Anki Forums

Please fix the New Interval = 0% thing or at least inform the user

Please fix this or you can inform the user when they download Anki. Please make anki come with a docs that talk about how problematic the original algorithm is.

In the default Anki setting, if you get a card wrong, the New Interval for lapses would render it new again, like you’ve never seen or learned that card.

For example, you have answered a card correctly (pressed ‘Easy’) for 10 times over 3 years. If you then fail it ONCE (pressed ‘Again’), Anki would banish the card back to square one. I discovered this brutal New Interval setting only after 4 years of using Anki.

My point is, just because you temporarily couldn’t retrieve the information doesn’t mean you have to re-learn it, treating it like you’ve not learned it at all because that piece of memory is still in your long-term memory. Losing retrieval strength ≠ losing storage strength.

For example, you’ve changed your phone number after using the old one for years. If you’ve used the new number long enough, you’re bound to “forget” the old number (retrieval-induced forgetting). But do you think you need the same amount of time memorizing the old number when you need it, like you have never seen it? Of course not! Maybe just a few initial numbers are enough to jog your memory and you’ll spill out the rest.

The default setting is highly inefficient as having to start over is completely unnecessary. Just a one-time corrective feedback for that card should probably make it retrievable again for a long time (years maybe). Having to review it over and over again leads to a lot of frustration. You will mostly likely continue to struggle with the review count. Imagine the pain of reviewing a card correctly for years and then slipped for once… all the previous effort to expand the retrieval schedules. Puff. Gone. It’s like repetitively building a sand castle only to be washed away moments later.

I wonder how many users are still using that brutal default setting… I am sure a lot of people never bothered to tweak the settings, not to mention reading the manual to understand what each parameter means and how it affects the algorithm. I think once people know how the default setting behaves, they would tweak it immediately.


  1. My BIGGEST Discovery From Tweaking the Anki Setting

(I am not a native speaker of English, so my English could be wrong.)

2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Please change the the default New Interval = 0% thing or at lease inform the user