Better to Review All First, or Always Learn New Words?

I’m always interested in how to use a tool or program like Clozemaster as effectively as possible.

Does anyone have any thoughts or opinions on whether it is better to review all the words in the review queue first, or to forge ahead and learn new words, and review them as it mixes in the new words?

I’d be curious to hear if anyone has tested out one method vs. the other and compared results, or if anyone has compelling reasons that they prefer one over the other.

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I haven’t done any tests on this, but my advice would be… don’t do what I did. I didn’t “get” reviews at first so I wasn’t doing them as such. Some questions for review would show up in my new questions on Fluency Fast Track but I wasn’t doing the reviews from the dashboard. As a result the numbers ramped up, and up, and up. The review questions that came up in FFT were ones that I could tell that I had seen before (because the score was 25%, 50% or 75%) but I had no recollection of them because it had been so long since I saw them.

What’s working for me at the moment is more reviews; I’m still doing some new vocabulary (though mostly in Cloze Collections rather than Fluency Fast Track) but my focus is to hammer reviews into my head and lower my number of reviews before moving forward.

If I had my time over again I’d probably keep my number of reviews down to 3 figures before moving forward, which is essentially what I plan to do once I have cleared my review stack. In other words, get some new words, review them to death, lather, rinse, repeat. Since I have a pretty bad memory I don’t want to extend my 100% questions out much further than a month, although I think I’ll need to extend that in the short term just to give me room to clear the bunkers.

That’s what is working for me… but everyone is different.

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Ciao. I tend to mix n match Reviews. I like to do, say ten or twenty, take a break with Grammar or Fast track, then do a few more reviews. Initially I was racing through Reviews just to “get them done” but seem to have found a happy balance. I “favourite” the ones I need to repeat n repeat, and it all seems to work well.

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@Floria7, one suggestion; rather than using Favourites, you could add them to custom collections instead. It’s a little more work to do it since there’s no “one click” solution (I usually keep a second window open to my dashboard so that I can add any new questions to my custom collections as I go along), but the main advantage is the way custom collections allow you to categorise them whether it be by subject, grammar, verb form, etc. I have over 500 in favourites from my early days, but I’d never be able to remember what’s in there or find anything specific, whereas with custom collections I can go through and review anything relating to a specific topic. Also in custom collections you get the normal number of points for a review while you get only 2 points for reviewing favourites. I know it’s not about the points, but 2 makes me feel like I’m being punished for reviewing them. (Though I know why it’s done, and have no problem with that.) But the points are only a side effect; it’s the ability to group them that I find to be the big advantage. Not so much at the beginning perhaps, but certainly as your favourites build up over time.

The only other thing to watch out for there is that if you add them as “ready for review” then you’ll be getting an increased number of reviews. Because of the number of custom collections that I have, that’s a LOOOOT of reviews, but I’m fine with that because it’s what I want. However if you just want them for reference and to play them when you want them you can uncheck the “ready for review” box as you add them.

The last advantage is the ability to add your own words; if you come across an interesting sentence when you’re reading, for example, you can add that to one of your custom collections as well so that you don’t forget it.

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@LuciusVorenusX - ciao, thank you so much for all your advice here, sei molto gentile. I’m still finding my way round me Dashboard, and am a tad nervous about clicking the wrong thing and causing chaos:-( but l’ll definitely explore a little more as you suggest. Meantime, I so enjoyed “review them to death, lather, rinse, repeat” :wink: Bye for now…(Ps. When you say custom collections, does this come under Cloze Collections? See what I mean, I’ve lots to learn.)

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@Floria7, yes, custom collections are Cloze Collections. I haven’t tried uploading a screenshot before, but hopefully this will work:

OK, that seemed to work. When you create a new one you’ll see this dialog:


The name is obvious. The description is what you’ll see if you click on the (?) icon near the name (like the one you can see next to the Business And Money one in the first screenshot). Sometimes I include example verbs and nouns in the collection name, sometimes in the description. You can leave all of the other settings with their defaults. I plan to share some of mine eventually because I think they may be useful for others, but at the moment they’re still a work in progress so I leave them as Private.

Once you do that you’ll have an empty collection. You can add new sentences by the [+] button:


Most of the options are self-explanatory, though to start off with you’d probably want to include sentences from the existing Clozemaster collections, and you can use Search for that. In the Query box you type the word(s) that you’re searching for. This can be one word or an expression. For a word you can use the asterisk wildcard; in this case I entered piat* which will search for any word that starts with piat including piato (singular) and piati (plural). With Italian this is massively helpful when you’re looking for conjugations of verb forms. On the drop-down on the right you can choose to search for the word if it appears: (a) anywhere in the text, (b) just as the cloze word or (c) as part of the translation rather than the question (which is very, very cool IMHO). You can see that because I searched in text, the "piat*’ word could either be in the text of the question (like the second one) or the cloze (the first one):

You can click the Select All button to add every match into the collection, but I generally don’t. Most of the time you want to be more selective. I therefore just check the ones that I want. You then click the “Add n to collection” button. You’ll have to specify which collection to add it to. You may need to change that in the drop-down if you have multiple collections because it defaults to the last one used.)

then:

The search returns 20 results at a time. If there are more matches you will have a “Next” link at the bottom of the page, but you MUST add all of the selections to your collection before you move on to the next page, or you’ll lose them. (Or at least that was my experience early on.)

After you’re done the new collection will appear at the top of your list of collections (they’re sorted in order of the most recently updated collections) and you can use it the same way as a built in Clozemaster collection. You can edit the collection’s name, description, shared status, etc through the link on the left. If you want to delete sentences or change or reset their percent mastered, you do it through the hamburger menu on the right:

Happy collectioning!

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@LuciusVorenusX… This is wonderful, can’t thank you enough! I will begin to work through it while enjoying my first Lavazza of the day tomorrow. I tend to work on a tablet but can’t see this being a problem. Mille grazie di nuovo!

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Wow! What a great explanation! I’ve never used “collections”, but now I’ll give it a try! Thank you for sharing this, I’m sure a lot of people will find it useful!

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To me, seeing new sentences, learning new words or having the pleasure to already know a difficult word, is what motivates me most. Doing reviews is the prize I pay for not having a very good memory, but I have to accept it as a necessary part of learning a language, so I try to do the reviews before playing new sentences.

I now find that I have very little time to play new sentences, since I am drowning in reviews. To minimize the number of review items, I try to remember to manually master the words I already know before going through all the review rounds up to 100%. This is a two-step process, having to answer a confirmation dialog, which makes it a little bit more laborious than necessary.

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Morbrorper, I know the drowning feeling too, so having discovered the handy “tick”, I use it regularly. Makes a lot of difference! Enjoy the day:-)

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@LuciusVorenusX, after your excellent “How to do Collections” I had a go this evening but couldn’t copy over my Favourites that I had saved. Got in a bit of a muddle so will try again with a clearer head. As long as you know your hard work hasn’t been forgotten. Tanti auguri!

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@LuciusVorenusX Thanks to your superb instructions, I’ve managed to start a Collection! Private for the moment, but it may be useful for others later on. I’m so pleased, another small-but-big achievement. Now to explore even more! Mille grazie again, and have a good week:-)

@LuciusVorenusX Hi, I think I’ve correctly added a few Collections. Great fun. But how do you add “created by”? from Edit? It’s probably so obvious I’ve missed it :wink:

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