# "Review sort order: Descending difficulty" does not take the most difficult cards from the subdecks

My top deck has “Review sort order: Descending difficulty”, and the cards are sorted by difficulty, but it depends on the review limit of the subdecks: with a small limit, the most difficult cards end up beyond the limit and Anki shows me less difficult ones.

I think it would cause more confusion if Anki just decided to ignore the limits you’ve set.

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Why would it “ignore” them? It could just take the most difficult cards from each deck within the limit, not random ones?

The name of the option is “descending difficulty”, not “deck, then descending difficulty”.

I am not sure I understand.

``````deck /
deck /::deck1
cards with difficulties 1 2 3 4
deck /::deck2
cards with difficulties 5 6 7 8
``````

If the limit is 6, I think reviewing in deck / with “descending difficulty” should show me cards `8 7 6 5 4 3`

If it was “deck, then descending difficulty”, then it would show `4 3 2 1, 8 7`, no?

And if it was “descending difficulty, then deck”, and there were cards with the same difficulty in both decks, then it would show those cards in the order their decks are in.

When Anki sorts by deck first, it fetches from one deck at a time, so each deck gets its own sorting. That does not happen with the other options - cards are all fetched at once.

…so it fetches randomly in order to get even amounts across decks fast?

I fear I may not have understood you, or explained myself well.

Say you have decks P::1 and P::2 with a limit of 3 cards each. P::1 has D 1,2,3,4 and P::2 has 5,6,7,8. What do you expect to happen? I’d expect you to get 8,7,6,4,3,2 in that order. If you expect to get 5 before 4, then you’re saying you want Anki to ignore your limits and give you more cards from the difficult deck than you’ve configured.

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Oh, your version “8,7,6,4,3,2” is what I actually expected yesterday, not what I wrote “8 7 6 5 4 3” (and now I am sick compared to then). I actually had deck-specific limits on almost all low-priority decks (with at least four levels), so I oversimplified. Unfortunately, I do not get card 8, supposedly because the limit in P::2 is too low and the cards are taken randomly. When I am out of due cards in the higher priority deck after some mixed reviewing, and review some from only the lower priority ones, I start getting lower-priority cards with D like 75%, and if I increase the limits, then I get 98% lower-priority ones.

It shouldn’t be random. I’d double check which deck(s) you are increasing the limits to, what deck the higher difficulty cards are in, and how much of the review limit is left for that deck.

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