A helpful heuristic when choosing how to classify a correct answer

I use donating to charity as a heuristic to determine whether to classify a flashcard as Easy, Normal, or Hard.

I had a problem crop up that might be common.

I didn’t like the way I was choosing to classify a flashcard after getting it right. The vast majority of answers got the 3 button, just Normal. Very rarely would I answer a flashcard Easy. It’d have to be something that I’d never forget before I’d allow that. And Hard meant basically I didn’t really know for sure, but I guessed right. This was an issue, because cards that I simply guessed right should not have been considered correct. I had a hard time learning them. There needed to be some stakes.

I created some stakes. Before I answer a card, I think of the answer, then I decide what I’m willing to wager. I’m kinda broke, so my range right now is $0.50, $5.00, and $50.00. If I know something well enough to wager $50, then if I get it right I allow myself to mark it Easy. If I get it wrong, I have to allocate $50 to my charity category in my budget. (At the end of every month I donate money to charities). I can’t afford to be donating money like that often, so I better be damn sure of my answer before choosing Easy. If I’m willing to wager $5 then I allow myself to mark it Normal. If I’m only willing to wager $0.50, then I allow myself to choose Hard. Pretty simple.

If I’m not even willing to wager $0.50, then even if I guess it right, I mark it wrong. This has been very beneficial it turns out. All those cards that I too vaguely remember get filtered to the wrong pile and I see them more often.

For me, it’s turned out to be an instrumental heuristic for classifying cards as I quiz myself. And it goes to a good cause.