Stop timer after showing answer

There is a Timer section in deck options.
I want it to have an option to stop timer after showing answer.


I’d like to know, too…


Would also like this. The way it is now makes the time per card stat not very useful as the accuracy within and between cards varies dramatically. I would be really nice to split it into 2 stats, “total time spent” and “time to answer”.

It may take another couple seconds to decide whether to rate a card hard/good/easy, which may take more or less time to do for another card. Or if I was confused between two words, even if I ended up getting it right, I still need to check the other word to know why I was confusing them and correct my mnemonic. Additionally for incorrect cards I have sit and review the answer and my mnemonic to re-drill it, though you could argue the time it takes to answer is irrelevent in that case. Overall it would just reduce the amount of panic I feel after clicking show to “beat the clock” and reduce high speed processing fatigue which I’d prefer to save for the actual cards themselves. Neither of which are ideal mental pressures.

My current method if I took too long to decide is to exit out of the reviewer, reenter and wait the original amount of time for that card. Which is a waste of time obviously, but I value accurate stats more.


̶A̶n̶k̶i̶ ̶a̶l̶r̶e̶a̶d̶y̶ ̶c̶o̶u̶n̶t̶s̶ ̶o̶n̶l̶y̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ ̶i̶t̶ ̶t̶a̶k̶e̶s̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶a̶n̶s̶w̶e̶r̶,̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶t̶i̶m̶e̶ ̶y̶o̶u̶ ̶s̶p̶e̶n̶d̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶a̶c̶k̶ ̶s̶i̶d̶e̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶c̶a̶r̶d̶.̶

I’m afraid that’s not correct - it’s the time until you press one of the answer buttons, not the ‘show answer’ button.


Oh, it’s true… I had misunderstood it completely. Perhaps I had read the wrong explanation on Reddit and never questioned it (and never had Anki show the timer either).

Here are my thoughts:

  • Mere terminology: To me, it would be more intuitive to call the moment of active recall the “answer time”, because that is when I internally give a definite answer. It happens shortly before I press “show answer”.
    After that, Anki shows the back side, aka feedback. The four buttons are how I grade my answer based on the feedback. The grading phase is important for the spacing part of spaced repetition, but not the active recall (= answer) part.

  • Consistency: People have varying amounts of extra information/media on the back sides of their cards (see here for an example). And they will not read/look at/listen to them every time, but only on some cards. Therefore, the grading time might not be a good metric for comparing the difficulty or complexity of question/answer pairs.

  • FSRS4Anki uses the answer time (“3 Optimize retention to minimize the time of reviews” in the Optimizer). I suppose this is the same metric as described in Anki’s manual, @L.M.Sherlock? I am not sure whether it is better here to count the time until recall (which Anki currently doesn’t count) or the time until grading (which is the total time spent on a review). Probably the latter, since we want to squeeze as many cards as possible into a given time span.
    To clarify, FSRS4Anki does not use the timer for anything else than suggesting a target retention.

  • Two timers: You don’t want to break anything that relies on the old timer. If you were to introduce a recall timer (time until “show answer”), it should probably be introduced as an additional record while keeping the old one. This would enable users and developers to use one or the other for their purposes.

  • Unfortunately, said recall time could only be measured for reviews done after the introduction of the feature, not retrospectively.


I can only agree. Just using the timer for the first time and with the current implementation it is useless to me. Would be great if timer stops the moment I click on “Answer”

I can understand why this is a useful feature, but it unfortunately hurts your ability to accurately predict how long cards are going to take to study.

I think that min-maxing the time it takes to read a card can be helpful, and also gives you the ability to take your time on the answer-face to research the answer. But the cost is that you can never know how long you have been studying or how long you will have to study by estimate.

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Hey Sinister, I do not understand your point tbh. You are mentioning predictability and statistics but I think the timer showing up when answering cards should not be connected to internal measurements at all. It should be a feature to let you decide whether you answered the card in time or not. That’s it. I just want to see how long it took me to press “Answer” and then let me decide whether that was quick enough or not. The time it took me should only be shown on the UI, I don’t think that it should even be written to the database.

But maybe I completely mised your point?

At least one of the previous posters was talking about the time that is recorded in the review history. Stopping the on-screen timer when the answer is revealed would not break Anki’s statistics, but I believe some people prefer it the way it is, so it would probably need to be made an option if such a change were made. To the other posts in the thread, is that what you were asking for?

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For me it would be immensely useful to have an option (in some form) to log the time up until “show answer” is pressed. Either as a setting or as an extra field perhaps? I have a few decks were I go as far as to use an external stopwatch and tag the card manually just to get this stat. (I would do it on all my decks, but it’s only possible for the slower ones).

All I need is an extra stat to know how much it took me to guess the answer.
Like Latest Retention Time, Average Retention Time
The current timer is not like a Retention Timer, It’s more like a Study Timer (How much time users have spent even reading extra part of a card)

A possible implantation could be like this:
1- Users see a card
2- Timer is running and the moment Users press “Show Answer” button, Anki record a time and uses this time for the stats I mentioned earlier in this comment
3- Anki continue recording the time like it did before and use the final counted time for previous stats like Average Time, Total Time
4- Users have options to show the timer they want in reviewer window while answering their card:

  • Show Retention Timer Only
  • Show Study Timer Only
  • Show Both Timer

Yes, this is what everyone is asking for.

I’m not sure about that - the two posters above you appear to be wanting a question-only count to be persisted in the review history.

Ideally, yes. However, “just” having an option for stopping the on-screen timer when the answer is revealed would still be a huge improvement (for me at least), if that is a more realistic potential change.

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Yes, it’s much more viable, as it doesn’t require changes to the DB.


Then that is what I would request. It would be a more than welcomed change (by me at least).

Well, the implantation I suggested was just a thought!

Having an option for stopping the timer after showing answer but still continuing the count in the background is more than welcome. I can live with that for now.

But one can live with hope, so I hope in future we see some DB changes too or maybe never :sweat_smile:

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I’ve logged this on Add an option to stop the card timer when answer revealed · Issue #2665 · ankitects/anki · GitHub