Automatically determine hard/good/easy in pass/fail grading

I know the topic of 4 button vs. 2 button grading has been discussed at length previously but those discussions usually focus on just grading with pass/fail thereby completely removing the benefits of the detailed grading.

I would like to suggest exposing only 2 buttons for grading, but automatically grade between hard/good/easy based on time spent on the card (Most descriptions of how people differentiate these when grading seem to have time as a main factor anyway).

Something like
t < mean_time - SD: Easy
mean_time - SD <= t < mean_time + SD: Good
t >= mean_time + SD: Hard

(SD=Standard deviation)

Mean_time / SD would be determined based on the review history of the card being graded. The first couple of pass gradings could always count as good until these values can meaningfully be determined.

Benefits as I see them:

  • Simplifies grading while keeping (some of) the benefits of the nuanced grading system.
  • Consistent / unbiased grading over time.
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Your assumptions are incorrect. I use 2 buttons for grading, but I do not factor in the time taken. If I recall a card correctly, it is marked as Good, regardless of how long it took me to remember it—whether it was 1 second or 29. I also like to ponder about certain cards before showing the next. The change you propose would mess up my scheduling.

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It sounds like you’re proposing this as an overall change… I won’t begrudge someone else wanting to increase their own efficiency with an option like this, but if you’re coming for my 4-buttons, you’ll have a fight on your hands! :facepunch:t4:

This would definitely not work for me. Like many “recreational learning” users, I don’t care a fig about how long it takes me to answer a card. Even when I get the answer right away, I often take a break mid-card to gather more information, or answer a question that just popped into my head. Time-to-answer is meaningless.

I also don’t want a simplified or unbiased grading system. I like the (slight) complexity because it lets Anki handle more information and give me a better outcome. And I’m perfectly happy with my biased grading, because I’m confident in my answers.


No, that’s fair. This should probably be implemented as an add-on, especially at first.

I did manage to extend the PASS/FAIL add-on to do this, so I’ll put it on Github / Anki website once I tested it for a little while (and figured out how to build anki add-ons for publishing), assuming it doesn’t break.

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I like this idea as a potential note type. However, as other people stated, this would be a terrible idea to implement as an overall change.

Personally, I have ADHD. Sometimes, I zone out. Sometimes, it takes me longer to answer some questions. Sometimes, I get dehydrated, and my thinking process takes twice as long. This would kill me. Don’t do this. Please.