be a more time consuming (and boring) this way though.

    • You can just go to edit> reschedule> place at end of new card queue,
      then edit> reposition.

      I don’t think resetting your deck is ever a good idea though; you could just do the reviews and press again if you don’t remember the card. That way you won’t reset anything you DO remember. If you remembered all the information you were trying to remember but you think it was too “vague” then you can simply press hard.

    • This is an option I don’t have any experience with, but I know people who have done a complete reset and they seemed to feel freed by it.

      However, as Caleb points out, it also can reset your work.

      Anyone else ever done a complete reset?

      • I’ve completely reset my RTK deck twice (three times maybe?). Resetting the first time around (due to 60~70% retention rate) definitely took a weight off my chest, and I felt like I was starting off fresh. Because I had already completed the deck, I could add 30/35 cards a day and still be mostly fine, which felt good.
        The second time around (reset due to anki avalanche), I felt like I was doing busywork instead of actually learning things since I had all the RTK kanji down already. There are pros and cons to resetting a deck!

  6. I’ve tried both and in the end I decided on doing a mix of both, which worked very well last time (just a week ago actually). I had piled up about ~500 reviews, which is a lot to me. Doing it in one day would be way too much for me, but slowly whittling it down also doesnt work very well for me. So instead I did it over 3 days; that way it still gets part of the benefits from doing it in one day, AND from doing it slowly over time since I wouldnt burn out from too much anki. I also wouldn’t do it all in one sitting; I have trouble focusing on anki for more than 5 minutes in a row so I’d just do 5 minutes of reviews, watch an anime episode, do another 5 minutes, etc, until I had done 1/3.

  7. I’m normally very disciplined when it comes to finishing Anki, but sometimes the unavoidable happens and a week’s worth of cards build up. I tend to do as much as I can every day until they’re down to zero.

    One little trick I use is not to add any new cards to Anki and just focus on reviews until they’re all done. This really speeds things up. As I see it, the most important thing is to get Anki to a manageable state; studying new cards just puts extra pressure on you.

    • I agree with you; when you have a buildup like that I think it’s IMPORTANT to NOT add any new cards; or limit it to 1-5 if you absolutely have to.

    • Yes, new cards should be pushed back. Some people think they won’t be making progress if they stop adding new cards, but catching up on your reviews is progress.

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