As neurodivergent (ADHD) I struggle with working memory, and often times when I go through cards that are only memorization (not any understanding) like vocabulary, I will forget the cards when new cards are added. I can simply not use ANKI if there is not an option to create study sets of for example maximum 10 cards finish before new 10 cards start. It really isn’t an issue after Ive been able to memorize but since my “short term” working memory does not have the same capability of holding a information whilst learning new information, it just does not work. Please let me know if this is possible, and if it is not an option, please make it possible.
There should definitely be ways to achieve what you want:
- either by tweaking the revision parameters: Deck Options - Anki Manual ;
- or by using filtered decks: Filtered Decks - Anki Manual .
However, you said that you run into increased difficulty specifically with cards that are pure memorisation with no understanding, such as pure vocabulary cards.
In that case, maybe something else might help.
My personal advice: I encourage you to try adding understanding to cards that are pure memorisation.
For instance, every time you encounter a card with a new word, instead of just trying to learn the word using this card, take some time to create new cards yourself, which use this word in context. For instance, try to come up with a few sentences that use this new word, and create one card for each of these sentences.
I encountered a similar difficulty while learning the following words in Chinese: suīrán, dāngrán, tūrán, zìrán, jìngrán, réngrán, jìrán, xiǎnrán, etc. These are a bunch of two-character words which all have the same second character, only differing in the first character, and they mean: although, of course, suddenly, naturally, surprisingly, again, since, evidently, etc. I absolutely could not learn these words. Whenever they would come up, I would recognise that it was one of them, and depending on the context I might guess which one it was, but I had extreme difficulty reading the first character if the context did not give it away.
So I took the time to search for extra example sentences using these words. I created about three or four new notes for each of these words, with one note per sentence using one of these words. This made the whole process a lot less painful than just memorising blindly which one of these words was which.
Try to learn several words that have the same root, the same etymology. When you learn a new word, if its etymology is completely unknown to you, then it’s going to be pure memorisation with no understanding. But if you learn several words that have the same root, then I think you’ll recognise this root more easily and you’ll learn these words more easily, as they will naturally weave themselves into a web of understanding and vocabulary.
Again, I had the same difficulty in Chinese. Most words are made of two syllables, and I noticed that I was much faster to learn words when I learned multiple words that had one syllable in common. For instance:
- fire / huǒ 火 ;
- train / huǒchē 火车 ;
- bus / 公车 gōngchē ;
- park, gardens / gōngyuán 公园 ;
- school campus / xiàoyuán 校园 ;
- school / xuéxiào 学校 ;
- to study / xuéxí 学习 ;
- student / xuésheng 学生.
These words were very easy to learn because I learned them at the same time. I would have had a hard time learning park / gōngyuán 公园 if I had to blindly memorise these two characters without understanding them; but understanding that gōng 公 means “public” as in “public transportation” and yuán 园 means “garden” or “zone” as in “school campus” makes it a lot easier.
Anki’s learning steps are designed to help with initial memorization. If you study 1 card every 5 seconds, the default delay of 1 minute will have the forgotten cards come back again after about 11 other cards. You can tweak the delay in the deck options to increase or decrease the delay.
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