Cards that you forget, at what interval do they come back?

I read quite a few articles regarding the following issue and I’m sure it’s been addressed a million times. however, I honestly still don’t understand ANYTHING (there’s so much conflicting information in what I read).

I’m on FSRS now and cards I forget (I hit again) come back with a two-day interval which is extremely annoying. if I hit hard, the interval in my opinion is too big (up to three months sometimes for older cards). for some of these cards, I “almost” remember them (tip-of-the-tongue phenomenon, I know 90% of it…), but I want to remember them perfectly. that’s why I need to hit again. however, I don’t want the card to restart its learning curve almost from scratch.

does FSRS address this issue ?
if yes, when I hit again, why do the cards always come back so early and when I hit hard so late ?
if not, should I switch back to MS2 and tweak with the “new interval” setting ?

I feel there’s something wrong but I’d like to hear other opinions.

thank you !

No, it doesn’t sound like there’s anything wrong. The intervals your cards will come back to after a lapse are determined by the algorithm. I don’t know what conflicting information sources you’ve been reading, but that’s definitely what happens.

If you can’t stop yourself from 2nd-guessing FSRS, you have a few options –

  1. Stop using it. Switch back to the default SM-2 algorithm. But the only benefit to you will be consistency in intervals, not more accurate outcomes.
  2. Stick with the superior algorithm (FSRS), and adjust your desired retention to change all of your algorithms intervals.
  3. Turn off the display of intervals on the grading buttons, until you can reorient yourself to giving cards accurate and correct grading without thinking about the potential intervals.

For Review cards, Again and Hard aren’t meant to be very similar – they are quite different answers. Grading it as Again means you got the answer wrong, and after some relearning steps, FSRS can help you work toward higher intervals. Grading it as Hard means you got the answer correct, and there is no reason to reset it to a very short interval because you’re still getting it correct.

what I mean is that I hit hard when I get the answer right after I needed a lot of time and concentration to get it right. and I hit again even though my answer was more than half-correct (for example, if it’s an expression in a list of vocabulary, one word was wrong, sometimes even an adverb), or the answer was on the tip of my tongue.
should I stop hitting again all the time and hit hard more often ?

and after a while, for cards I’ve known for years but for whatever reason, I got the answer wrong (sometimes, you don’t remember something because you’re tired or not focused enough), will FSRS understand that I don’t need to review the card again in two days ?

this two-day thing really upsets me and I think that the card is always going back to the start of its learning curve but if it’s not the case, I’ll stick to FSRS. I’m just in doubt now

No, don’t change what you’re doing there.

Essentially, yes – FSRS will calculate a post-lapse interval for that specific card (unlike SM-2, which set a static post-lapse interval). But that doesn’t mean that the algorithm won’t calculate 2 days as the optimal interval.

I know I had a rough day studying yesterday, so I can give you some real life examples. I just ran a search to look at some of those lapsed cards – rated:2:1 prop:reps>10 (cards that lapsed in the past 2 days, that I’ve studied more than 10 times.)

These are with my parameters and my history with these cards, but here’s a little bit of the Card Info for them. You can see that their new post-lapse intervals vary. I bet you’ll find something similar if you look at your cards.

[The last pre-lapse intervals for these were – 2.83m – 13d – 19d (but 2 recent lapses) – respectively.]

thank you for the details ! actually yes, I just experienced that even after I hit again for a word that (I thought) I knew for a long time, FSRS decided that my next review was in 4 days instead of 2. so I guess I’m on the right (but long) track.

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