Hirsh Agarwal • September 16th, 2022
How Studius helps you study with spaced repetition
We started building Studius in 2021 because we felt like existing flashcard tools fell short of what we always wanted. Quizlet, a popular option that offers relatively modern user experience is plagued by high complexity, advertisements, and lack of spaced repetition. Anki, the standard spaced repetition app, simply doesn’t feel like it keeps up with our expectations for a modern user experience. We've dedicated ourselves to building the best flashcard app that we can by combining the elegance of modern software with the power of spaced repetition as a learning tool.
Why do we forget?
The forgetting curve is a powerful concept that was pioneered by Hermann Ebbinghaus over 100 years ago. He showed that memory decreases exponentially over time. Our brain is smart, and does a lot of subconscious re-organizing. It assumes that information that isn't used frequently isn't needed, and might as well be discarded. Without consciously reviewing material we tend to lose memories after a matter of days to weeks depending on the initial strength of the memory. The forgetting curve also isn't linear, meaning memories decrease really quickly at first, and then begin to level out at a steady state. So ideally we can raise that steady state at the end to a point where we're still able to recall the information on demand. Luckily further research has shown that we can flatten this curve over time using repeated studying.
How can we strengthen memory?
Generally there are two ways that have been demonstrated to increase memory strength. Memory Strength vs Recollection
- Having a high quality initial memory. The quality of the initial memory is difficult to quantify, however intuitively this concept makes sense. If a memory is particularly meaningful or emotional, it will be strongly implanted in our memory in the first place. This phenomenon isn’t simple; research has shown that under stress memory can form in different ways. Memory can also be improved by improving the encoding of memories. A common example of this is phenomenon is the use of mnemonics, by which is a slightly more complex encoding system improves the reliability of memory recall.
- Repeated recollection of the memory over time. Once memories are formed they can also be strengthened by repeated recall. Each time information is recalled from memory the requisite neural pathway is strengthened, and this has been demonstrated both in animal and human experiments.
How does spaced repetition work?
We mentioned before that the forgetting curve can be "flattened" over time using repeated studying. Spaced repetition is simply one of the optimally efficient ways to do this. The other component of this is the "spaced" part of spaced repetition. Spacing your revisions is critical because otherwise the curve won't be flattened to as high of a point. The easiest way to think about this is that the closer you are to forgetting information when you study it, the more value it has in terms of increasing your memory.
Although there is a temptation when studying to “frontload” studying (i.e. repeatedly study information many times in a short interval), this is not the most effective way to achieve long term memory. Spaced repetition is the system by which you are forced to recall information at gradually increasingly long intervals after each successful recall. Many components of spaced repetition have yet to reach a broad consensus, e.g. optimal study interval and study interval variation. What is clear is that spaced repetition is an incredibly effective way to create strong long term memories.
Why can’t I keep studying all of my cards at once?
Once you’ve gotten all of your cards correct you should wait for the spaced repetition algorithm to show them to you again. This is to avoid the “frontloading” issue that I mentioned before; i.e. continuing to study cards immediately after you’ve gotten them correct hasn’t been shown to significantly improve long term memory of them. If you really want to keep studying you can always use test mode with a Studius Premium subscription!
Does Studius use AI to schedule my flashcards?
Right now these aren’t “AI flashcards” per se. However we use a proprietary implementation of a spaced repetition algorithm to schedule cards intelligently. Over time we’re hoping to start adding more intelligence into the product to help you study.
How can I get started using Studius?
It's easy to get started using Studius! You can import cards from an existing flashcard system (like Quizlet or Anki), or you can start making some brand new cards. Between many different cards types, including image occlusion, and our intelligent scheduling system based on a custom algorithm. We believe that Studius is the best flashcard app out there - and we're always trying to make it better. If you have any questions or feedback please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.