Speed Card Scoring Question

5 posts / 0 new
Last post
#1 24 July, 2014 - 15:52
Joined: 2 years 11 months ago

Speed Card Scoring Question

Hi guys! I'm a 19 year old amateur mnemonist, and I have a question for the gurus here about speed cards. I am perusing a recent edition of the World memory Sports Council's scoring guidelines for the 5 minute card event. I know that many, many people here are capable of memorizing a deck in much less than five minutes and that the biggest memory competition in the world is serious business, but the scoring system they describe here seems bizarre to me. Here's a link to the document that I'm viewing:


It appears that being unable to finish within five minutes or even missing a single card by accident has an absolutely catastrophic effect on your final score in points. It says on that page that there are two different formulae for scoring:

1) If you perfectly memorize the complete deck within five minutes, then your score is:
11180/(t)^0.75, where t= the amount of time that it took you to complete the task.

2) If you failed to recall all 52 cards correctly, then your score is:
c/52, where c= the number of cards that you correctly remembered.

Perhaps I'm misreading this, but that implies that someone who attempts to memorize the deck in thirty seconds flat and misses a single card would get a score of 51/52, less than a single point... Ouch.
People who memorize the deck in exactly five minutes but get all 52 cards correct will receive a score of roughly 155 points. I understand that accuracy is of paramount importance in this competition and especially so in this event, but that is jarringly uncharitable. Also, it doesn't seem to be consistent with the ideology behind the scoring for Long Cards. A person who memorizes just one deck of 52 cards in an hour would get 52 points for that event. Obviously, this score isn't fabulous, but it is a little over 52 times better than the score that some poor sucker who missed a single card in five minutes would get.

So, am I misreading this sheet? Is there a misprint perhaps? I apologize if this question seems rude or misguided or something. I'm just confused. This is actually my first post on the forums here, so I'd like to take a moment to say hello to all of you and to thank you in advance for any information that you guys impart to me here :)

24 July, 2014 - 20:35
Joined: 4 years 2 months ago

Welcome to the forum! :)

Yeah, this is a misprint. You get 98 points for memorizing 51/52 cards. It should be c/52*100. Check out this page:


Go to "speed cards," switch the drop-down menu to cards instead of sec. 51/52 points would be pretty brutal lol...

25 July, 2014 - 01:22
Joined: 2 years 11 months ago

Thank you kindly! :)

26 July, 2014 - 06:29
Joined: 4 years 6 months ago

Nevertheless you were completely right: not being able to memorize a full deck in under five minutes does have an absolutely catastrophic effect on your score. 51 points is a very bad score in any event, and it's higher than any score you could possibly hope for, because if you do have the first 51 cards in order, you have the 52nd one in the last place necessarily.

If you memorize 24 digits in 5 minutes, you get 51 points for that.
If you memorize 45 cards in 30 minutes, you get 51 points for that.

If you remember 4 names - two people's first and last names - in 5 minutes, you get 57 points.

27 July, 2014 - 01:21
Joined: 2 years 11 months ago

That really puts it in perspective. Remembering two full names would be pretty horrendous even without any strategy at all... Thanks for your response. My post ended up being a little silly because I just started this a couple of weeks ago, and my early gains have brought me to roughly 7m30s for a deck. When I posted this question, I was still really fumbling badly (I tried to use my PAO system the day after I finished it and got very poor times) and thought that five minutes would take forever to achieve. I guess avoiding the huge point penalty is just a matter of knowing your limits then :)

Learn memory techniques for free! Just click the "Sign up" button below to create an account and we'll send you an email with some tips on how to get started.

Related content: