Haven't used Anki in two years. What to do with my deck?

Hi, I’m an international medical student and haven’t used Anki in over two years. Should I reset them and start from scratch or reschedule or forget them? What is the best way moving forward?
Thank you in advance!

Restarting from scratch basically means more repetitions. If you just do them as they appear without any rescheduling, the algorithm will only “reset” in a manner of speaking the cards that you actually forgot while graduating the cards that you actually still remember. This, imho, is better because then you only really drill the cards you know the least with fewer reps on useless stuff.

The only real problem you will run into is that if you graduate a card that you actually forgot but accidentally marked as known/correct, then that new interval will be VERY large before you get a chance to correct that mistake. When cards are new, such mistakes aren’t a biggie because it will come back up shortly and you get a chance to fix it next time it is up for review.

Now, if you are medical student with over thousands of cards, less really is more for you. Why waste time reviewing cards you already know or even cards you somewhat know (for cases of mistakenly graduating cards like above)? There is a card you know even less and you should really first focus on that. So, I know for perfectionist types this is a very hard thing to do, but just trust the algorithm and just do the cards just as you left them. No rescheduling needed. And for cards with very large intervals beyond your test date, just use filtered decks to review them as needed and move on with your life. You need to do practice questions any way, so don’t worry about missing information. Many oppurtunity to learn what you don’t know.

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Speaking of @dae , this gives me a new feature idea. What about anki detecting cards that due to lack of adequate reviews has an extremely large interval and could possibly be due to mistake. Anki then shows those cards again within a week to ensure that they were not mistakenly graduated? Or is this a very stupid idea? Because I see this max interval setting that possibly can insure against this scenario.

Why would you reset the hx on all the cards (forget option) unless you literally forgot all knowledge? How could that happen in 2 years?

How would you plan on rescheduling them? Presumably they are all scheduled for now? If any intervals are > 2 yrs it’s because it has calculated you will remember them for that period. Unless this is an algorithm issue, in which case I would change to FSRS based on the statistics that has been shown.

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Lack of adequate reviews shouldn’t make an extremely large interval

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Agree with all the advice about resetting/forgetting being a bad idea.

Just adding: if the sheer size of the backlog is daunting, there are ways to get that out of your direct view while you’re ramping back up. Things I’ve seen be successful:

  • Use a Filtered Deck to pull your backlog temporarily from your main deck(s) – e.g. prop:due<0.
    • Set a goal for how many of those cards to study each day, which will “feed” them back into your main deck.
    • Each day you’ll study everything in your main deck (which will start at 0), and then study your goal number from your backlog deck. At the end of your study session, rebuild your backlog deck to kick any lapsed/relearning cards back to the main deck so they are ready for the next day.
    • This method takes some discipline, but keeps the scale of the backlog in view, shows you tangible daily progress (as your filter deck gets smaller), and allows you some flexibility.
  • Use “Set Due Date” to do a sort of “soft”-reset of the cards – it gives you a start-over point without losing your review history.
    • Decide how long you’re going to take to dig out (which you can calculate by how many cards-per-day you can handle, or just set a deadline for yourself), and then “Set Due Date” to span all of these cards over that many days – e.g. 0-20 would span them across 3 weeks.
    • Each day you’ll study the cards that are due, which will be cards that have lapsed to shorter intervals, plus a new batch of backlog cards.
    • This method gets the backlog out of sight, for better or worse, but it is not as flexible day-to-day.

Does it go without saying that while you’re reviving your deck(s), you shouldn’t be introducing any New cards? Well, I said it anyway. :sweat_smile:

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Anki needs to function correctly even if review logs are partially or fully missing, as that can happen in some cases such as importing from another system, or when users manually delete review logs.

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