Spaced Repetition

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What is spaced repetition?

From Wikipedia:

Spaced repetition is a learning technique that incorporates increasing intervals of time between subsequent review of previously learned material in order to exploit the psychological spacing effect. Alternative names include spaced rehearsal, expanding rehearsal, graduated intervals, repetition spacing, repetition scheduling, spaced retrieval and expanded retrieval.


Spaced Repetition Software

Art of Memory Software

We make software that combines spaced repetition and memory palaces. (See also the memory training games page.)


Anki is a free, multi-platform, flashcard program that uses spaced repetition.

It is great for learning anything that needs to go into your long-term memory.


Mnemosyne is a multi-platform spaced repetition software. The strength of Mnemosyne is the clear and minimalistic interface while the software still offers all main features. Mnemosyne is open source and it has a research aspect associated with it: by (voluntary) collection of your learning history, it collects a huge database with useful information for mnemotechnic research.


Kinma posted an example spreadsheet that allows one to customize the repetition frequency.


Another popular spaced repetition program is Supermemo.

How often should information be reviewed in order to retain it?


Dominic O’Brien

In the book, How to Develop a Brilliant Memory Week by Week, Dominic O’Brien suggests:

  • first review: immediately
  • second review: 24 hours later
  • third review: one week later
  • fourth review: one month later
  • fifth review: three months later

Many people might need more review than this.

Paul Pimsleur

Paul Pimsleur’s intervals for language learning are:

  • 5 seconds
  • 25 seconds
  • 2 minutes
  • 10 minutes
  • 1 hour
  • 5 hours
  • 1 day
  • 5 days
  • 25 days
  • 4 months
  • 2 years

See also the Pimsleur Method page.